Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Tuesday, 3 November 2015 (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

Nauru
Represented by a six-member delegation headed by David Adeang, Minister of Justice of Nauru.

Documents

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

Troika *

Argentina, Kazakhstan and Kenya.

Opening statement by State under review

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

  • The creation of a dedicated human rights desk within the Department of Justice and Border Control was a testament of the current government’s commitment to its human rights obligations;
  • The Government could confirm that the country’s Regional Processing Centre that houses asylum seekers was now officially an open centre, meaning that detention had ended and all asylum seekers were now free to move around the island;
  • The Australian Government will be supporting Nauru with safety, security and law enforcement, including providing more Australian police assistance through the Australian Federal Police;
  • Certain Internet sites have been restricted in 2015 in efforts to protect citizens from abuse, harassment and bullying;
  • The Government had recently come under a lot of criticism regarding the revocation of passport of a member of parliament. This process was done to ensure the natural course of justice and to allow due process;
  • The new criminal code endeavoured to provide more clarity in offences and offered a more modernized view of addressing the varying components of violence against women;
  • There has been an increase in the number of Nauruans seeking assistance from both the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution and the Public Defender’s Office. Both offices have also been working on decreasing the backlog of cases;
  • The Public Legal Defender’s Office offered free legal assistance in and out of court primarily in criminal cases in an attempt to promote better access to justice for Nauruans;
  • Access to justice had greatly improved with the setting up of a working group with the domestic violence unit of the Nauru Police Force, assisting victims in terms of access to justice;
  • The rule of law had been strengthened with the clear demarcation of arms and their respective powers;
  • The Nauru Supreme Court had currently three judges, removing the limitation of only one justice making all decisions;
  • The Government of Nauru was currently embarking on a nationwide consultation with regards the Leadership Code Bill and what it would mean for transparency and governance amongst leaders in Nauru.

Participants

In total 40 States participated in the dialogue:  21 HRC members and 19 observers  (Statements available on Nauru page on UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • Ratification of the CAT and the OPCAT;
  • Adoption of the Framework for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015;
  • The enactment of the Refugee Act of 2012 and the Amendments to Education Act of 2015;
  • The establishment of the Gender Violence and Child Protection Directorate; 
  • Upholding the rights of persons with disabilities;
  • The issuance of a standing invitation to UN Special Procedures.

Issues and Questions

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

  • Steps to ensure support and protection to asylum seekers and refugees;
  • Conditions and security situation of asylum centres;
  • Addressing issues of freedom of expression and association;
  • Disaster risk reduction measures and to counter effects of climate change;
  • Steps to strengthen the judiciary;
  • The ratification of international instruments.

Recommendations

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

  • To ensure that asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, particularly unaccompanied minors and children, were given all necessary protection and social support;
  • To take immediate measures to improve the physical conditions and security situation in detention and processing centres for asylum centres;
  • To release all children from immigration detention centres;
  • To facilitate access of journalists to the country and reduce entry visa fees for foreign journalists; To lift restrictions on access to the internet within Nauru;
  • To address issues of freedom of expression and association; To amend the Criminal Code to lift restrictions on freedom of movement, assembly and expression;
  • To decriminalise same sex relations between consenting adults;
  • To seek funding to mitigate the harms from environmental degradation; To establish a framework to reduce the physical and environmental health care risks associated with phosphate mining;
  • To take steps to strengthen the judiciary and ensure its independence; To remove the provisions for the death penalty from the Constitution;
  • To introduce and implement a national child protection framework;
  • To introduce domestic violence legislation; To develop a national strategy to implement obligations under CEDAW; To ensure gender equality and combat and eliminate discrimination against women and girls; To increase women’s political participation;
  • To take steps towards establishing a national human rights institution in line with the Paris Principles;  To seek technical capacity development assistance from the UN and its development partners;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: the ICCPR and its two OPs, CERD, ICESCR, Convention on the rights of migrant workers, the Convention on enforced disappearances.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report –recommendations section- of the UPR Working Group on Nauru 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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