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Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 (Morning)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is intended for use of the information media and is not an official record. The note provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review and does not cover all points addressed. An official summary of the meeting can be found in the Working Group report.)

State under review

Cape Verde
Represented by four-member delegation headed by José Carlos Lopes Correia, Minister of Justice

Documents

To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit the Cape Verde page on the UPR website  

Troika *

Burkina Faso, Kazakhstan, Guatemala

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on the Cape Verde page on the UPR Extranet)

  • The head of delegation noted that international agreements prevailed over domestic laws and that Cape Verde’s accession to international instruments was very broad; the country was party to eight of the nice core human rights treaties; Cape Verde was also party to the African human rights instruments;
  • In 2003 a law was passed approving the establishment of an office of the ombudsman; a study was also initiated to set up a new human rights body in compliance with the Paris Principles, which was currently before Parliament for its consideration;
  • In October 2012 Cape Verde hosted a seminar for national human rights institutions in Portuguese speaking counties under the auspices of the OHCHR;
  • The delay in producing reports to human rights treaty bodies has yet to be resolved but progress was being made; a working mechanism was being created to ensure there was regular drafting of treaty body reports; 
  • Since 1990 the law on education was promulgated setting out to guarantee free access to the educational system and compulsory education; 90% of children in-country attended school;
  • Among the international treaties acceded to by Cape Verde were: the OP to CEDAW; the CRPD; the Rome Statute of the ICC; the OPCAT (signed and to be ratified this year); and the Convention enforced disappearances (signed in 2007; and should be ratified this year);
  • As to the rights of the child, Cape Verde has acceded to several international instruments including the CRC and its 1st and 2nd optional protocols; support units have also been set up for children subjected to abuse and child emergency centres and shelters were also in place in-country;
  • Child mortality was on the decline in the country, as was acute malnutrition, the head of delegation noted;
  • Efforts were underway to uphold the independence of the judiciary; legal assistance was provided to those who were not able to pay for their own lawyers;
  • On the prison system, at the end of 2010 there were 1,226 detainees; a draft bill was being prepared to consolidate the rights of inmates; the prison population was also guaranteed medical assistance; vocational training was also afforded inmates as a rehabilitation measure;
  • One of the first initiatives of Cape Verde was its unreserved ratification of the CEDAW; the percentage of women in the workforce, public positions and in school enrolment has also increased steadily;
  • The State instituted a law to specifically address gender-based violence aimed to address such cases and bring those responsible to justice and to raise awareness; moreover, in December 2011 an action programme was drafted to promote gender equality; equal pay for equal work regardless of gender was also guaranteed by national laws.

Participants

In total 60 States participated in the dialogue:  23 HRC members and 37 observers  (Statements available on Cape Verde page on the UPR Extranet)

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The accession to a number of international instruments, including the Rome Statute of the ICC, the CEDAW and the CRPD;
  • The promulgation of the Gender-based Violence Act;
  • The implementation of the Programme of Action for the Promotion of Gender Equality;
  • The rising illiteracy rate in the country;
  • Efforts underway to improve the prison system and conditions for prisoners;
  • Measures taken to strengthen the judicial system.

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • Efforts to eliminate gender-based discrimination and negative sexist stereotypes;
  • Steps to address the scourge of human trafficking, particularly in women and girls;
  • Measures to address allegations of violence against minors; 
  • Action taken to ensure the separation of minors from other detainees in detention centres;
  • Efforts undertaken to ensure the rights of refugees were upheld;
  • Plans to guarantee the adequate functioning of the judicial system.

Recommendations

States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Cape Verde.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To continue efforts to eliminate negative sexist stereotypes and sexual violence;
  • To enhance efforts to eliminate existing discriminatory stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men and family as well as in society at large; to take steps to change behaviour and public attitudes towards gender equality;
  • Step up efforts to combat human trafficking of women and children by enacting the draft law on the issues and to adopt specific legislation addressing human trafficking;
  • To expressly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment; to take necessary steps to adopt a child protection code in conformity with the CRC;
  • To ensure allegations of violence committed by police against minors were thoroughly investigated and properly addressed;
  • To ensure the separation of minors from other detainees in detention centres;
  • To review and ensure the adequate functioning of the judicial system with a view of guaranteeing the speedy course of justice;
  • To take efforts to ensure all children in the country were registered;  
  • To strengthen the National Strategy for older persons;
  • To ensure the rights of refugees and address any cases of discrimination against them and to establish national legislation to implement the provisions of the Convention on Refugees;
  • To ensure that the national commission on human rights and citizenship was in compliance with the Paris Principles; to speed up consultations to ensure the appointment and functioning of an ombudsman;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments:  the Convention on enforced disappearances, the 1960 Convention on the fight against discrimination in education, the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the OP to the ICESCR, the OPCAT, the OP to the CRPD, and he 3rd OP to the CRC. 

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Cape Verde is scheduled to take place on Friday, 26 April 2013

  • The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR.   

Media contact: Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org

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