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Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 (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

Côte d’Ivoire
Represented by 23-member delegation headed by Mr. Gnénéma Mamadou COULIBALY, Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Public Freedoms of Côte d'Ivoire.

Documents

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

Troika *

Argentina, Botswana and Kuwait.

Opening statement by State under review

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

  • The national report of Côte d’Ivoire was prepared by a national UPR team in coordination with civil society despite the difficulties emanating from the recent crisis in the country;
  • Considerable progress has been experienced in the country to harmonize national legislation in line with international human rights agreements and a number of government bodies have been created to better promote and protect human rights;
  • On 26 March 2012, the Government set in motion a national development plan with six main areas:  defence, security and the rule of law;  education, health, employment and social affairs; economy, agriculture and the private sector; infrastructure, water, energy and mines; the environment, living conditions, habitats and public services; and culture, youth and sport;
  • A draft law was enacted in September 2013 aimed at better promoting and protecting the rights of human rights defender; 
  • Among the international treaties acceded to by Côte d’Ivoire were:  the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on children in armed conflicts, the Optional Protocol on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the African Charter on Human Rights;
  • During the first UPR, Côte d’Ivoire received 147 recommendations of which 108 were accepted; the Government went to great lengths to ensure those accepted recommendations were fully implemented;
  • Notable progress realized since the first UPR include the holding of elections following the Ouagadougou agreement, the establishment of an agency for disarmament, demobilisation and reinsertion and the creation of a new National Human Rights Commission in compliance with the Paris Principles;
  • Moreover, the Government set up the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission and ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;
  • Much progress has also been achieved in the health and education sector; a number of new schools have been opened and some 8,000 new teachers hired;
  • In the labour sector, the minimum wage has been raised as have the wages of civil servants following a reassessment process;
  • While much progress has been achieved, there remained a number of obstacles in realizing human rights due to the effects of the conflict;
  • The State therefore required assistance from the international community in five main areas: peace consolidation; the submission of treaty body reports; violence against women; improvement of prison policy; and the continuation of the national reconciliation policy.

Participants

In total 85States participated in the dialogue:  31 HRC members and 54 observers  (Statements available on Côte d’Ivoire page on the UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • Measures to promote and protect human rights despite the recent crisis and related challenges;
  • Steps taken to implement the recommendations posed during the first UPR;
  • The establishment of the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission; 
  • The ratification of the Rome Statute of the ICC;
  • The ratification of two OPs to the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  • Efforts taken to reduce the levels of poverty and progress in the education and health sector.

Issues and Questions

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

  • Steps to ensure accountability for crimes committed by both sides during the post-conflict violence;
  • Measures taken to implement the national reconciliation process;
  • Efforts to ensure an open and free election campaign before the 2015 presidential elections;
  • Steps to ensure a safe and enabling environment for civil society;
  • Measures to prevent sexual violence against women and girls, bring perpetrators to justice and to protect and rehabilitate victims;
  • Efforts to stamp out and sensitize the public about the practice of female genital mutilation.

Recommendations

States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Côte d’Ivoire.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To investigate and prosecute perpetrators of serious crimes including abuses committed by both sides of the post-conflict violence on a non-discriminatory basis; To accelerate the process of national reconciliation;
  • To investigate and prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes effectively before national courts; To fully align national legislation with the Rome Statute of the ICC;
  • To refrain from arbitrary arrests and bring detainees before a judge within 48 hours;
  • To adopt measures to ensure an open and free election campaign before the 2015 presidential elections and to develop a comprehensive transitional justice strategy ahead of the elections; To address all outstanding electoral reform issues to guarantee free and fair elections;
  • To adopt the law on the protection of human rights defenders; To take additional measures to ensure a safe and enabling environment for civil society;
  • To continue to adopt effective measures to prevent sexual violence against women and girls and bring perpetrators to justice; To reinforce the national strategy to combat sexual violence and adopt a comprehensive law on violence against women;
  • To take action to protect women and children from sexual violence including by strengthening and implementing legislation against domestic violence and providing counselling services to victims; 
  • To increase efforts to eliminate harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation and forced marriages; To set up awareness campaigns about the practice of female genital mutilation; To fully align national legislation with the provisions of CEDAW;
  • To continue to strengthen efforts to provide quality education for all, especially free/primary education for children and education for persons with disabilities;
  • To take necessary measures to eliminate the worst forms of child labour;
  • To extend a standing invitation to UN Special Procedures;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments:  the 2nd OP to ICCPR, the OPCAT, the Convention on the rights of migrant workers, the Convention on enforced disappearances, the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Court, the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute, and the 3rd OP to the CRC.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Côte d’Ivoire is scheduled to take place on Friday, 2 May 2014.

*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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