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Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Thursday, 25 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

Germany
Represented by 18-member delegation headed by Mr. Markus Löning, Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office.

Documents

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

Troika *

Congo, Kuwait, United States of America.

Opening statement by State under review

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

  • Civil society actors were very active in the promotion and protection of human rights in Germany and the Government was in constant contact with them on all human rights-related matters;
  • Germany has ratified a number of international instruments since its first review in 2009; these include: the CRPD and its Optional Protocol; the OP to the CRC pertaining to the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; the Convention on enforced disappearances; and the Council of Europe Conventions on Cybercrime, and on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings;
  • Among the legislative measures recently undertaken, a law on legal protection in cases of excessively delayed legal proceedings and criminal investigation proceedings entered into force in March 2011;
  • A law proposal strengthening the rights of victims of sexual abuse was introduced to the Bundestag in March 2011, as well;
  • A national preventive mechanism under the Additional Protocol to the Convention against Torture was established at the Federal and Länder (regional) levels;
  • During the review period Germany has undertaken a series of endeavours to prevent racially motivated criminal offences and to enhance criminal detention;
  • In its fights against xenophobia, the Government was supporting a multiplicity of approaches in civil society; regarding cases of discrimination on the basis of religion, a series of concrete measures were being taken to give better access to the labour market and make social integration easier;
  • Measures have also been taken to reduce the gender pay gap, an area which required more work;
  • With regard to the right to education for children, a positive trend has been emerging over the reporting period; 36% more students from migrant families could leave school with a higher education degree in 2010 compared to 2005;
  • The development of economic and social indicators for migrants and minority groups has been largely implemented; in 2012, the second indicator report was published by the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration;
  • To raise the inclusion rate of children with disabilities in general educational institutions, the first action plan by the Federal Government “Our path towards an inclusive society” was to be extended over the next 10 years;
  • In conclusion, while noting that Germany was a federal state where responsibilities were split between federal government and federal states, the head of delegation noted that the 16 federal states in Germany held a wide range of responsibilities especially in education and law enforcement. 

Participants

In total 96 States participated in the dialogue:  36 HRC members and 60 observers  (Statements available on Germany page on the UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The commitment of the Government to cooperating with civil society;
  • Efforts to combat discrimination, racism and xenophobia;
  • Attention paid to upholding the rights of the child in uphold the right to education;
  • Steps taken to promote gender equality;
  • The establishment of the National Agency for Prevention of Torture;
  • The adoption of the National Action Plan to implement the provision of the CRPD.

Issues and Questions

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

  • Efforts undertaken to support to victims of racially motivated offences;
  • Policies and programmes to combat racism, discrimination and xenophobia;
  • Preventive action on the dissemination of racist and xenophobic speeches and propaganda
  • Measures to socially integrate minorities and vulnerable groups;
  • Steps taken to provide women and men with equal opportunities in the labour market and equal pay;
  • Progress made in combatting violence against women.

Recommendations

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

  • To further improve support to victims of racially motivated offences, including by adopting a clear definition of racial discrimination in domestic legislation; 
  • To continue to address instances of racism and discrimination, including in the labour market and in sports;
  • To take all necessary measures to prevent xenophobic activities of far-right groups; to prevent the dissemination of racist and xenophobic speeches and propaganda on the internet and in the media;
  • To enhance efforts to prevent racially motivated acts of violence against Muslims and to take steps to stop prohibition on wearing of religious symbols, including a headscarf;
  • To step up efforts to combat hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • To enhance focus of measures to combat racism to guarantee all rights for immigrants and minorities; to further promote policies and programmes on the social integration of the Roma and Sinti communities;
  • To fully respect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers;
  • To extend legal requirements of barrier-free access for persons with disabilities; 
  • To enhance measures to ensure equal pay for equal work and to provide women and men with equal opportunities in the labour market;
  • To intensify efforts to prevent and combat human trafficking and ensure protection measures for victims; 
  • To include specific provisions adequately criminalize acts of torture in the German Code of Crimes against Criminal Law; to ensure the full implementation of obligations under the OPCAT;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: the Convention on the rights of migrant workers, the OP to the ICESCR, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence, and the UN Convention against corruption.  

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Germany is scheduled to take place on
Tuesday, 30 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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