Human Rights Council
20 September 2012
The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review on the Philippines, Algeria and Poland.
Teofilo S. Pilando, Deputy Executive Secretary, Vice Minister, Office of the President of the Philippines, reiterated the strong commitment of the Philippines to make good on all 62 accepted recommendations, as these were consistent with national legislation, policies and programmes, and was committed to further study the other 25 recommendations. To that end, the Presidential Human Rights Committee created a Tripartite Universal Periodic Review Monitoring Group, in partnership with the Commission on Human Rights.
The National Commission of Human Rights of the Philippines called for action on priority human rights legislation including on extra judicial killings, enforced disappearances, internal displacement and discrimination, and asked for support in the establishment of an independent national preventive mechanism, and support for the newly-established Human Rights Office in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
In the discussion on the Philippines, delegations highly appreciated the commitment to strengthen achievements on poverty reduction, education, health care and social pension programmes, and admired the people-centred approach to development adopted by the Philippines. Some voiced concern about the persisting impunity for torture, forced disappearances and extra judicial killings, despite the commitments of the Government to eliminate those grave human rights violations.
Speaking in the discussion were Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cuba and Venezuela. The following non-governmental organizations also spoke: Human Rights Watch, COC Netherland, Forum Asia, Asian Legal Resource Centre, Amnesty International, Save the Children International in a joint statement, Indian Council of South America in a joint statement and CIVICUS-World Alliance for Citizen Participation.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review on the Philippines.
Mohamed El Amine Bencherif, Director-General for Political Affairs and International Security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, said that Algeria had accepted the great majority of the recommendations, and many of those had either been implemented or were currently being implemented. The accepted recommendations concerned the ratification by Algeria of a number of international instruments, the principle of equality of citizens, the creation and financing of associations, and a visit by the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances.
In the discussion on Algeria, speakers noted with satisfaction Algeria’s considerable progress in expanding freedoms and ensuring respect for human rights. Delegations welcomed the National Action Plan to Promote the Rights of the Child, and efforts to combat poverty, protect detainees and improve the situation of women. Despite the lifting of the state of emergency, repression of fundamental freedoms continued. Algeria should accept and immediately implement the recommendations related to ending torture and impunity, releasing all prisoners held for exercising their basic rights, and ensuring freedoms of expression, assembly and association.
Taking the floor were Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka. Also speaking in the debate on Algeria were the following non-governmental organizations: International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, Cairo Institute for Human rights Studies, North-South XXI, Recontre Africaine pour la défense des droits de l’homme, Association for Prevention of Torture and the Arab Commission for Human Rights.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review on Algeria.
Remigiusz A. Henczel, Permanent Representative of Poland to the United Nations Office at Geneva, thanked all States for their comments and recommendations. While preparing its national report, Poland had engaged in a wide-ranging consultation process with all relevant ministries and national bodies. With equal thoroughness and diligence, comments and recommendations had been studied. Out of a total of 124 recommendations, Poland supported 105 recommendations, did not support 6 and took note of all others. Actions had already been taken to implement some of them and Poland endeavoured to provide an explanation concerning those that it had not been in a position to support.
In the discussion on Poland, delegations appreciated Poland’s effort to ratify additional international instruments and expressed concern about detention policies and the situation of the children of asylum seekers, the low number of illegal migrant children enrolled in school, and the need to ensure women’s access to adequate reproductive health services. Speakers also reiterated the need for an impartial investigation concerning CIA secret prisons and renditions as part of victims’ right to effective remedy and reparation.
Speaking in the discussion were Morocco, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cuba and Iran. The following non-governmental organizations also took ihe floor: European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Federation, COC Netherland, Action Canada for Population and Development, Amnesty International, Federation for Women and Family Planning and Istituto Don Bosco.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review on Poland.
The Human Rights Council will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Friday, 21 September to consider the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review on the Netherlands and South Africa. At noon the Council will hear statements by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Australia and Burkina Faso, start its general debate on agenda item 6 on the Universal Periodic Review, and then hold a panel on International Nelson Mandela Day.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review on the Philippines
TEOFILO S. PILANDO, Deputy Executive Secretary, Vice Minister, Office of the President, reiterated the Philippines’ strong commitment to make good on all 53 recommendations accepted earlier during the Universal Periodic Review last May and the additional nine recommendations adopted after the multi-stakeholder consultations in Manila, as these were consistent with national legislation, policies and programmes. The Philippines was committed to further study the other 25 recommendations in deference to the system of government that gave credence to the independence and integrity of the legislature and judiciary, the two other separate but co-equal branches of the Philippine Government which, under a liberal democracy, worked together and decided on important policies and programmes. These additional responses had been submitted to the Office of the High Commissioner. The Philippines had adopted 62 out of 88 recommendations.
The Universal Periodic Review was seen as a continuing process and therefore a Tripartite Universal Periodic Review Monitoring Group had been created by the Presidential Human Rights Committee in partnership with the Commission on Human Rights. The Philippines was committed to report to the Council on the results of a national monitoring mechanism on extrajudicial killings; legislation concerning enforced disappearances had been approved by the Senate; and the Maritime Labor Convention and ILO Convention no. 189 had been ratified. The Philippines remained committed to engage with the Council’s Special Procedures and had ratified most of the core human rights instruments. Additional measures had been taken concerning private armed groups, maternal and child health, protection of children, non-discrimination, and on economic and social rights, including through a human rights-based approach in development planning. The Philippines would continue to respect and defend human rights.
National Commission of Human Rights of the Philippines urged for action on priority human rights legislation including on extra judicial killings, enforced disappearances, internal displacement and discrimination. To further strengthen the human rights infrastructure, the Government of the Philippines should adopt the national human rights action plan and implement the Philippine Development Plan within the right to development framework. The National Commission of Human Rights of the Philippines asked for support in the establishment of an independent national preventive mechanism, and support for the newly-established Human Rights Office in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
Malaysia expressed appreciation for the transparent, continuous and constructive engagement of the Philippines. It was encouraged by measures undertaken to implement the recommendations that were accepted as well as the voluntary commitments that the Philippines had made during the period of its first Review.
Morocco commended the commitment and efforts of the Philippines to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights and noted the importance attached to social and economic rights. It viewed favourably the Philippines’ open-mindedness to constructive dialogue and cooperation with international human rights mechanisms, as well as its constructive interaction with the Human Rights Council and the Universal Periodic Review.
Myanmar admired the notion that all growth must be inclusive and that the benefits of a growing economy must be felt by each and every citizen. This was a people-centred approach and sharing of those good practices could be done at no cost.
Russia said that the national human rights protection system of the Philippines was developing and the acceptance of a great number of Universal Periodic Review recommendations by its Government was another evidence of this.
Saudi Arabia said that the interest attached to human rights in the Philippines could be seen in the numerous initiatives it had undertaken and the cooperation with Special Procedures and other human rights bodies and mechanisms.
Singapore welcomed the Philippines’ positive response towards the recommendations received, including the acceptance of Singapore’s two recommendations. Singapore endorsed the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review working group’s report on the Philippines. Singapore would continue to cooperate with the Philippines to promote human rights in the region, including the various ASEAN initiatives.
Sri Lanka congratulated the Philippines for accepting the majority of the recommendations and the commitment of the Government in upholding labour standards and protecting the right of workers. Sri Lanka commended the Philippines for its efforts to improve health standards, in particular maternal health, infant and child healthcare and nutrition.
Thailand commended the Philippine’s continued efforts to enhance national and local legislative frameworks to implement human rights obligations, including developing legislation relating to the protection of children’s rights; and appreciated the Philippine’s support for Thailand’s recommendations concerning gender equality, maternal care and the rights of vulnerable groups, areas to which both countries attached great importance.
Indonesia welcomed the Government of the Philippines’ acceptance of 53 recommendations. It also welcomed the measures taken to address cases of past incidents of extra judicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture. Indonesia commended the Philippines on its efforts in the endeavour to promote and protect the rights of migrant workers at the national and regional levels.
Viet Nam highly appreciated and commended the commitment of the Philippines to strengthen achievements on poverty reduction, education, health care and social pension programmes, as well as efforts to harmonise domestic legislation with obligations under regional and international human rights law.
Brunei said that it was encouraged by the Philippines’ commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. In that regard, Brunei welcomed the Philippines’ continued efforts in protecting the rights of women and children, as well as other vulnerable groups.
Cambodia took note of the commitments of the Philippines and recognised the efforts currently undertaken to address challenges, in particular concerning the development of legislation. The Philippines actively promoted human rights within the South Asian region and as a fellow member of ASEAN, Cambodia looked forward to working closely with the Philippines through regional frameworks such as ASEAN’s Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.
Cuba congratulated the Philippines on the spirit of commitment that prevailed during the Universal Periodic Review process and praised the efforts of the Government to move forward and undertake developments in the normative and legislative spheres. Cuba congratulated the Philippines on the acceptance of a great number of recommendations, including those put forward by Cuba concerning economic, social and cultural rights.
Ecuador joined the words of recognition expressed concerning the efforts of the Philippines during its participation in the Universal Periodic Review process and endorsed the adoption of the report.
Venezuela said that it appreciated the Philippines efforts to prepare the national report, which contained valuable information, and recognised the efforts made to promote and protect human rights in its territory. Venezuela expressed its wish that the Philippines continue to work as successfully as it had in the past and recommended the acceptance of the report.
Human Rights Watch said that it regretted that the Philippine Government’s expressed commitment to eliminate extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearances by members of the State security forces had not resulted in the successful prosecution of perpetrators.
COC Nederlands said that it was concerned by the lack of political will of the Government to enact laws to protect the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Philippinos. It reminded the Government of its obligation to protect the lives of its citizens regardless of gender orientation and identity.
Forum Asia appreciated the acceptance by the Government of the Philippines of the recommendation to address past incidents of extra judicial killings, torture and forced disappearances, and called for justice for human rights abuses committed during martial law years from 1972.
Asian Legal Resource Centre had serious doubts concerning the implementation of the recommendations concerning investigation of abuses, elimination of torture, forced disappearances and extra-judicial killings and called on all States to follow up with the Government.
Amnesty International was concerned that impunity persisted in the Philippines for torture, forced disappearances and extra judicial killings, despite the commitments of the Government in the Universal Periodic Review to eliminate those grave human rights violations. Thousands of such cases remained unresolved and new cases continued to be reported.
Save the Children in a joint statement urged the Philippines to consider the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on communication procedures in order to ensure the full protection of children’s rights through an international mechanism and to further strengthen the national framework. Save the Children also urged the Philippines not to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility and expressed concern about the conditions of detention.
Indian Council of South America in a joint statement noted that the report of the Philippines was very selective in the presentation of data and ignored cases of repression, extrajudicial killings and the lack of prosecution against perpetrators. The Indian Council of South America regretted that the current Government had not done enough to provide justice to the victims of human rights violations.
CIVICUS in a joint statement took note of Switzerland’s recommendation to compensate victims of martial law. CIVICUS was concerned that extrajudicial executions, disappearances and other human rights violations persisted under a so-called democracy and even under the so-called righteous paths taken by the President. CIVICUS called on the Philippines to consider the plight of the poor in the Philippines, especially indigenous peoples, and to implement the Universal Periodic Review recommendations.
North-South XXI appreciated that the Philippines was one of the countries most affected by the adverse impact of climate change and welcomed its leadership on the most recent resolutions on human rights and climate change. The Philippines should maintain that leadership with a view to creating a mandate on human rights and climate change.
TEOFILO S. PILANDO, Deputy Executive Secretary, Vice Minister, Office of the President of the Philippines, in closing remarks said the Philippines had taken note of the comments by the States in the interactive dialogue and would keep them in mind in the creation of its human rights policies. Mr. Pilando reiterated the commitment of the Philippines to the protection and promotion of human rights.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review on the Philippines.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review on Algeria
MOHAMED EL AMINE BENCHERIF, Director-General for Political Affairs and International Security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was currently visiting Algeria, which was evidence of Algeria’s good cooperation with the United Nations human rights mechanisms. Algeria had accepted the great majority of the recommendations, and many of those had either been implemented or were currently being implemented. The accepted recommendations concerned the ratification by Algeria of a number of international instruments, the principle of equality of citizens, the creation and financing of associations, and the visit by the Working Group on enforced disappearances.
Algeria had taken note of a number of recommendations concerning the state of emergency, which had been lifted in February; the right to freedom of demonstrations; the criminalization of violence against women, which Algeria had done; and full cooperation with the Human Rights Council and Special Procedures, and in that sense Algeria had extended invitations to seven mandate holders. Concerning the death penalty, there was an effective moratorium on executions in Algeria, and since 2007 Algeria had been a co-author of resolutions by the General Assembly concerning the death penalty, led by the European Union.
Kenya noted with satisfaction Algeria’s considerable progress in expanding freedoms and ensuring respect for human rights. It also noted the comprehensive progress in raising awareness on the importance of human rights that had resulted, in particular in the increase in the number of women elected to the National Assembly and in progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Kuwait thanked Algeria for pursuing efforts to implement its international commitments in the field of human rights. Kuwait also commended it for accepting a large number of recommendations, including the recommendations of Kuwait regarding pursuing efforts to ensure the rights of women and children.
Lebanon commended Algeria for accepting almost all the recommendations made. Lebanon also welcomed the promulgation of the law on the right to assembly in 2012 and paid tribute to Algeria’s efforts to promote human rights and the rights of the child in the country.
Libya said that the fact that Algeria had accepted 80 of its Universal Periodic Review recommendations was evidence of its commitment to live up to its obligations. Libya welcomed the National Action Plan to Promote the Rights of the Child, and efforts to combat poverty, protect detainees and improve the situation of women.
Malaysia took positive note of Algeria’s positive engagement with the Universal Periodic Review process and was encouraged by developments taking place in Algeria to further the cause of human rights. Malaysia was confident that Algeria would take appropriate measures to implement the recommendations it had accepted.
Mauritania commended Algeria for its perseverance to achieve the highest level of human rights standards and for the achievements in all facets of life. Those reflected positively on the economic, social and cultural rights of its citizens.
Oman said that Algeria’s Universal Periodic Review was conducted with transparency and a positive spirit. Algeria had accepted a very large number of the recommendations made and that was evidence of the importance it gave to the promotion and protection of human rights. The Review was an excellent opportunity to acknowledge the efforts made by the Government to develop laws and institutions relating to human rights.
Pakistan said that it appreciated the cooperative and constructive manner in which Algeria had engaged during the Universal Periodic Review. It was pleased to note that the recommendations it had made had all been accepted. Pakistan recommended that the outcome report be adopted.
Palestine said that it appreciated the efforts made by the Algerian Government to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights. The Government had given new impetus to human rights in the country and accepted 80 recommendations out of 112, including those recommendations addressed by Palestine. Palestine recommended the adoption of the outcome report.
Qatar welcomed the steps taken by Algeria to live up to its human rights obligations despite the many challenges it faced, and appreciated its serious attitude during the Universal Periodic Review. Qatar encouraged Algeria to continue its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and protect the rights of women and children.
Russia appreciated the efforts of Algeria in promoting and respecting human rights in the context of combating terrorism. The acceptance of most recommendations indicated the commitment of Algeria to human rights, including through the necessary reforms.
Saudi Arabia said that Algeria continued with positive engagement with international human rights bodies and international cooperation on human rights issues. The efforts made by Algeria included strengthening and enhancing institutions, ratifying international instruments and repealing the state of emergency.
Sri Lanka congratulated Algeria for accepting the majority of the recommendations made. It took particular note of the action taken by the Government in empowering women and was also encouraged by the national plan ‘Algeria Worthy of Children’, as well as its efforts in combating and criminalising human trafficking.
International Federation for Human Rights Leagues said that it greatly regretted that key recommendations relating to the state of emergency had not been accepted by Algeria. The International Federation also deplored that the Government had thus far refused to recognise its share of responsibility for the atrocities committed during the 1990s.
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies said that despite the lifting of the state of emergency, the repression of fundamental freedoms and rights continued in Algeria. The Cairo Institute called upon the Government to accept and immediately and fully implement all recommendations, particularly those related to ending torture and impunity, releasing all prisoners held for exercising their basic rights, and ensuring freedoms of expression, assembly and association.
North-South XXI welcomed Algeria’s efforts to ensure the security of its people along with respect for the rule of law. Algeria had shown a special commitment to promoting the right to self-determination and the right to development and it was also noteworthy that Algeria was on track to achieve all of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. North-South XXI urged Algeria to enhance its efforts to encourage cooperation with civil society.
Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme congratulated Algeria for lifting the state of emergency, strengthening its democratic institutions, observing the moratorium on the death penalty, and reforming its criminal code. Rencontre Africaine urged Algeria to further strengthen its laws by observing its policies of freedom of expression, association, assembly and freedom of religion and belief, and to ratify remaining international human rights instruments.
Association for the Prevention of Torture noted that Sweden and Slovenia had recommended that Algeria ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. As one of the coordinators for the international campaign for the ratification and implementation of the Convention, the Association for the Prevention of Torture remained at the disposal of Algeria in order to provide assistance concerning the prevention of torture.
Arab Commission for Human Rights welcomed the commitments made by Algeria and its readiness to ratify two important mechanisms within the human rights system, namely the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and the International Convention on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances. The Arab Commission for Human Rights hoped these commitments would be implemented.
MOHAMED EL AMINE BENCHERIF, Director-General for Political Affairs and International Security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, expressed appreciation to all delegations that had participated in the debate and reacted to the presentation. The Algerian people knew better than anyone else the value of freedom, dignity and justice. Algeria was amongst the best placed in the vanguard concerning the promotion and protection of human rights. It would try to do its utmost to live up to the expectations and the expressions of confidence extended. Accession to international instruments was part of a positive trend and it viewed it as such, but everything should be done at the appropriate time. Each State could express reservations, and Algeria had done so in relation to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in light of cultural and religious considerations and had taken into account Algerian public opinion. On torture, visits to prisons by the International Committee of the Red Cross and other monitoring and warning mechanisms had borne fruit. Algeria was moving forward in the area of human rights, especially concerning the protection of women and children’s’ rights.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review on Algeria.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review on Poland
REMIGIUSZ A. HENCZEL, Permanent Representative of Poland to the United Nations Office at Geneva, thanked all States for their comments and recommendations. While preparing its national report, Poland had engaged in a wide-ranging consultation process with all relevant ministries and national bodies. With equal thoroughness and diligence comments and recommendations had been studied. Out of a total of 124 recommendations, Poland supported 105 recommendations, did not support 6 and took note of all others. Actions had already been taken to implement some of them and Poland endeavoured to provide an explanation concerning those that it had not been in a position to support. In recent years, the Polish Government had taken steps to ensure continued progress towards the adoption of further international human rights instruments. Within Poland’s human rights agenda, the rights of the most vulnerable groups, including women, children and persons with disabilities received particular attention.
The process of ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had been completed and Poland continued to carry out legislative work to sign the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances and to withdraw reservations to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Despite obvious progress Poland was far from being complacent and had put particular emphasis on improving the conditions in prison and detention centres, decreasing the length of court proceedings and pre-trial detentions, ensuring human rights training for law-enforcement officials, combating discrimination against minorities, and promoting gender equality. Mr. Henczel reaffirmed Poland’s commitment to cooperate with the Council and all its mechanisms. The Universal Periodic Review was a valuable tool and the second cycle had clearly shown that States had come to appreciate it and tried to fully utilise its potential. Poland similarly valued the work of the Special Procedures and had therefore issued a standing invitation to all mandate holders.
Morocco commended the progress achieved by Poland in the promotion and protection of human rights and the particular importance it attached to the protection of the most vulnerable groups. Morocco also commended Poland for its cooperation with the Human Rights Council and its interaction with the Universal Periodic Review mechanism.
Philippines were encouraged by Poland’s progress towards adopting international conventions on human rights, notably the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. It also acknowledged that the most vulnerable groups were given the most attention in Poland’s human rights agenda.
Romania welcomed that Poland had accepted most of the recommendations that were made, including the one made by Romania with respect to the participation of women in public and political life. It would appreciate it if Poland considered presenting a mid-term report in two years’ time.
Russia was pleased to note that Poland had accepted most recommendations, including those put forward by Russia. Concerning the prevention of detention for children of asylum seekers, Russia noted that Poland was preparing to prevent this. Some parties adopted civil measures concerning children held in detention centres with their parents; however, according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, only adult children and not those above the age of 13 should be subject to detention.
Belarus would follow with attention visits to Poland by Special Procedure mandate holders. Poland should show seriousness concerning an investigation on CIA secret prisons in Poland and the condition of detention and use of torture, in particular concerning the allegations put forward by two Saudi Arabian citizens. Belarus expressed concern about cases of desecration of monuments and religious symbols including neo-Nazi acts and xenophobia.
Bulgaria akcnowledged Poland’s decision to accept a significant number of recommendations and noted with appreciation the acceptance of those concerning the revision of legislation with a view to ratifying the Convention on the Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearances, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and to continue to strengthen its efforts to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Cuba welcomed the acceptance by Poland of many of the recommendations received, including some recommendations that Cuba had addressed. Cuba insisted on the need for Poland to carry out a comprehensive, independent and effective investigation of the involvement of Poland in secret Central Intelligence Agency rendition programmes, and that it publish the outcome and prosecute the culprits.
Iran requested Poland to elaborate on measures undertaken to effectively address certain recommendations relating to the accommodation, health and employment of Roma migrants. There was need for the harmonisation of criminal law with human rights standards in the area of child labour and sexual exploitation. Comprehensive measures should also be undertaken to tackle racial discrimination in all its manifestations.
European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Federation said that transgender persons had been neglected by Poland. The Federation urged the Polish Government to adopt, among others, hate crime and hate speech laws pointing specifically to ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ and amend the Anti-Discrimination Act so that it fully protected lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.
COC Netherlands said that whilst some anti-discrimination provisions had been adopted by Poland, the lack of equal legal protection from discrimination for all people in all areas of life remained problematic. It urged the Polish Government to allocate sufficient financial resources to the Office of the Ombudsman in order for it to fulfill its obligations as an independent organ for equal treatment.
Action Canada for Population and Development encouraged the Polish Government to implement as a minimum the existing provisions guaranteed under Polish law concerning women’s reproductive health services. It also urged the Polish Government to review the realization of teaching of sexual education in public schools.
Amnesty International welcomed Poland’s assurance that it was conducting an investigation into its role in the CIA’s rendition and secret detention programmes. The failure of the Government to ensure transparency and adequate access to information for the victims contradicted the claim that the investigation was being conducted according to international standards. Victims of human rights violations had a right to effective remedy and reparations.
Federation for Women and Family Planning emphasised that Polish women did not have access to remedy while in danger of being refused legal abortion or prenatal testing of a foetus, and the right to complain against a doctor’s statement or opinion was not effective. The Federation for Women and Family Planning urged the Polish Government to acknowledge the limitations of the complaint mechanism and its ineffectiveness in cases of refusal of legal abortion.
Istituto Don Bosco welcomed the adoption of the recommendation concerning illegal migrants but remained concerned about the current situation of illegal migrants and the children of illegal migrants. Concerning the right to education, a low number of illegal migrant children were enrolled in school and the cost created a serious burden for families. The urgent issues of alcohol and drug addiction had not been raised in the national report of Poland.
REMIGIUSZ A. HENCZEL, Permanent Representative of Poland to the United Nations Office at Geneva, in concluding remarks, duly took note of the comments and remarks put forward and reiterated Poland’s commitment to do its best to implement all accepted recommendations. Poland attached utmost importance to the protection and promotion of human rights and looked forward to further cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner and human rights mechanisms to further improve the human rights situation in Poland.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review on Poland.
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