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Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

For use of information media; not an official record

Date: Thursday 07 May (morning)

Country under review: GUINEA-BISSAU

  1. Documents: national report (A/HRC/WG.6/8/GNB/1), compilation of UN information (A/HRC/WG.6/8/GNB/2), summary of stakeholders’ information (A/HRC/WG.6/8/GNB/3)
  2. Troika: Djibouti, Republic of Korea, United States of America

Concerned country - national report

  1. Represented by a 6-member delegation and headed by H.E. Mr. Mamadu Saliu Jalo Pires, Minister of Justice
  2. National report presented by the head of delegation

Highlights

  1. Commitment to investigate and prosecute all human rights abuses related to 2009 assassinations of politicians, including former president.
  2. Fragile political institutions and implementation of rule of law due to military interference.
  3. Commitment to undertake reforms of the judiciary and the defence sector.
  4. Efforts made to prevent degrading or inhuman treatment.
  5. Poverty and corruption among main challenges.
  6. Principle of non discrimination enshrined in the Constitution.
  7. In need of financial and technical support to modernize institutions, with special regard to the judiciary and the military, and to combat corruption.
  8. Torture prohibited by law. Commitment to ratify the Convention against torture.

Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion

  1. Member States: 21
  2. Observer States: 10

Positive achievements

  1. Establishment of commissions of inquiry.
  2. Prohibition of death penalty.
  3. Plan of action to increase women’s participation in decision-making.
  4. Efforts to restore political stability.
  5. Strategy to ensure the right to education. Compulsory free primary education.
  6. Action plan for health development, including strategic plan for combating HIV/AIDS and national road map for reducing maternal mortality.

Issues and questions raised

  1. Trafficking of women and children.
  2. Female genital mutilation and domestic violence against women.
  3. Arbitrary detentions, attacks and intimidation.
  4. Lack of civilian control over the military and impunity of the military.
  5. Independence of the judiciary.
  6. Discrimination against women.  Women’s high rate of illiteracy and poverty.
  7. High rates of maternal mortality.
  8. Children trafficking and situation of children with disabilities.
  9. Harassment and attacks against journalists and political opponents.
  10. Prisons infrastructure and conditions of detention, especially of children.
  11. Extreme poverty.

Recommendations

  1. Undertake independent investigations into all cases of torture or extrajudicial killings and ensure due accountability for perpetrators.
  2. Criminalize female genital mutilations and raise awareness.
  3. Adopt a comprehensive strategy to address all forms of violence against women.
  4. Incorporate comprehensive definition of discrimination into national legislation. Take measures to eliminate cultural practices and stereotypes against women.
  5. Investigate and prosecute abuses against human rights defenders and journalists.
  6. Reform the security sector and retain control of the military.
  7. Combat child labour and trafficking.
  8. Develop juvenile justice infrastructure.
  9. Take further steps to increase women’s participation into politics.

Response of the concerned country

  1. Human rights abuses by military forces - Internal political dialogue to ensure the respect of the rule of law by the military. Commitment to investigate and bring perpetrators to justice.
  2. Female genital mutilations – Draft bill to put an end to this practice soon to be submitted to Parliament.
  3. Gender equality and violence against women – Progresses made. Need to implement further legislation.
  4. Trafficking – Draft bill to be submitted to the Parliament. Working with NGOs to prevent it. Cooperation agreement to be signed with Senegal, one of the countries of destination of child trafficking.
  5. Child protection – Legislative and institutional measures, with special attention to disabled children.
  6. Conditions of detention – Measures taken with the help of UN Development Programme. Separation of female and juvenile inmates.
  7. Poverty – Major problem, with impact on instability and corruption. Plan to combat it to be finalized. Request assistance of the International Monetary Fund.

Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on
Tuesday 11 May, 12:00 – 12:30

More information

  1. UPR: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRmain.aspx
  2. Country under review (documents submitted): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/PAGES/GWSession8.aspx

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