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Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Japan, Ukraine and Sri Lanka

Human Rights Council
MIDDAY 

19 March 2018

The Human Rights Council in its midday meeting adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Japan, Ukraine and Sri Lanka.

Mitsuko Shino, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Office at Geneva, expressed appreciation for the Troika’s efforts, namely Qatar, Belgium and Togo.  At the review Japan had received 217 recommendations from 106 countries.  As a Council member from the Asia-Pacific region, Japan would continue to contribute to the promotion of human rights and sustainable development.  Follow up on 145 recommendations was agreed, including those on the protection of socially vulnerable categories such as women, children and persons with disability.

In the ensuing discussion, speakers commended Japan for accepting recommendations on the promulgation of anti-discrimination law and redoubling their efforts in combatting trafficking and providing mechanisms to assist victims.  Still, non-government organizations were alarmed by the continuing use of the death penalty in Japan.  Also, the education system had resulted in a high-pressure environment for children and Japan was urged to ratify relevant mechanisms on the rights of children.

Speaking were Tunisia, Sudan, Albania, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Madagascar.

Also taking the floor were the following non-governmental organizations: International Movement against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice delle Salesiane di Don Bosco in a joint statement (with International Volunteerism Organization for Women, Education and Development VIDES), Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts, Franciscans International, Amnesty International, Greenpeace International, Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Human Rights Now, and Advocates for Human Rights.

The President of the Human Rights Council informed that out of 217 recommendations received, Japan accepted 145 and noted 72.  The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Japan.

Yurij Klymenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Office at Geneva, stated that Ukraine had immensely benefitted from the constructive engagement during the Universal Periodic Review and thanked the Troika members, Rwanda, Netherlands and Georgia.  Ukraine had received 190 recommendations and following the intergovernmental consultations, the Government had decided to accept 162 recommendations and note the remaining 28 recommendations.  The main challenge concerning the human rights situation was the Russian aggression which had created new problems in the occupied areas.  The humanitarian crisis had resulted in 1.5 million internally displaced persons.

In the discussion, speakers affirmed that Ukraine had been actively working with international organizations to allow humanitarian assistance across the country.  The country was urged to ratify international mechanisms covering migrant workers and combat hate speech and racial discrimination.  Concern was expressed over human rights abuses in conflict-afflicted regions and support was reiterated for Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.

Speaking were Georgia, Honduras, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children Fund, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Albania, and Egypt.

Also taking the floor were the following non-governmental organizations: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Human Rights House Foundation, Federatie van Nederlandse Verenigingen tot Integratie Van Homoseksualiteit - COC Nederland (au nom également du International Lesbian and Gay Association), Article 19 - The International Centre against Censorship, International Federation for Human Rights Leagues, Advocates for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and International Fellowship of Reconciliation.

The Vice President of the Human Rights Council informed that out of 190 recommendations received, Ukraine accepted 162 recommendations and noted 28.  The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Ukraine.

Ravinatha Aryasinha, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Office at Geneva, said that of the 230 recommendations received, Sri Lanka had accepted 177 recommendations along with 12 voluntary pledges.  Progress was already being made concerning the implementation of recommendations.  Sri Lanka had acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, the Ottawa Convention prohibiting mines as well as to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.  The Office on Missing Persons had been made operational, the Human Rights Commission had been designated, and work on the establishment of the Office for Reparations was underway.

In the discussion, speakers commended Sri Lanka’s progress in the field of human rights, namely the adoption of the National Plan of Action for Human Rights 2017-2021, the ratification of numerous international human rights instruments, and efforts to combat torture, reduce poverty and foster socio-economic development.  Nevertheless, speakers voiced concern about violent attacks against the Muslim community, economic activities endangering the environment, and draconian provisions of the Anti-Terrorist Act.  The appointment of the Commissioners for the Office of Missing Persons was welcomed as a first and long-awaited mechanism for transitional justice.  
 
Speaking were Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, Sudan, United Nations Population Fund, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Afghanistan, China, Belarus, Burundi, Algeria, and Cuba.

Also taking the floor were the following non-governmental organizations: Dominicans for Justice and Peace Order of Preachers in a joint statement with Franciscans International, Dominicans for Justice and Peace – Order of Preachers, International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development Forum-Asia, World Evangelical Alliance in a joint statement with Christian Solidarity Worldwide, International Commission of Jurists, Federatie van Nederlandse Verenigingen tot Integratie Van Homoseksualiteit - COC Nederland, Amnesty International, Franciscans International (in a joint statement with Dominicans for Justice and Peace Order of Preachers and International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism IMADR), and Advocates for Human Rights.

The Vice President of the Human Rights Council informed that out of 230 recommendations received, Sri Lanka accepted 177 and noted 53.  The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Sri Lanka.

The Council is holding a full day of meetings today from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  It will next hold a general debate on the Universal Periodic Review.

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Japan

MITSUKO SHINO, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Office at Geneva, expressed appreciation for the efforts by the Troika, namely Qatar, Belgium and Togo.  During the review, the Japanese delegation had explained in detail follow-up efforts and achievements since the previous review.  At the review, Japan received 217 recommendations from 106 countries.  Member States were thanked for their constructive comments, including the advance questions.  As a Council member from the Asia-Pacific region, Japan would continue to contribute to the promotion for human rights in the United Nations and the promotion of sustainable development.  The process of examining recommendations required the involvement of many Ministries, and following dialogue with the non-governmental organizations, Japan had agreed to follow up on 145 recommendations, including those related to the protection of socially vulnerable persons such as women, children and persons with disability.  Japan also partially accepted to follow up on 10 recommendations.

Since the review of last November, some progress had already been established.  Japan had become a pathfinding country in the global partnership to end violence against children and had held a first multi-stakeholder meeting on the baseline study on business and human rights as a process of formulating its national action plan on business and human rights.  Japan would also host the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.  Japan had submitted a voluntary mid-term report on the progress made in relation to its previous two reviews and the consideration of reports by a number of treaty bodies were scheduled to be held by the next Universal Periodic Review.

Tunisia welcomed the acceptance by Japan of the majority of recommendations, including those made by Tunisia.  It welcomed all efforts made, in particular with regard to the rights of women and children, and recommended the adoption of the report.

Sudan commended the accession of Japan to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2014.  Japan was congratulated for accepting the majority of recommendations, including three recommendations submitted by Sudan. 

Albania congratulated Japan on its continued commitment to promote and protect human rights at the global and national levels.  It also commended Japan for adopting the plan on gender inequality and the plan to accelerate the rights of women, as well as for hosting the Fourth Global Assembly of Women.

Egypt said it had proposed two recommendations which had been accepted by Japan.  One called for the establishment of a National Work Plan for the implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the other concerned the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Ethiopia commended Japan for accepting many recommendations aimed at ensuring that the national human rights institution was based on the Paris Principles, and at ensuring the protection of vulnerable groups, including migrants.

Ghana welcomed the adoption of the plan on gender equality as well as the plans to enhance the rights of women and their active participation in the work place.  It noted with satisfaction that the two recommendations made by Ghana had been accepted.

Haiti congratulated Japan on accepting 145 recommendations out of 217, including the promulgation of the anti-discrimination law recommendation and the one on the implementation of a national regulatory framework for the protection of the environment.  It regretted that recommendations on the improvement of the pension system of the elderly had been only noted.

Honduras congratulated Japan for the transparency demonstrated during the review.  Japan had redoubled its efforts in combatting trafficking and providing mechanisms to assist victims.  The country was invited to sign the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Iran noted its expectation that the number of recommendations would be implemented in due course by Japan.  The Government was wished success in implementing the recommendations and the Council was invited to adopt the report.

Iraq expressed thanks to Japan on its report.  Iraq had submitted three recommendations during the review and appreciated Japan’s examination of all recommendations.  The Council should adopt the review.

Lao People’s Democratic Republic thanked Japan for the update on the human rights situation in that country.  Two recommendations were given by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on the promotion of women’s rights.

Madagascar congratulated Japan on the presentation of its final report and praised its efforts to tackle human trafficking.  Japan continued to show its respect toward fundamental freedoms and human rights and was encouraged to continue its reform towards consolidation of the rule of law in the country.

International Movement against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) urged Japan to support the Universal Periodic Review recommendations addressing racial discrimination.  The Japanese law fell short of ensuring protections from discrimination.

International Association of Democratic Lawyers, in a joint statement, welcomed the Universal Periodic Review recommendations related to Fukushima.  High-level radioactive contamination had been found in the Fukushima region and assistance for those affected was being cut.

Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice delle Salesiane di Don Bosco in a joint statement with International Volunteerism Organization for Women, Education and Development VIDES, in a joint statement, said Japan’s education system resulted in a high-pressure environment for children, in some cases leading to suicides.  Japan was urged to sign and ratify relevant mechanisms on the rights of children.

Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts said Japan was dismissing obligations related to the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty.  Japan remained tainted and cursed for its past military atrocities.  Japanese war crimes had grossly violated international law.  

Franciscans International regretted the rejection of recommendations on the creation of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation.  Japan continued pushing for new United States military bases without proper consultation with the affected communities.

Amnesty International voiced alarm over the continuous use of the death penalty in Japan.  Rejection of recommendations on the matter was disappointing.  Executions were carried out in secret, without informing legal representatives or family members.

Greenpeace International said in Fukushima after the nuclear accident following the earthquake, radiation had spread and people had been exposed repeatedly to unannounced radiation.  The air, water and soil had been severely contaminated.  The Japanese Government had implemented almost no policies to protect its citizens.

Japan Federation of Bar Associations, in a video statement, said Japan would hold the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020 and was expected to demonstrate the enhancement of human rights.  It encouraged the Government to implement recommendations on discrimination, the death penalty, substitute prisons, and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Human Rights Now deeply regretted that 72, or one third of the recommendations had not been accepted by Japan.  These included enacting a law to prohibit discrimination, and the independence of broadcasters.  It called on the Government to adopt recommendations on freedom of expression, as well as provide housing support and health checks for evacuees from Fukushima.

Advocates for Human Rights said Japan had stated that domestic public opinion had made it inappropriate to abolish the death penalty.  The Government’s lack of transparency with respect to this issue meant that whatever public opinion did exist on the death penalty was misinformed.

The Vice President of the Human Rights Council informed that out of 217 recommendations received, Japan accepted 145 and noted 72.

MITSUKO SHINO, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said Japan would continue to promote and protect human rights inside and outside the country.  Regarding Japan’s recognition of history, Ms. Shino said Japan was facing up to history and this had been made clear in August, 2015 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who had stated Japan’s deep remorse and repentance for the war.  Japan had consistently upheld democracy, freedom and peace in Asia and the world.  Regarding the people in Okinawa, it was understood that these had inherited a culture.  However, only the Ainu people were recognized as an indigenous people in Okinawa.  The people of Okinawa were equal and enjoyed all rights enjoyed by all citizens of Japan.  Japan was of the opinion that the death penalty should be decided on independently by each country in accordance with the law.  There were factors that made it inappropriate for Japan to abolish the death penalty.  Regarding freedom of expression, this was one of the fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Constitution.  Regarding the nuclear accident in Fukushima, seven years had passed since the earthquake, and the Government was doing its utmost to accelerate construction efforts.  It would continue to ensure longer medical help and nursing and to provide for an educational environment for children.  Japan reiterated its continued commitment to cooperate constructively with the Universal Periodic Review system.

The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Japan.

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Ukraine

YURIJ KLYMENKO, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that Ukraine had immensely benefited from the constructive engagement with the Universal Periodic Review and thanked the Troika members, Rwanda, Netherlands and Georgia.  Ukraine had received 190 recommendations for further consideration.  Following the intergovernmental cooperation and in consultation with civil society, the Government had decided to accept altogether 162 recommendations while the remaining 28 recommendations had been noted.  A number of the accepted recommendations were already in the process of being implemented.  In order to establish an effective follow-up procedure, under the aegis of the Ministry of Justice, a working group would be created to elaborate the mechanism and develop an action plan for the implementation of the recommendations.  The working group included not only government representatives but also civil society representatives.

The main challenge concerning the human rights situation was the Russian aggression which had created new problems related to human rights protection in the occupied areas.  Kremlin-backed militants and Russian serviceman were using force, killing prisoners and taking hostages.  The humanitarian crisis had resulted in 1.5 million internally displaced persons.  Short term housing and emergency help had been provided to them and Ukraine appreciated the international support.  There was, however, an understanding that the Russian aggression should not hinder or prevent Ukraine from implementing its human rights obligations.

Georgia commended Ukraine for its exemplary contributions to the Universal Periodic Review process.  Ukraine was actively working with international organizations to allow access to humanitarian assistance required across the country.

Honduras urged Ukraine to sign and ratify international mechanisms covering migrant workers.  Ukraine must also work to combat hate speech and other crimes related to racial discrimination.

Lithuania positively noted the acceptance of the vast majority of its recommendations.  Ukraine was committed to actively working to improve its human rights situation.  Lithuania hoped human rights legislation would be implemented efficiently.

Republic of Moldova commended Ukraine’s active engagement with international human rights mechanisms.  The Republic of Moldova expressed concern over human rights violations in conflict-afflicted regions of Ukraine and reiterated support for Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.

Romania commended Ukraine’s acceptance of all of its recommendations and wished it successful implementation of those recommendations.

Russian Federation voiced concern over the majority of its recommendations not being accepted and no explanation being provided as to why.  It was unacceptable for a Human Rights Council member to conduct military operations against its own people.

Sierra Leone noted the national action plan on the implementation of the Convention of the Rights of the Child which would assure better protection for children.  Also, more comprehensive protection had been provided to the internally displaced persons.

United Nations Populations Fund was willing to support Ukraine in implementing recommendations in partnership with the national human rights commission and public entities.  Technical support would be provided in areas concerning gender equality, sexual violence, minority rights, access to health care, and maternal health.

UNICEF remained concerned about the high number of institutionalized children in Ukraine.  Children with disabilities represented an increasing proportion of children in institutions.  Comprehensive measures on violence against children were lacking.

United Kingdom was concerned about the Crimean Tatars who faced disappearances and forced psychiatric detention.  All sides in the Russian-instigated conflict had committed crimes, including torture.  It urged Ukraine to ratify the International Labour Organization Convention of 2014.

Afghanistan welcomed the report of Ukraine, but regretted that the country had not accepted the recommendations made by Afghanistan, including on the ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Albania welcomed the continued commitment of Ukraine to promoting and protecting human rights.  It welcomed steps to this effect, such as the modification of the Constitution, eliminating political influence in the appointment of judges, and the efforts to establish an independent court.

Egypt congratulated the positive developments in Ukraine, especially regarding amendments to the Constitution and comprehensive judicial reform on torture and mistreatment, and gender equality.  It urged the Government to pursue anti-trafficking measures.

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILF) said that in order to implement recommendations related to women, there was a need to address macro-economic imbalances in Ukraine.  There was a fundamental need to change the dynamics of Ukraine’s economic reform agenda.

Human Rights House Foundation stressed that the responsibility for the dire human rights situation in Crimea rested with local de facto authorities and Russia.  Ukraine was urged to guarantee the rights of internally displaced persons from Crimea to vote in local elections.

Federatie van Nederlandse Verenigingen tot Integratie Van Homoseksualiteit - COC Nederland in a joint statement with International Lesbian and Gay Association, said Ukraine had made efforts to protect the human rights all people, regardless of sexual or gender orientation.  To eliminate future acts of sexual- or gender-based violence, Ukraine must implement policy actions as prescribed by the Action Plan on the Implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy.

Article 19 - The International Centre against Censorship said impunity for attacks on journalists remained a problem.  Law enforcement probes into attacks on journalists remained ineffective.  Ukraine must publicly condemn all attacks against journalists and members of marginalized groups.

International Federation for Human Rights Leagues said abolition of a list of jobs women could not hold was a sign of progress.  However, women were still restricted from practicing certain jobs.  Ukraine must facilitate women’s access to the labour market.

Advocates for Human Rights said domestic violence remained widespread in Ukraine.  The Government was urged to ratify treaties on violence against women.  Domestic violence victims must be guaranteed access to shelters, with a larger number of shelters needed.

Amnesty International noted that gender-based and domestic violence was a reality for thousands of women and children in Ukraine.  There were few effective ways for victims to protect themselves and seek justice.  Since the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, numerous human rights abuses by both sides had been documented.  

International Fellowship of Reconciliation drew attention to developments in the case of Ukrainian journalist and human rights activist Ruslan Kotsaba, who had been arrested for the “obstruction of Ukrainian armed forces.”  The insistence on the reopening of the case gave rise to the suspicion of political pressure.

The Vice President informed that out of 190 recommendations, Ukraine had accepted 162 and noted 28 recommendations.

YURIJ KLYMENKO, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Office at Geneva, appreciated further questions and comments on the situation of human rights in Ukraine, assuring that the recommendations would be included in the country’s policies, in consultation with civil society.  The comments made by the Russian Federation were expected, coming from the aggressor State and occupying power.  Ukraine strongly condemned the decision of the Russian Federation to hold presidential elections on the occupied territory of Ukraine.  Holding the illegal voting in Crimea and Sevastopol represented another step by the Kremlin to legitimatize its illegal occupation of Ukraine.   The election results would be null and void and would not be recognized by Ukraine or the international community.  Ukraine reiterated its demand to the Russian Federation to stop the military intervention against it.  Ukraine remained a strong supporter of the Council and of the Universal Periodic Review, Mr. Klymenko concluded.

The outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Ukraine was then adopted.

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Sri Lanka

RAVINATHA ARYASINHA, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Office at Geneva, thanked the Office of the High Commissioner for their support and the Troika members: Burundi, Republic of Korea and Venezuela.  Out of the 230 recommendations that had been received last November, Sri Lanka had accepted 177 recommendations along with 12 voluntary pledges.  Sri Lanka had participated in the review with the backdrop of a renewed and transformed local setting following 2015 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.  Progress was already being made concerning the implementation of recommendations.  Sri Lanka had acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and designated the Human Rights Commission.  Legislation implementing the Convention for the Protection of All Persons against Enforced Disappearances had been enacted.  Chairpersons and Commissioners for the Office on missing persons had been appointed.  Progress had also been made concerning drafting of the counter terrorism legislation, and work on the establishment of the Office for Reparations was underway.  A three-tier mechanism had been established to monitor progress concerning the implementation of the national human rights action plan.

Sri Lanka had acceded to the Ottawa Convention prohibiting mines as well as to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.  In conclusion, it was stated that recent events targeting members of the Muslim community stood against a shared vision of Sri Lanka; arrests had been made and victim compensation processes initiated.   Temporary restrictions had been made on the use of social media but had soon been lifted, and the Government was working on regulating hate speech.

Russian Federation supported Sri Lankan reconciliation efforts.  Russia trusted that Sri Lanka would continue to bring legislation in line with international commitments.

Sierra Leone noted Sri Lanka’s commitment to cooperating with relevant United Nations human rights mechanisms.  Efforts to combat gender-based violence were a sign of progress.  Sierra Leone applauded future legislative efforts to combat hate speech.

Sudan noted with satisfaction Sri Lanka’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Sudan commended invitations extended to several Special Procedures.

United Nations Population Fund said there was a need to ensure equal access to universal health care, with special focus needed for marginalized communities.  Further efforts must provide youth and adolescents with quality sexual health education.

United Arab Emirates voiced appreciation for the positive steps taken by Sri Lanka in various human rights spheres.  Sri Lanka was bolstering sustainable development and strengthening the rule of law.

United Kingdom welcomed Sri Lanka’s efforts to design and implement strategies to tackle sexual- and gender-based violence.  Efforts must focus on addressing stigma of victims of such attacks.

Venezuela welcomed the open cooperation of Sri Lanka throughout the Universal Periodic Review process, and the elaboration of the National Plan of Action for Human Rights 2017-2021, as well as free of charge primary and secondary education.

Afghanistan appreciated the support of Sri Lanka for its recommendations to consider the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, and to ensure full alignment of the National Human Rights Commission with the Paris Principles.

China welcomed Sri Lanka’s constructive engagement in the Universal Periodic Review, and appreciated that it was committed to eliminate poverty and foster socio-economic development, develop education and healthcare, and fight domestic violence.  

Belarus appreciated Sri Lanka’s clear position on the recommendations which demonstrated its will to strengthen human rights.  Belarus commended Sri Lanka’s reconciliation policies, interaction with the United Nations treaty bodies, and the adoption of the National Plan of Action for Human Rights 2017-2021.

Burundi was pleased by the reforms taken by Sri Lanka in the judicial sector, namely the adoption of a law on the protection of victims and witnesses, as well as the zero-tolerance policy vis-à-vis torture.  Burundi congratulated Sri Lanka on its efforts to reduce poverty, and the creation of the Ministry of National Coexistence.

Algeria commended Sri Lanka’s progress in the field of human rights since the beginning of the transitional period in the country.  It welcomed the adoption of the National Plan of Action for Human Rights 2017-2021, the ratification of numerous international human rights instruments, and efforts to combat torture.  

Cuba thanked Sri Lanka for accepting both recommendations which had been made by Cuba.  Sri Lanka’s efforts in promoting human rights, despite the current challenges that the country faced, were welcome.

International Buddhist Relief Organization warned about the hypocrisy of the Council which had never sponsored a resolution against national sovereignty, yet in the case of Sri Lanka had done so, due to alleged human rights violations.  During the conflict in Sri Lanka the international humanitarian law was applicable, not the international human rights law.

Dominicans for Justice and Peace Order of Preachers in a joint statement with Franciscans International stated that serious concerns remained regarding the Colombo international financial city.  Sand mining and dumping activities were destroying coral reefs and the policy in place was clearly favouring rich businessmen who could afford the necessary equipment.

International Movement against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) welcomed the recent appointment of the Commissioners for the Office of Missing Persons, the first mechanism for transitional justice.  Grave concern was expressed concerning a series of violent attacks against the Muslim community last week, especially since the Government had not led any concrete actions against religious extremism.

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development Forum-Asia said that the Government had refused to accept recommendations to repeal the draconian prevention of terrorism act which had been used arbitrarily against human rights defenders, activists and journalists.  The Government had decided to respond to recent attacks by imposing a state of emergency

World Evangelical Alliance in a joint statement with Christian Solidarity Worldwide, said they had documented over 20 incidents of threats to Christians since November 2017.  Muslim minorities were also being attacked, demonstrating a pattern of violence.

International Commission of Jurists said Sri Lanka had stated that it maintained zero tolerance for hate speech and religious violence.  Despite these commitments, recent events had demonstrated renewed conflict owing to communal violence directed at the Muslim minority.

Federatie van Nederlandse Verenigingen tot Integratie Van Homoseksualiteit - COC Nederland said Sri Lanka had supported four recommendations on the protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and noted seven recommendations for the decriminalization of same-sex conduct.  It urged the Government to expand the fundamental rights chapter of the Sri Lankan constitution to include protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Amnesty International said Sri Lanka had taken important steps, but was disappointed by the lack of progress and in some cases backsliding with regard to addressing the thousands of enforced disappearances, ensuring protection of religious and ethnic minorities and human rights defenders, and repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Franciscans International in a joint statement with Dominicans for Justice and Peace Order of Preachers and International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) said in light of the transitional justice commitments contained in resolution 30/1 and renewed by 30/4, it was concerned that the Government of Sri Lanka had not accepted many recommendations on the steps necessary to implement an effective transitional justice process.

Advocates for Human Rights said Sri Lanka had said it would consider ratifying the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and consider abolishing the death penalty.  It hoped that these considerations were genuine, thoughtful and would include concrete measures.

The President of the Council then announced that out of the 230 recommendations received by Sri Lanka, 177 were supported and 53 were noted.

RAVINATHA ARYASINHA, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva, thanked the Secretariat of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Troika, and all the States and stakeholders for their contributions to Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review.  The Government of Sri Lanka looked forward to the implementation of the recommendations in consultation with civil society and international partners who were assisting the country in reaching its development goals.

The outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Sri Lanka was then adopted.
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