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Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 (Afternoon)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is not an official record, provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review, and does not cover all points addressed)

State under review

Mauritius
Represented by 10-member delegation headed by H.E. Mr. Arvin Boolell, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Documents

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

Troika *

Botswana, Qatar, Austria.

Opening statement by State under review

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

  • The Government had carried out extensive national consultations with all relevant stakeholders, in the preparation of the report, including national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations and civil society.
  • In October 2012, the Government had launched the National human rights action plan 2012-2020, which aimed at improving the human rights situation in line with international best practices.
  • A human rights monitoring committee had equally been established, which comprised representatives of relevant Ministries and departments, as well as national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations.
  • In 2012, several acts had been passed by the national assembly in order to broaden the mandate and functions of the national human rights commission.
  • The national preventive mechanism division enforced the optional protocol to the convention against torture.  It had also the responsibility to visit places of detention in order to ensure that persons deprived of their liberty were protected against torture.
  • In January 2012, Mauritius had enacted the Equal Opportunities Act which provided better protection against all forms of discrimination. In April of the same year the Equal Opportunities Commission had been set up.
  • The Government was aware of the need to address the issue of domestic violence in all its forms and was endeavouring to curb gender based violence by 2015. Special programmes aimed at young people sought to promote a culture of non-violence.
  • Concerning the rights of the disabled, Mauritius had ratified the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in 2010. It had made reservations to Article 11 which dealt with situations of risks and humanitarian emergencies.
  • Mauritius was firmly committed to the protection of children from any form of abuse and exploitation and a national child protection strategy had been initiated in this regard. In that regard, Mauritius had extended an invitation to visit the country to the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
  • A ministry dealing with social integration and economic empowerment had been specially set up with the aim to eradicate absolute poverty and combat social exclusion.
  • An observatory on ageing had been set up to carry out action-oriented research on the socio-economic aspects of ageing.
  • A land research and mediation commission had been set up to look in-depth into complaints made by persons aggrieved by dispossession or prescription of any land in which they claimed to have an interest from colonial times.

Participants

In total 72 States participated in the dialogue:  29 HRC members and 43 observers  (Statements available on Mauritius page on the UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • Steps taken to improve women’s rights and address violence against women, including the implementation of the National Gender Policy Framework.
  • The protection of children’s rights, the ratification of the Optional protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, as well as the enforcement of sanctions against child labour.
  • The National Human Rights Action Plan 2010 -2020 and the establishment of a committee to monitor its implementation.
  • The fight against poverty and the creation of the Ministry of social integration and economic empowerment.
  • The restructuring and strengthening off the National Human Rights Commission.
  • The ratification of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the enactment of the Rome Statute.

Issues and Questions

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

  • The concerns expressed by the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children with regard to the number of children placed in institutional care, where adequate norms and standards for care and assistance were lacking.
  • Racial discrimination.
  • The fact that both children and adults were subjected to commercial sexual exploitation.
  • Education in the area of sexual and reproductive health in schools.
  • The fact that sections of the criminal code continued to criminalize consensual homosexual activity.
  • The issue of HIV/AIDS increase in prison

Recommendations

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

  • To extend a standing invitation to all Special Procedures of the United Nations human rights system.
  • To finalize the Children’s Bill and to harmonize all laws in-line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • To continue efforts to fully implement the National Action plan to end gender-based violence.
  • To continue its efforts towards enhancing the protection of children, especially against child trafficking.
  • To continue its efforts to provide appropriate  human rights education and training to public servants and law enforcement officials.
  • To continue consolidating the institutional and legislative framework to ensure adequate legal protection for all sections of the population.
  • To further efforts aimed at increasing participation of persons with disabilities at all levels of political and public life.
  • To continue current efforts to implement the national plan to combat HIV/AIDS.
  • To work towards quality and free primary and secondary education for children with disabilities.
  • To strengthen measures taken towards the promotion of gender-equality and to introduce special measures in areas where women were underrepresented. To encourage women to choose non-traditional fields of education.
  • To submit information on its follow-up to the recommendation of the Committee on the Elimination or racial discrimination.
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: the third optional protocol to the Convention of the Rights of the Child; the Convention on Enforced Disappearances;  the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of the Families; the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol; the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; and the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Mauritius is scheduled to take place on Friday, 25 October 2013 after 3 pm.

*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. 
**For access to the UPR Extranet, please fill out the following form to receive a username and password

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Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711,
rgomez@ohchr.org
Cédric Sapey, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9695, csapey@ohchr.org

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