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04 November 1999

4 November 1999


The Human Rights Committee this morning adopted lists of issues to be taken up when the reports of Mongolia, the United Kingdom (Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man), the Republic of the Congo, Venezuela, and Afghanistan are presented to them next year.

Each of the States parties are scheduled to appear before the Committee during its next session from 13 to 31 March 2000. Delegations from the countries will be expected to address the questions when they offer their reports for consideration.

The questions in connection with the fourth periodic report of Mongolia raised, among other issues, the process and the progress in establishing a national institution to monitor the implementation of human rights there. The list also included questions about pre-trial detention; the position of women with regard to education and public life; state of emergency practices and martial law; and the reform of Prison Regulations of 1998.

With regard to issues on the fourth and fifth periodic reports of United Kingdom concerning the dependent territories of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, the Committee wanted to know if the Covenant was invoked before domestic courts. Information was also requested about any discrimination on the basis of gender or disability in legislation or practice; on any difference in treatment between legitimate and illegitimate children; on the right to self-determination, the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs and the right of access to public service, among other things.

By adopting the list of issues to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the second periodic report of the Republic of the Congo, the Committee requested that the State party provide information about the status of militias, particularly the involvement of children; about the measures taken by the Government to combat abuses of all kinds against women, including violence in the home and acts of rape; the measures taken to prevent human rights violations by the security forces; and about population displacements and means of protecting displaced persons, particularly in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire.

The Committee also listed a series of issues with regard to the third periodic report of Venezuela by requesting an explanation on the current constitutional reform process; the measures adopted by the Constitutional Assembly with regard to human rights, and with regard to bodies that monitor and guarantee rights; the measures adopted to redress instances of excessive use of force by police or armed forces, including extra-judicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture and other abuses; the progress made to overcome serious prison overcrowding and poor conditions; and the factors impeding the equal enjoyment of rights by women.

Questions adopted in connection with the second periodic report of Afghanistan focused on the constitutional and legal framework within which the Covenant was implemented; right to self-determination; state of emergency; right to participate in the conduct of public affairs; rights of persons belonging to minorities; the right to life; liberty and security of the person; treatment of prisoners and other detainees; equality of the sexes and protection of the family and children; freedom of movement and expulsion of aliens, among other things.

Mongolia, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Congo, Venezuela and Afghanistan are among 144 States parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Their reports, as well as Guyana, whose questions were adopted yesterday, will be considered by the Committee during the next session.

The Committee will reconvene at 3 p.m., where it will meet in private session to consider draft concluding observations and recommendations on remaining country reports already dealt with during the current session.