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人权理事会举行关于促进与保护所有人权的一般性辩论(部分翻译)

下午

2015年6月22日

听取高级专员和秘书长关于专题报告的发言

人权理事会今天下午听取了人权高专和联合国秘书长的专题报告介绍,随后进行了关于报告和促进与保护所有人权、公民、政治、经济、社会、文化权利以及发展权的一般性辩论。

人权事务副高级专员弗拉维亚•潘谢里介绍了关于大量专题问题的11份报告和两份口头更新报告。联合国妇女署关于联合国支持采取行动消除暴力侵害妇女行为信托基金活动的报告指出,可持续发展目标将解决性别平等、赋权和暴力侵害妇女问题,这些承诺必须辅以宏伟和强健的融资方案。关于落实人权理事会第9/8号关于有效落实国际人权文书和改革条约机构体系决议的措施的报告列出了可以获得决议相关综合信息的来源。关于提升意识并促进对白化病人权利的保护的口头更新报告,人权事务高级专员办事处正在传阅一份会议文件,该文件强调,教育和意识提升对打击与白化病相关的迷信和成见并解决针对白化病人的暴力和歧视的根本原因至关重要。

潘谢里女士表示,关于改善工商业相关人权侵犯行为受害者获得补救途径的法律选择和实际措施的报告强调了从初步研究和磋商中得出的初步调查结果以及需要进一步调查的关键领域。关于设立全球基金以加强利益攸关方落实《工商业与人权指导原则》能力的可行性报告概括了关于潜在新基金范围和结构的意见。关于人权和气候变化相关具体专题全天讨论结果的概要报告明确呼吁在巴黎会议(第21届)中通过一项纳入了人权、强有力且具有法律约束力的世界性协议。关于基于性取向和性别认同针对个人的歧视和暴力的报告记录了大量侵犯男女同性恋、双性恋和跨性别者根本人权的行为,并总结称当前保护其人权的安排不足。

在关于促进和保护所有人权的一般性辩论中,发言人对任何不符合国际人权义务、限制个人在网上的见解和言论自由或集会和结社自由权利的行为表示强烈谴责。他们指出,理事会需要继续打击所有形式的暴力和歧视,特别是基于性取向和性别认同的暴力和歧视。此外,他们还呼吁理事会在所有解决气候变化的行动中都纳入基于人权的方针。其他发言人对特别报告员逾越行为守则及其任务授权的问题表示关切,并指责他们的报告立足于不可靠的信息以及实地状况中早已不存在的场景。一些发言人指出,家庭是社会结构的基本单元,他们拒绝任何重新定义家庭的企图,也拒绝文化、宗教和家庭应该为歧视妇女行为负责这样一种强加的观点。一些人称赞自决权是人类尊严的基础。提到了一些政府限制外国资金的获得以减少人权相关活动,以及一些国家还基于民间社会成员的外国公民身份来针对他们的问题。还注意到虽然移徙的潜在好处已得到承认,但移徙者仍是全球最脆弱的人群之一,他们遭受着各种各样的人权侵犯行为。

发言的有:欧盟、代表非洲集团的阿尔及利亚、代表不结盟国家运动的伊朗、代表海湾合作委员会的卡塔尔、代表自由在线联盟(Freedom Online Coalition)的蒙古、代表伊斯兰合作组织的巴基斯坦、代表一组国家的智利、爱尔兰、德国、塞拉利昂、美国、荷兰、印度尼西亚、英国、巴基斯坦、黑山共和国、俄罗斯联邦、博茨瓦纳、沙特阿拉伯、尼日利亚、代表一组国家的巴西、欧洲委员会、挪威、国际发展法组织、西班牙、伊朗、布基纳法索、斯洛文尼亚、联合国艾滋病规划署、毛里塔尼亚和澳大利亚。

以下民间社会组织也作了发言:联合彩虹社区国际(Allied Rainbow Communities International)、公谊会世界协商委员会(Friends World Committee for Consultation,教友会)、儿童权利联通、生殖权利中心(Centre for Reproductive Rights)、萨拉玛基金会(Alsalam Foundation)、国际男女同性恋联合会(International Lesbian and Gay Association)、人权与和平倡导中心(Centre for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy)、国际人道与伦理联合会(International Humanist and Ethical Union)、英国人道主义协会(British Humanist Association)、世界穆斯林大会(World Muslim Congress)、全球巴鲁阿组织(World Barua Organization)、莫保罗络社会和文化发展协会(Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association)、国际佛教救济组织(International Buddhist Relief Organization)、捍卫自由联盟、南风发展政策协会(Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik)、加拿大人口与发展行动组织(Action Canada for Population and Development)、国际人权服务社(International Service for Human Rights)、非洲交流与促进国际经济合作组织(OCAPROCE Internationale)、解放组织(Liberation)、联合国观察、大湖区和平与发展行动国际组织(Action Internationale pour la paix et le developpement dans la region des Grands Lacs)、维护和促进人权协会联合会(Federacion des Asociaciones de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos)、维护暴力受害者组织(Organization for Defending Victims of Violence)、国际特赦组织(Amnesty International)、希亚姆酷刑受害者康复中心(Khiam Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture)、杜恩约协会(Association Dunenyo)、人权联席会(Conectas Direitos Humanos)、国际发展机构联合会(Agence International pour le Développement)、亚洲人权与发展论坛(Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development)、第十九条:国际反对新闻检查中心(Article 19)、阿拉伯人权委员会(Arab Commission for Human Rights)、国际方济会(Franciscans International)、胡维基金会(Al-Khoel Foundation)、最后的晚餐组织(Il Cenacolo)以及Peivande Gole Narges Organization组织。

叙利亚、印度、卡塔尔、土耳其和巴基斯坦行使答辩权进行发言。

理事会将在6月23日(周二)上午9点继续进行关于促进与保护包括发展权在内的所有人权、公民、政治、经济、社会和文化权利问题的一般性辩论。 

Documentation

The Council has before it the Report of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women on the activities of the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women (A/HRC/29/3)

The Council has before it the Progress report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the feasibility of a global fund to enhance the capacity of stakeholders to implement the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (A/HRC/29/18)

The Council has before it the Summary report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the outcome of the full-day discussion on specific themes relating to human rights and climate change (A/HRC/29/19)

The Council has before it a report on good practices and major challenges in preventing and eliminating female genital mutilation – report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/29/20)

The Council had before it the Progress report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on legal options and practical measures to improve access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuses (A/HRC/29/39)

The Council has before it the Communications report of Special Procedures (A/HRC/29/50)

The Council has before it the Report of the Secretary-General on measures taken to implement resolution 9/8 and obstacles to its implementation, including recommendations for further improving the effectiveness, harmonization and reform of the treaty body system (A/HRC/29/53)

The Council has before it the Initiatives taken by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to raise awareness and promote the protection of the rights of persons with albinism (A/HRC/29/CRP.2)

Presentation by the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights of Thematic Reports of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

FLAVIA PANSIERI, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, introducing the thematic reports of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General, said that the Council had before it 11 reports and two oral updates on a range of thematic issues. The report of United Nations Women on the activities of the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women stated that the Sustainable Development Goals would address gender equality, empowerment, and violence against women and that those commitments must be matched with an ambitious and robust financing package. The report on measures taken to implement the Human Rights Council resolution 9/8 on effective implementation of international human rights instruments and on reforming the treaty body system listed sources where comprehensive information on the resolution could be found. In the oral update on the initiative to raise awareness and promote the protection of the rights of persons with albinism, Ms. Pansieri said that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was circulating a conference paper which highlighted that education and awareness raising were critical to combatting superstition and stigma associated with albinism and to addressing the root causes of violence and discrimination against persons with albinism. The compilation of good practices and major challenges in preventing and eliminating female genital mutilation noted that the practice existed across cultures, fuelled by social norms and harmful stereotypes about women’s sexuality and role in society. An analysis of initiatives to eliminate female genital mutilation by States, United Nations entities, non-governmental and other organizations was included in the report.

The report on legal options and practical measures to improve access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuses highlighted initial findings and key areas for further investigations that were emerging from preliminary research and consultations. The final report containing outcomes and recommendations from the Accountability and Remedy Project would be presented to the Council in 2016. The report of the feasibility of a global fund to enhance the capacity of stakeholders to implement the Guiding Principles on Businesses and Human Rights provided a summary of views on the scope and structure of the potential new fund, and proposed that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should be requested to develop a pilot phase project to test the viability of a fund in this area. The summary report on the outcome of the full-day discussion on specific themes relating to human rights and climate change made an unequivocal call for a strong, universal, legally binding agreement which integrated human rights at the Paris Conference (COP 21). The Council also had before it two annual reports of the activities on the two Universal Periodic Review Trust Funds, the Voluntary Fund for Universal Periodic Review Implementation, and the Trust Fund for participation in the Universal Periodic Review. Concerning the contribution of parliamentarians to the work of the Human Rights Council and the Universal Periodic Review, an oral update would be provided during the general debate on human rights bodies and mechanisms. The report on discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity documented widespread violations of the fundamental human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons and concluded that current arrangements to protect their human rights were inadequate. The report called on States to, inter alia, tackle violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons by enacting hate crime laws, repealing discriminatory laws and addressing discriminatory practices, and end so-called “conversion therapy” and other forced and involuntary treatment.

General Debate on the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development

Latvia, speaking on behalf of the European Union, was concerned about the rise of medicalization of female genital mutilation, which threatened to undermine its elimination. The European Union was concerned that discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons continued worldwide, and called on States to ensure that sexual orientation was under no circumstances the basis for criminal penalties. The European Union called on all retentionist States to establish a moratorium on executions as a first step towards the abolition of the death penalty.

Algeria, speaking on behalf of the African Group, expressed concern about female genital mutilation that deserved the attention of the Council and other United Nations mechanisms. The prevalent figures of female genital mutilation were dropping. Practices such as female genital mutilation were not taking place in Africa only. All countries that wished to preserve the right to integrity and life of young girls were encouraged to implement the report of the High Commissioner on eliminating female genital mutilation.

Iran, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said it was essential to work towards the creation of a fair and equitable international order, and underlined the importance of international cooperation on the basis of constructive dialogue, tolerance and respect for cultural diversity, towards achieving the right to development. It was the responsibility of the international community to tackle the inhuman and unjust policies and measures against innocent people such as unilateral coercive measures that challenged the integrity of the international human rights system.

Qatar, speaking on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council, upheld the human rights mechanisms, especially the Special Procedures, which was why the Gulf Cooperation Council countries undertook steps to promote human rights and benefit from other countries’ experiences. However, it seemed that Special Rapporteurs went beyond the code of conduct and beyond their mandate. Some reports rested on unreliable information and an image that was far removed from the situation on the ground in the Gulf States, such as for example, the rights of homosexuals.

Mongolia, speaking on behalf of the Freedom Online Coalition, underlined its strong commitment to the Coalition’s Founding Declaration, which affirmed that Governments had to ensure the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, both on the Internet and through other connective technologies, and should support individuals, organizations and institutions in employing new technologies to promote human rights. The Coalition strongly condemned any restrictions to individual rights to freedom of opinion and expression, or assembly and association online that were inconsistent with international human rights obligations.

Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, noted that the family formed the basic unit of fabric of society and significantly contributed to the enjoyment of human rights of men, women and children. It regretted that the High Commissioner’s recommendations stated in the report infringed on the internal affairs of Member States, and expressed serious concern over the fact that the report of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination of women in law and practice attempted to redefine family, and that it contended that culture, religion and family were responsible for discrimination against women.

Chile, speaking on behalf of a Group of States, welcomed the report and recommendations on sexual orientation and gender identity and expressed concern about the persistent pattern of discrimination and bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. All persons were entitled to protection under international human rights law and States had the obligation to ensure this protection. The Council needed to continue to combat all forms of violence and discrimination, particularly on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Ireland welcomed the summary report on human rights and climate change which served as a stark reminder of the negative impacts of climate change on the lives of many and agreed with the call to include a human rights based approach in all actions addressing climate change. Persons with albinism suffered severe stigmatisation, exclusion and discrimination; violence perpetuated against them, including for ritual purposes and for body parts, required the urgent attention of States.

Germany remained deeply concerned about continuing severe discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity as described in the report and said that discrimination by private actors remained a challenge. Germany asked for a regular update on the issue by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and said that this issue was too important to be left off the agenda of the Human Rights Council.

Sierra Leone said the post-2015 agenda would encompass all human rights and promote human dignity, but stressed the importance of indicators to measure human rights-related goals, such as the ones pertaining to access to water or education. Least developed countries would need assistance to achieve the goals and be put on track of human development. Sierra Leone was committed to undertaking all efforts to ensure that social development norms were put in place and would help it to better implement its human rights obligations.

United States said the international community had to do more to hold perpetrators of sexual violence accountable and to provide redress to victims. The United States referred to widespread sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Iraq and Syria, where both ISIL and the Assad regime were responsible for violence against women and girls. Efforts on gender-based violence prevention were important, and peace processes had to include women.

Netherlands regretted that a number of countries had increased the use of the death penalty, sometimes even reversing de facto moratoria. Female genital mutilation remained widespread and was a violation of the human rights of girls. Early and forced marriages also remained. Netherlands was encouraged that this year’s discussions on women’s rights focused on domestic violence, and insisted on the importance of assistance to victims and tackling the root causes of such violence.

Indonesia welcomed the High Commissioner’s statements on Indonesia, but it wished to clarify some issues. It clarified that the persons who were granted clemency were not arrested because they wished to exercise their right to expression and opinion. On the contrary, they were imprisoned because they had attacked the army and had killed two officers. It was noted that no person in Indonesia would be arrested because of their opinion, religious or ethnic belonging.

United Kingdom welcomed the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on accountability and remedy in the area of business and human rights, and welcomed the report on good practices and major challenges in preventing female genital mutilation. It noted that it was unacceptable that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons should be subjected to continuing, pervasive, violent abuse, harassment and discrimination.

Pakistan noted that the right to self-determination was enshrined in the United Nations Charter and was an essential prerequisite to preserve human dignity. Kashmir was an internationally recognized dispute, and the international community was bound to fulfil its obligations. The people of Kashmir were denied their right to self-determination. Human rights violations there had become common practice, including rape, extra-judicial and arbitrary arrests and killings.

Montenegro was strongly committed to the international campaign against the death penalty and would continue its efforts in all fora in to call for the universal abolition of the death penalty. It was worrisome that many people in all countries were exposed to many forms of violence, discrimination and exclusion on the basis of sexual orientation and gender equality, both in families and societies. Montenegro remained concerned about the prevalence of female genital mutilation and encouraged all States which had not yet done so, to adopt adequate legislation.

Russia said that the fiftieth anniversary of the two International Covenants in 2016 would be an opportunity for all States to reaffirm their commitment to human rights, adding that all rights economic, social and cultural rights and civil and political rights and the right to development must be treated equally. Russia would propose that a panel discussion on the independence and indivisibility of human rights be held during the Human Rights Council session in March next year.

Botswana said that the practice of female genital mutilation was embedded in gender based discrimination and gender stereotypes, adding that education and awareness were effective measures to combat this practice. It was disheartening that despite the legal prohibition of female genital mutilation, the prosecution of perpetrators still remained low. Botswana abhorred the tactics of Boko Haram to attack schools and villages and applauded Nigeria and its neighbour for launching joint efforts to fight the insurgency.

Saudi Arabia regretted that the report and some countries wanted to impose new realities, and politicize human rights through double standards. Saudi Arabia did not support the theme of homosexuality, and totally rejected the recommendations by the High Commissioner, which it considered a violation of the sovereignty of countries and of Islam, which was a religion of peace. Saudi Arabia expressed concern about the rise of Islamophobia and called on countries to criminalize such hate speech.

Nigeria said its population and two main religions rejected sex-same marriage and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender attitudes, adding that human rights should not be used to impose wrong values on people. Gay rights or same-sex orientation would limit the population and impose unintended consequences on the family as an institution. The State had a duty to ensure that the family and the religious and cultural values of its citizens were respected. Nigeria totally rejected the update report of the Office of the High Commissioner as meddling in the internal affairs of certain States.

Brazil, speaking on behalf of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, said the death penalty was cruel, inhuman and degrading. Capital punishment had no proven deterrent effect and did not reduce crime. It however denied one’s right to life, and was an irreversible sentence that targeted mostly vulnerable groups. Mass convictions were also a source of great concern, as they violated the right to a fair trial. The countries also expressed grave concern about the use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders and for drug-related crimes, in clear violation of international human rights law.

Council of Europe said it had created several instruments aimed at enforcing human rights, such as the Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs. A new monitoring body (GREVIO) was established recently to enforce the Council’s Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. The Committee of Ministers also adopted the first legally binding international standards for tackling foreign terrorist fighters. The Council of Europe also attached great importance to the implication of new technologies on human rights.

Norway highlighted a growing concern that some Governments placed restrictions on access to foreign funding to curtail the activities of human rights associations, and that some States also targeted members of civil society based on their foreign citizenship. Norway called on States to stop imposing restrictions on potential sources of funding aimed at supporting the work of human rights defenders.

International Development Law Organization said that migrants played a significant role in global development. While the potential benefits of migration were recognized, migrants were nevertheless one of the world’s most vulnerable populations, subject to various human rights violations. Unfortunately, many policies criminalized migrants. The rule of law should ensure that they enjoyed their human rights.

Spain said that climate change was the paradigm of the global challenge and the United Nations was the ideal framework within which to address it. Therefore it was essential that human rights were included in climate change negotiations. Another priority for Spain was human rights and business; ensuring that legal measures and remedies were available to victims were complex issues and the Council needed to avoid any shortcuts in this matter.

Iran said it was deeply disturbed by the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures and sanctions on the full enjoyment of human rights, which were against the letter and spirit of international human rights law and the United Nations Charter. There must be an end to impunity for those sanction designers and the right of victims to reparation must be guaranteed.

Burkina Faso said that female genital mutilation was among the most serious violations of human rights, adding that it should not be tolerated in any society. There needed to be adequate attention to the chronic health problems of women who had already undergone the practice. Burkina Faso reiterated its commitment to zero tolerance to female genital mutilation and said it would share its experience with others.

Slovenia said it was a strong supporter of the Council’s resolution on human rights and sexual orientation, adding that cultural relativism could not be used to contradict the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Slovenia condemned all criminalization of same-sex behaviour, or cases where authorities failed to investigate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.

UNAIDS said a human rights-based approach was the most effective way to address HIV/AIDS, and regretted that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community remained more likely to live with HIV than the rest of the population. This was a result of discrimination and criminalization of same-sex conduct, resulting in lack of access to health. The link between criminalization and HIV was clear.

Mauritania said it was resolutely devoted to the Islamic values of justice, peace and tolerance; it was essential to work together towards addressing human rights challenges, while taking into account the importance of national and regional diversity of historical, cultural and religious contexts. Such an approach, based on dialogue and mutual understanding, would strengthen the effectiveness and credibility of the Human Rights Council.

Australia condemned continuing acts of violence, torture, discrimination and other denials of human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. It noted that in some countries the death penalty could still be applied in cases of consensual homosexual conduct, and it urged all countries to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons and to abolish the death penalty through formal moratoriums and accession to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Allied Rainbow Communities International in a joint statement with International Lesbian and Gay Association, welcomed that fact that the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights broadened the understanding of the violations faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people by drawing attention to the unnecessary surgical intervention inflicted on children who were born intersex. It called for the adoption of a resolution to ensure regular reporting, constructive dialogue and sustained, systematic attention to the breadth of human rights violations on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

Friends World Committee for Consultation Quakers drew the Council’s attention to recent developments in the promotion and protection of the rights of children of incarcerated parents, including children of parents sentenced to death. The risks they faced could be compounded by criminal justice and penal systems that did not take into account their existence, or did not see their rights as relevant considerations. It called on States to implement those standards and follow relevant recommendations.

Child Rights Connect said in a joint statement with Plan International Inc, Save the Children International, Consortium for Street Children, The International Movement ATD Fourth World, Foundation ECPAT International (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes), that children were entitled to protection by States. A paradigm shift that a “family” needed to be protected by States and identifying the individual rights of family members as a result ran contrary to international human rights law. Children were rights-holders whose rights could not be superseded, negated or changed because they lived in a family environment or not.

Centre for Reproductive Rights said that it had extensively documented how female genital mutilation amounted to torture and had advocated for the recognition of the severity of those violations. Stopping female genital mutilation required a change in societal and individual thinking and its criminalization by Governments.

Al-Salam Foundation spoke about repression of freedom of expression and opinion in Qatar, where a number of individuals had been imprisoned without due process. All countries should respect the right of freedom of expression as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and call on Qatar to release all those in prison for exercising this right.

International Lesbian and Gay Association agreed that female genital mutilation had no medical purpose, and affected the sexual and reproductive health of the affected person. In many cases, parents were not consulted and surgeries were carried out without their consent. It was important to recognize that there were different sexual orientations and bodies, which should be celebrated.

Centre for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy condemned extrajudicial killings and arbitrary detentions. Such cases continued to be reported in India. In a recent case, 20 unarmed persons had been killed by the armed forces. That excessive force appeared like a summary execution, with many shot in the back of the head.

International Humanist and Ethical Union stated that the right to equality protected individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It was perplexing that States such as Russia and Nigeria violated those rights through discriminatory laws. To deny a person the right to express who they were and whom they loved was to deny them the right to be them.

British Humanist Association said that discrimination against women often stemmed from draconian religious and cultural norms, which were frequently defended by States in the name of cultural or religious preservation. A failure to challenge practices which were harmful to women and girls threatened the universality of human rights in their extension and application. Culture and diversity did not absolve States of their duties as members of the Council to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.

World Muslim Congress drew attention to extra-judicial executions in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and noted that perpetrators continued to evade justice. India’s reluctance to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act was encouraging the Indian armed forces to engage in more and more human rights violations, and acts of state terrorism. World Muslim Congress urged the Council to impress upon the Government of India to comply with its international obligations.

World Barua Organization raised the issue of extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary arrests, noting that the security of life was enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The organization reminded of the killing and beating of civilians, including journalists, in India where, it claimed, no one bothered about the due process of law. It expected the Council to play a stronger role in preventing such acts in India.

Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association said that discrimination against women still existed in marriage, property and employment rights, and this was incompatible with women’s empowerment. Women in India were prohibited from combat service, and there was discrimination against women in other areas of Government service.

International Buddhist Relief Organization said that Dalits in India continued to suffer from discrimination, exclusion and violence. Cast continued to be prevalent, and similarly qualified Dalits were still placed in lower, less paid and less prestigious jobs. The discrimination against Dalits was widespread in the labour market and India should offer affirmative action to counter this discrimination.

Alliance Defending Freedom said that limitation to free speech must be an exception and must be specific and limited. Unfortunately, many hate speech legislation often represented a restriction on free speech which was in violation of international law. All countries should repeal or abolish hate speech laws that violated freedom of expression.

Sudwind stated that the only tolerated demonstrations in Iran were the ones carried out by people and organizations that worked closely to one specific tropism. An estimate showed that 80 per cent of the executions in Iran were due to drug offenses. Accepting the relevant Universal Periodic Review recommendation could have saved many lives and reduced Iran’s number of executions from 753 cases to less than 200 a year.

Action Canada said that patriarchal power was often employed to exercise oppression of women. Women had always been and had to be acknowledged as equal and crucial actors in society. Many marginalized women around the world continued to be oppressed. Women were autonomous beings, capable of making decisions about their own bodies and their own rights. It was the obligation of States to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls.

International Service for Human Rights stated that the current arrangements to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual persons were inappropriate. Recent studies showed that, nonetheless, a number of advancements were being made. In all regions of the world, lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual persons were more active and visible. The so-called anti-propaganda laws in a number of countries were disturbing. States had the obligation to protect lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual defenders from reprisals.

OCAPROCE Internationale said the right to freedom of assembly was protected and guaranteed in the south of Morocco. Protests however were sometimes motivated by an international agenda, including the Security Council’s March session on Western Sahara, which was systematically accompanied with tensions in the region. The right to peaceful assembly in Western Sahara had never constituted an issue, and protestors could freely express their views, including their support to the Polisario Front. Problems however emerged when some protestors tried to turn protests into confrontation with the police.

Liberation said the human rights situation in Morocco was a clear concern for the international community, especially with regard to the situation in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. It referred to torture, arbitrary detention and summary executions. Liberation called on Morocco to allow international observers to visit Western Sahara.

United Nations Watch said the Human Rights Council had adopted a disproportionate number of resolutions focusing on Israel, compared to other violators of human rights such as Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, China, Russian Federation, Cuba, Myanmar and other oppressive countries. The Council should put human rights and the rights of victims at the centre of its activities.

Action internationale pour le paix et développement dans Latin America region des Grand Lacs drew attention to the situation of women in camp Tinduf and stressed the vulnerability of women protesting the deportation of their children. The Human Rights Council should condemn those human rights violations and lift sanctions imposed on camp Tinduf.

Federacion de Asociaciones de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos humanos said that systematic violations of human rights in the Western Sahara continued, noting that the missions by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, including the one led by former High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, were unable to visit the area.

Organization for Defending Victims of Violence said that the objectives for which economic sanctions against Iran had been imposed had been rarely obtained. The sanctions worst affected ordinary people, and in particular the most vulnerable. Members of civil society had been expressing concern about the impact of coercive unilateral measures on human rights but the violations of the rights of Iranian people persisted.

Amnesty International said that in some cases, abuses of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals had been linked to existing or new restrictive legislation. In some 76 countries, consensual sexual activity between adults of the same sex continued to be criminalized, and many transgender individuals were not able to obtain legal recognition of their gender. The Council was urged to remain seized on the issue.

Khiam Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture spoke of an individual who was imprisoned for his commitment to free speech in Bahrain. There were increasing violations of the rights of activists, who continued to languish in prisons. Between 2011 and 2014, there had been reports that many individuals had been tortured while held in prisons.

Association Dunenyo, speaking of human rights in Morocco, said that there was a lot being done, especially when it came to the human rights in Sahara. Over the previous years, Morocco had admittedly been more tolerant to public gathering and expressions of opinion. There was a need to differenciate between objective human rights defenders and those spreading political propaganda.

Conectas Human Rights expressed concern over threats to judicial independence in Brazil, where judges were being removed from office when their rulings ran counter to the opinions of the court’s senior officials. The policy of mass incarceration in Brazil contributed to human rights violations in the prison system, and was due to the judiciary often legitimizing illegal imprisonment and wrongful arrests. It was vital for the judiciary to guarantee an independent adjudication system.

Agence Internationale pour le Developpement expressed concern regarding living conditions in the Tindouf refugee camp in Algeria, where harmful traditional practices against Sahraouian women and girls continued to occur. Women were unable to contest their children’s deportation to third countries, because of Algeria’s refusal to integrate them into its education system. Algeria refused to respect its international obligations regarding the protection of refugees.

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development said witnesses and human rights defenders addressing human rights abuses relating to business activities in Asia were facing falsified criminal charges and harassment. It referred to the case of Mr. Chai in Thailand and to the case of Apung Tony Tolentino in the Philippines. Victims who sought domestic judicial remedies encountered immense challenges from the strong and undue influence by the private sector. It urged the accountability and remedy project of the Office of the High Commissioner to consider ways of finding solutions to this challenge.

Article 19 noted that the effects of censorship were devastating for human rights. In 2015, the need for the Council to address the freedom of expression of artists was acute, due to human rights violations in various countries. The arrests and arbitrary detention of artists were often used to protect the cultural or religious traditions of a country. Article 19 called on the Council to protect the freedom of expression for artists.

Arab Commission for Human Rights expressed support for the proposal of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty that international financial and economic organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Bank, be included in efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. It called on the Council to ensure the primacy of human rights in the face of the commitments imposed by private economic and financial stakeholders.

Franciscans International called the attention of the Council to the deteriorating freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration in Papua. It listed cases of maltreatment and detentions, including young school children who were also subjected to the use of tear gas. It was stressed that such actions were not consistent with the obligations of the Indonesian authorities.

Al-Khoei Foundation said that Shiaphobia could now be observed in many countries. The Shia Muslims in Pakistan continued to suffer from targeted bombings aimed at eradicating their demographics in certain regions. Antagonistic slogans of Daesh against Christians, Yazidis, Shia and Sufi had culminated in rape, murders and immense displacement. The Council was urged to condemn and confront Shiaphobia.

Il Cenacolo said that some of the victims in Algeria continued to suffer at the hands of the police. Women were sometimes perceived as child-bearing machines. There was systematic discrimination of sub-Saharan women, who often had their children taken away from them. The international community was asked to address those allegations conducted by Algeria.

Peivande Gole Narges Organization stated that surveys showed that economic sanctions often decreased the capability of the Government in providing basic services to women and children, thus also jeopardizing women’s empowerment. Men were always given priority when it came to employment. Sanctions were the main factor behind the women’s backwardness; the United Nations should thus abolish the existing sanctions system.

Right of Reply

Syria, speaking in a right of reply, said arms that had fallen in the hands of ISIL had been sent by the United States and France; also Qatar, Turkey and some international organizations were supporting and financing international terrorist groups. Syria reminded Turkey about a videotape that showed a Turkish truck driver bringing foreign combatants to Syria.

India, speaking in a right of reply, regretted that people in Pakistan’s occupied Kashmir continued to suffer human rights violations by the Pakistani authorities. India did not accept Pakistan’s attempts to undermine the democratic choices of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Qatar, speaking in a right of reply, said in response to Syria that Syrians today were controlled by a regime that had lost its credibility, and that Assad’s throne had been built with the blood of the population for decades.

Turkey, speaking in a right of reply, categorically denied the accusations made by Syria. Turkey was not only a safe refuge for 1.8 million refugees from Syria, but it also ensured the cross-border humanitarian assistance. The regime in Syria had no right to question the actions of the Turkish Government because it was the sole cause of the suffering of Syrian civilians. Turkey had prevented the flow of fighters into Syria.

Pakistan, speaking in a right of reply, stated clearly that the status of Jammu and Kashmir was not solved and was under international resolution of the United Nations Security Council. The Government and people of Pakistan would continue to extend their support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their fight for self-determination, which was key for the stability of the region.

Syria, speaking in a second right of reply, said that the repetition of the fact that Syria was controlling some part of the groups that were committing crimes against civilians was surprising. Instead of attacking countries, Syria asked the Qatari delegation not to be childish and talk about human rights, given that it was violating the rights of migrant workers. Qatar was an oppressive state. Syria also called on Turkey to stop selling the blood of Syrians.

Qatar, speaking in a second right of reply, said that the international community was not able to find a clear solution to the Syrian conflict. It noted that the Syrian Government would be accountable for what they had done, especially those officials who were involved in the murder of civilians.

Turkey, speaking in a second right of reply, said that Syria continued its unfounded attacks on Turkey. The regime responsible for the loss of lives of more than 300,000 Syrians regrettably still occupied a seat in the United Nations. The only way to end the conflict in Syria was through a genuine dialogue; otherwise, the tyranny would continue.

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For use of the information media; not an official record