Impact of the work of Special Procedures: Legislative reform

Canada adopts new law removing discriminatory provisions from its Indian Act

During a country visit to Canada from 13 to 23 April 2018, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences urged the Canadian Government to repeal all remaining discriminatory provisions in the Indian Act and any other discriminatory national laws and practices against indigenous women and girls (A/HRC/41/42/Add.1). In particular, provisions within the Indian Act meant women lost their status when they married non-indigenous men, while men who married non-indigenous women kept their status. In line with this recommendation, the Canadian Government adopted S-3 Bill, which removes this sexual discrimination impact from the Indian Act and which entered into force on 15 August 2019. Thereafter, on 28 August 2019, the Special Rapporteur issued a press release welcoming the Canadian Government's adoption of this new law and its entry into force, praising the tireless work of civil society organizations on this issue and noting that "[t]he removal of the sex-based hierarchy entrenched in the Indian Act is a pivotal step toward achieving gender equality, and finally brings to an end the long story of discrimination and violence that Indigenous women and girls have faced in the country."

Other Impact: Contribution to Governmental and/or Judicial Processes and Policy Reform

Mongolia successfully implements recommendations to progressively realize the human rights to water and sanitation

Following the country visit to Mongolia from 9 to 20 April 2018, the Special Rapporteur on safe drinking water and sanitation, Mr. Léo Heller, made several recommendations to the Government on how it can progressively realize the human rights to water and sanitation, including recommendations on institutional arrangements, water quality standards, and improving water quality (A/HRC/39/55/Add.2, paras. 82(c), 82(i)(iii), and 82(i)(ii), respectively). In line with these recommendations, the Government of Mongolia indicated in 2018 that it recently established a working group at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to review the laws and regulations and to examine the possibility of establishing a government administrative body for water affairs and a National Water Committee. More recently, the Government indicated in 2019 that it is also taking steps to improve the organizational structure of the Mongolian Water and Sanitation Authority by revising a draft Mongolia Law in Water to establish the State Water Agency in charge of the water issues as a whole, which has since been endorsed by the Government. In addition, the Government revised pre-existing "Drinking water Health necessity, quality and safety evaluations MNS 0900:2005" standard requirements in accordance with the World Health Organization's Guidelines for drinking water quality, and it adopted a new standard on this issue, which became effective on 21 June 2018. The Government has also confirmed that a water reserve has been established in a new water supply area that satisfies the drinking water quality standard. Finally, the Mongolian Parliament also recently completed and approved a revision to the draft Law on Water Pollution Fee on 2 May 2019 to develop the quality system of water treatment units and household water.

Other Impact: Contribution to Governmental and/or Judicial Processes and Policy Reform

Malawi adopts legislative and policy measures to address attacks against persons with albinism

The Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism conducted a country visit to the Republic of Malawi from 18 to 29 April 2016 (A/HRC/34/59/Add.1). In accordance with the Independent Expert's recommendations and shortly after the visit, the government of Malawi adopted various measures, including: (1) amending the Penal Code and the Anatomy Act to better address and respond to attacks against persons with albinism; (2) issuing a practice direction to ensure that such cases are handled by senior members of the judiciary; and (3) establishing a National Technical Committee on Albinism chaired by the Chief Presidential Adviser to implement the country's response plan on attacks against persons with albinism. As a result of these measures, reports as well as prosecution of cases of attacks against persons with albinism increased.

Other Impact: Contribution to Governmental and/or Judicial Processes, Mechanisms of Redress – Accountability, and Policy Reform

Moldova makes several amendments to legislation on gender equality following an official country visit

Following the official visit to Moldova from 20 to 31 May 2012 by the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls (A/HRC/23/50/Add.1), the Government approved a series of amendments in 2014 to the legislation on gender equality. One of the proposals adopted included a minimum of 40 percent quotas of both sexes in governmental positions and 40 percent of either sexes in political parties' electoral lists, in line with the recommendations made by the Working Group. The country visit report was also considered useful to advocate for the amendment to the legislation related to gender equality and non-discrimination issues, focusing on the institutional mechanism – the establishment of the Non-Discrimination Council and Center for Human Rights (Ombudsman).

Other Impact: Contribution to Governmental and/or Judicial Processes