Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Monday, 2 November 2015 (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

Micronesia
Represented by two-member delegation headed by Jane J. Chigiyal, Permanent Representative of the Federated States of Micronesia to the United Nations.

Documents

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

Troika *

China, Cote d’Ivoire and Estonia.

Opening statement by State under review

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

  • The Federated States of Micronesia is a young nation with a population estimated to 102,000 and a territory composed of 607 islands, 76 of which are inhabited, spread over 1,549 nautical miles;
  • In preparation of its UPR, the Government of Micronesia created an inter-departmental Task Force that included members of civil society to take up the review and analysis of the recommendations and pledges made in its first UPR;
  • Since its last UPR, the Government has made every effort to review the remaining core human rights treaties, although the treaty ratification process continued to be a challenge for the Government;
  • This month, the Government completed the ratification process for the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on children in armed conflict;
  • The Government has submitted its report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and was able to address part of the reservation placed on maternity leave throug Public Law where the national government granted paid maternity leave up to six weeks;
  • Other achievements included: the completion of the Family Health and Safety Study, the launch of the Child Protection Baseline Report, and the adoption of the Age of Consent Law by Chuuk State;
  • Additionally, the Government adopted the nation-wide Integrated Disaster Risk Management and Climate Policy; enacted the Trafficking in Persons Act, and signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • This year, a number of women have contested seats in the National Congress, and the issue continues to be the topic of much debate amongst Micronesian women. Public awareness campaigns about the importance of women’s participation and contribution to decision making positions in all branches and levels of government and society was an on-going activity;
  • The Government was working towards building on the unfinished work of the MDGs and updating, mainstreaming and harmonizing its National Strategic Development Plan accordingly;
  • Early this year typhoons Maysak and Dolphin hit three out of four States in the Federation in late March, early April and May affecting some 30,000 people, threatening food and water security and destroying infrastructure;   
  • The typhoons this year resulted in a number of casualties, and families had to be relocated so students could finish their education during the school year. As a result the Government’s efforts to improve the livelihood of its people was set back;
  • In conclusion, the head of delegation noted, for a small country like Micronesia, it was difficult to talk about human rights without touching on the link between the adverse impacts of climate changes and the right to develop, live and exist as a nation.

Participants

In total 38 States participated in the dialogue:  20 HRC members and 18 observers  (Statements available on Micronesia page on UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
  • The commitments taken towards equal rights for women, especially the work towards implementing a National Gender Policy;
  • The enactment of the Trafficking in Persons Act;
  • Efforts undertaken to reduce the impact of climate change on human rights, including the climate change law;
  • Progress made in reducing infant and under-5 mortality;
  • The National Policy on Disability.

Issues and Questions

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

  • The high rate of trafficking in persons, including child trafficking and sex trafficking;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Reservations made to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women;
  • The persistence of discrimination in the area of sexual orientation;
  • Prevailing discrimination against vulnerable minorities;
  • The status of ratification of international human rights instruments.

Recommendations

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

  • To implement effective measures against domestic violence and spousal rape, including the introduction of legislation criminalising violence against women;
  • To withdraw reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women;
  • To end discrimination against LGBT persons;
  • To take legislative measures to prohibit all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings;
  • To put in place labour laws which would include a minimum age of employment;
  • To raise the minimum age of consent to marriage for girls to 18 years;
  • To develop human rights education programmes and training;
  • To tackle discrimination on ground of disability and sexual orientation;
  • To enforce anti-trafficking laws by prosecuting and convicting those engaged in trafficking;
  • To prioritise the national gender policy;
  • To establish a national human rights institution;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court; the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts; the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families; the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination; the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communication procedure; the Convention for the Protection of all Persons from enforced Disappearance; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Micronesia is scheduled to take place on Friday, 6 November 2015.

*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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