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Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

For use of information media; not an official record

Date: Monday 4 May (morning)

Country under review: GUINEA

Concerned country - national report

  • Represented by a 13-member delegation and headed by H.E. Mr. Bakary Fofana, Minister of State in charge of Foreign Affairs, African integration and Francophonie
  • National report presented by the head of delegation

Highlights

  • Commitment to hold free, fair and transparent elections in 2010.
  • Ongoing legislative reforms to strengthen the right to life and physical integrity; the independence of the judiciary and the freedom of expression.
  • Poverty and illiteracy seen as obstacles to the full enjoyment of human rights.
  • Increase in women’s participation into politics. Ongoing constitutional reform to impose a minimum of 30% of women representatives on electoral lists.
  • Measures taken to combat violence against women, and especially sexual violence and genital mutilation.
  • Legislative measures and Plan of Action to address child labour and trafficking.
  • Human rights training of police and defence forces.
  • Human rights education introduced in the school and university curricula. 

Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion

  • Member States: 16
  • Observer States: 21

Positive achievements

  • Ouagadougou agreement for the return to democratic rule and constitutional order (January 2010).
  • De facto moratorium on the death penalty.
  • Law on Reproductive Health prohibits all forms of female genital mutilations.
  • Agreement for the set up of an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the country.
  • Cooperation with the International Criminal Court and with the UN Commission of inquiry on the September 2009 violence.

Issues and questions raised 

  • Impunity of human rights abusers, in particular among State agents.
  • Extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detention, torture, ill treatment, rapes by security forces.
  • Violence against women and female genital mutilations.
  • Independence of the judiciary.
  • Freedom of expression and association.
  • Child labour, especially in diamond mines.
  • High unemployment and poor representation of women in decision-making positions.

Recommendations

  • Ensure a rapid return to rule of law and democracy through the conduct of fair and free elections in 2010 and the adoption of the new Constitution.
  • Take human rights abusers to justice and ensure victims receive adequate compensation, together with medical and psychological support.
  • Take further steps to eradicate female genital mutilations.
  • Take measures to ensure the independence of the judiciary.
  • Guarantee free and independent media.
  • Abolish the death penalty.
  • Ensure equal access to education.
  • Seek cooperation with neighbouring countries to combat trafficking.
  • Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, the second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Response of the concerned country

  • Female genital mutilations – Prohibited by law. National program to combat it and to raise awareness, but difficulties to change culturally established practices. Eradication has to be accompanied by incentives, such as job opportunities for women involved in these practices.
  • Gender violence – Punished by law (penal code). Equality promoted in the political arena.
  • Impunity – Priority of the transitional government. Reform of the security and defence forces and of the judiciary underway. Assistance of the international community requested.
  • Freedom of expression and opinion –  Working on the establishment of a body to guarantee freedom of expression and opinion for the media. Decriminalization of press offenses underway.
  • Death penalty – Consultations on this issue. Weight of tradition can’t be ignored.

Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on
Thursday 6 May, 12:00 – 12:30 

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