Human Rights Committee discusses and adopts reports on follow-up to concluding observations and to views

Human Rights Committee | 30 March 2015

The Human Rights Committee today discussed and adopted a progress report by the Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations and a progress report by the Rapporteur on follow-up to views.

The Committee’s procedure for follow-up to its concluding observations issued to States consists of identifying a limited number of its recommendations which require additional information from a State party, within one year from the consideration of the Committee’s review of a State party’s country report.  At every session the Committee Member acting as Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations presents an updated progress report to Committee Members.  

Fabian Omar Salvioli, Committee Chairperson and Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations, presented the draft report (CCPR/C/113/R.4) and briefed the Committee on the follow-up procedure with nine countries: Jordan, Serbia, Yemen, Lithuania, Germany, the Czech Republic, Finland, Mauritania, and Uruguay.  Anja Seibert-Fohr, Committee Member, briefed the Committee on the procedure on Indonesia. Yuji Iwasawa, Committee Member and Rapporteur on follow-Up to views, presented a progress report on individual communications (CCPR/C/113/R.3), which covered submissions received and processed between June 2014 and January 2015, pertaining to Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon;

Colombia, Denmark, France, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Nepal, Republic of Korea, Russia, Spain, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan. 

Concerning the follow-up to concluding observations in Jordan, the Committee decided to ask for additional information on the funding and selection of personnel for the National Centre for Human Rights, and to end the practice of administrative detention which was not compliant with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  The recommendation to abolish the State Security Court was partially implemented.  The Committee agreed to suspend the follow-up procedure on Jordan and to request the additional information to be included in its upcoming periodic reports.

The Committee took note of the measures in Serbia to ensure the independence of the judiciary, such as the strategy for judicial reform and the reform of the courts, and the specific efforts to address the discrimination of Roma, which included developing the National Action Plan 2010-2015, improving access to employment, and ensuring education for Roma children.

Yemen refused to ensure equality between women and men in law, as requested by the Committee, because it was in contrast with Islamic law.  The Committee took note of legislative measures to address torture and enforced disappearances, and the cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on refugee determination procedure, and on asylum seekers.

Issues of concern in Lithuania included discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, and the fight against terrorism.  The Committee took note of the draft law on administrative detention and alternative measures to detention, and requested further information on the issue.

Germany complied with the recommendation to temporarily suspend the transfer of asylum seekers to Greece.  The Committee decided to ask for the suspension of this procedure for as long as conditions in reception centres remained difficult and to also ask Germany to address the use of restraints against persons with disabilities in residential homes.

The Committee noted the efforts of the Czech Republic to ensure the accreditation of the Public Defender of Rights in compliance with the Paris Principles and the legal amendment to further its competence and extend the mandate.  Measures had been undertaken to raise awareness about racial discrimination, particularly against Roma, address hate crimes, and protect the rights of persons with mental disabilities.  The Committee acknowledged the prosecution of the perpetrators of forced sterilization of Roma women and stressed that more needed to be done.

Finland was revising its legislation to comply with the Committee’s recommendation to use alternatives to detention and deprivation of liberty of asylum seekers, but the living conditions in asylum detention centres still needed improvement.  The Sami Parliament Act was being revised and specific measures had been taken to guarantee the right of Sami children to receive education in their own language.

Lack of definition of torture in compliance with international standards, and absence of investigations and prosecutions of cases of torture were among the issues raised with Mauritania.  Training of the police and the military cadets must also include international human rights law, and more information was needed on the draft law on the establishment of a national preventive mechanism.  Some measures were taken to eradicate slavery and prosecute the perpetrators, but it was not enough as the practice persisted and only 26 cases had been prosecuted.

The Committee had raised concern about the lack of appropriate resources for the national human rights institution in Uruguay and its compliance with the Paris Principles.  While taking note of the draft amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure which aimed to align it with the provisions of the Covenant in the area of presumption of innocence, the Committee wondered whether it would significantly address criminal policies. 

The Committee had not received any information about the establishment of a court to investigate cases of enforced disappearances committed between 1997 and 1998 in Indonesia.  Indonesia considered drug-related crimes as one of the most serious crimes and said that the death penalty for drug-related crimes was important for the nation’s survival.  The Committee regretted that Indonesia had taken measures on this issue contrary to the Committee’s recommendations.  The Committee took positive note of the firm prohibition by the law of female genital mutilation and said that more information on the steps to prevent the practice was needed.  The Committee decided to reiterate its recommendation to repeal the law on defamation of religion.

Yuji Iwasawa, Committee Member and Rapporteur on follow-up to views, presented a follow-up progress report on individual communications (CCPR/C/113/R.3), which covered submissions received and processed between June 2014 and January 2015.  The 31 individual communications contained in the report pertained to Australia (1), Austria (1), Azerbaijan (1), Bosnia and Herzegovina (6), Cameroon (2), Colombia (1), Denmark (1), France (3), Kazakhstan (2), Lithuania (1), Nepal (4), Republic of Korea (1), Russia (1), Spain (1), Uruguay (1), and Uzbekistan (4).  Mr. Iwasawa said that since 1979, but not counting the communications dealt with this session, 908 of the 1,072 views adopted concluded that there had been a violation of the Covenant.

The Committee will next meet in public at 3 p.m. on Thursday, 2 April to discuss its methods of work and announce bureau decisions before it closes its one hundred and thirteenth session.


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