Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Thursday, 24 October 2013 (Morning)

(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

Jordan
Represented by 16-member delegation headed by H.E. Dr. Mohammad Hussein AL Momani, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications.

Documents

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

Troika *

Libya, Thailand and Montenegro.

Opening statement by State under review

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

  • The UPR had been an opportunity for Jordan to evaluate human rights in the country with self-criticism. Jordan attached great importance to the strengthening of human rights.
  • Jordan had made great achievements in strengthening human rights and freedoms, despite the situation the region was facing. The Arab Spring had been an opportunity to speed up reforms.
  • The reforms had been based on gradual developments. Jordan had amended one-third of the Articles of the Constitution, aligning it with international standards. These amendments criminalized assaults on liberties, gave the right to free and compulsory education, legal protection to women and to those with disabilities, and safeguarded the rights of the press.
  • The establishment of an independent authority monitoring and administering the elections.
  • In the recently held parliamentary elections, and despite the calls to boycott the elections, the participation rate had exceeded 70 per cent which represents the highest participation rate in the Kingdom’s history.  There had also been an unprecedented number of candidates, including women.
  • The Kingdom had adopted a new methodology to carry out the selection of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. The Parliament was now appointing the Prime Minister.
  • To strengthen the reform, the King had amended the law on the national Security Court, which now limited its competence to crimes of spying, terrorism, drugs crimes and money falsification.
  • Social security laws and labour laws had been amended, as well as a number of economic legislations related to women, which enhanced women’s participation in public life. Legislation protecting women’s rights had also been enacted especially with regard to domestic violence, violence and rape, prohibition of human trafficking and honour crimes.
  • A 2011 constitutional amendment incorporated an article on the prohibition torture, as well as any inhuman treatment. A guide for prosecutors and judges on the issue of torture had also been prepared concerning arrest and detention.
  • As to the protection of the rights of the child, a law was being drafted to ensure the protection of children so as to bring the legislation of the country in line with international standards.
  • On the rights of freedom of expression and of the press and media, the legislation provided a regulatory framework, ensuring a freely exchange of information.
  • On peaceful assembly and protests, there had been thousands of peaceful marches in Jordan and the security forces had been exemplary in their professionalism to protect these protests, allowing the citizens to express their opinion in a free and democratic manner.

Participants

In total 79 States participated in the dialogue:  29 HRC members and 50 observers  (Statements available on Jordan page on the UPR Extranet )
Jordan.

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The National Strategy for Women 2012-2015 and the implementation of the law on violence against women.
  • The Children’s Rights Bill and measures taken to protect children from economic exploitation and towards the elimination of child labour.
  • The enactment of several domestic regulations that had further strengthened the normative and institutional human rights framework in Jordan, as well as the amendments brought to one-third of the articles of the Constitution.
  • The hospitality shown by Jordan hosting more than 500,000 Syrian refugees.
  • The creation of the Independent Election Commission and the open and transparent parliamentarian elections that had been held in January.
  • Progress made towards the emancipation of women, especially the increase in the number of women in the House of Representatives.

Issues and Questions

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

  • Steps taken to promote an open and free press.
  • The prevention of all forms of discrimination against women.
  • The trials of civilian by non-civilian courts.
  • The prohibition of torture and the fact that it was not treated as a serious crime.
  • The rights of migrant workers.
  • The advancement of the rights of the child .

Recommendations

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

  • To amend the Press and Publications Law to ensure greater guarantees for freedom of opinions and expression, as well as all Penal Code articles that placed impermissible restrictions on freedom of expression.
  • To intensify efforts to boost the status of women and eliminate all forms of violence against them, to continue efforts to promote gender equality and women empowerment in all economic sectors of the society and to amend the citizenship nationality law to enable Jordanian women to pass on their nationality on equal basis with men.
  • To lift reservations to Articles 9, 15 and 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
  • Embrace international standards for the protection and safeguard of rights of Migrant workers.
  • To continue with efforts to raise the living standards of persons with disabilities, including their access to public facilities.
  • To implement a mandatory human rights education and training programme for law enforcement personnel, the judiciary, prison guards and other relevant public officials. And to include human rights training in school and university curricula.
  • To continue to promote women’s political participation and representation at national and local levels.
  • To enhance the law on domestic violence and to ensure proper and effective investigation of all crimes against women, including those with an honour element. Also training should be provided for training and law enforcement officials dealing with violence against women.
  • To work towards complete abolition of the death penalty in national legislation.
  • To strengthen the rights of detainees, especially the right to take proceedings before the court to challenge the lawfulness of their detention.  A national prevention mechanism against torture should also be established.
  • To amend the Law on Societies to remove undue restrictions and facilitate the ability of civil society organisations to seek, secure and use resources, including foreign funding.
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: the International Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families; International Labour Organization Convention 189 on Domestic Workers; the Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture; the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its First Protocol; the Optional Protocol to the Convention to Eliminate all forms of  Discrimination against Women; and the Agreement on 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 Jordan is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 31 October 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. 
**For access to the UPR Extranet, please fill out the following form to receive a username and password

Media contacts: 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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