Oral Statements delivered at the UN Human Rights Council
Statement on the adoption of the UPR report for India
At the adoption of the UPR report for India on September 20th, Franciscans International delivered a statement on the recommendations that had been accepted and rejected. The key issue for FI was the rights of vulnerable groups, particularly women, children, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. FI criticised the Government of India for failing to provide adequate protection of the rights of these groups. India rejected recommendations to ratify several international conventions on child rights and women's rights. It did, however, commit to implementing measures to protect the rights of Dalit and tribal communities and FI called on the Government to make this commitent a reality without delay.
Restrictions on Civil Society Organisations in Indonesia
Franciscans International and partners Tapol and Imparsial delivered a statement to the 21st session of the Human Rights Council on the subject of a proposed Bill on Society Organisaiton in Indonesia. From the perspective of civil society organisations, this Bill is an attempt to control rather than protect them, despite the Government of Indonesia's commitment to promote freedom of expression and association. The joint statement calls on the Government to conduct a thorough consultation process with civil society to ensure that the provisions of the Bill are in line with international human rights standards.
Forced Mariage in Pakistan
On the occasion of the presentation of the annual report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Franciscans International made a statement to the Human Rights Council on the subject of child and forced marriage in Pakistan. Particularly vulnerable are children of minority religions who are most at risk of abduction and forced conversion to Islam before being forced into marriage by their abductors. Franciscans International criticised the Government of Pakistan for not taking firm action against bias and partiality in favour of parties of the majority religion in the courts during trials of such cases.
Human Trafficking in Cameroon
In response to the presentation of the report of the Special Rapporteur on human trafficking during the 20th session of the HRC, FI made an oral statement on the subject of human trafficking in Cameroon. The statement was delivered on behalf of FI, Edmund Rice International (ERI) and Fondazione Marista per la Solidarieta. The abduction of infants and the sale of children and adults is a recurring practice in Cameroon. According to information provided by Franciscans working at the grassroots, the abduction of babies occurs most frequently in hospitals, often with the complicity of hospital officials. The government has not established a strategy to protect children from trafficking and so victims continue to be sold and trafficked for labour.
Climate Change and Human Rights
FI, in partnership with Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, the World Council of Churches, the Indigenous Peoples' Ancestral Spiritual Council, International-Lawyers.org and Nord-Sud XXI, delivered an oral statement to the 20th session of the Human Rights Council on the issue of climate change and human rights. Calling on the international community to take action on climate change and it's extremely detrimental impact on human rights, FI and partners asserted that the establishment of a Special Rapporteur on this issue is urgently required and would be a crucial step in the HRC's response to the threat of climate change.
Human Rights violations in Papua
Franciscans International, in partnership with six other NGOs, delivered a statement to the 20th session of the HRC on the escalating human rights violations in Papua, Indonesia. Despite the Indonesian Government's committment to improve the situation in Papua at their UPR in May, human rights violations continue unabated. Of particular concern are cases of extrajudicial killing - we have been informed that between May and June 2012 alone, nine people have been killed - and the brutality of the security forces.
Children's Rights in Timor Leste
Franciscans International and Marist International Solidarity Foundation delivered an oral statement on the adoption of the UPR report for Timor Leste during the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. It highlighted children's rights with a special emphasis on the rights to education, the rights of persons with disabilities, and violence against children, particularly within the juvenile justice system. The NGOs called the Government to maintain its commitment to promoting universal primary education.
Adoption of UPR Recommendations by Uganda
World Vision Uganda and Franciscans International delivered an oral statement to the HRC to express appreciation to the Government of Uganda for adopting specific recommendations relating to the reduction of maternal mortality rates. They further urged that the Government should extend its reach to improve the situation for newborn and child mortality rates as well.
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Adoption of UPR Recomendations by Zimbabwe
Franciscans International and Marist International Solidarity Foundation submitted a joint oral statement on the adoption of the UPR recommendations relating to the right to a quality education for every child in Zimbabwe. It urges the Goverment to widen the scope of the school curriculum to decrease the school drop-out rates; provide free access to education; increase the budget to provide more schools, eliminate tuition frees and improve the infrastructure; improve working conditions for teachers.
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Adoption of UPR Recommendations by United Republic of Tanzania
Franciscans International (FI) and Marist International Solidarity Foundation (FMSI) submitted an oral statement to the Human Rights Council on the UPR recommendations adopted by the United Republic of Tanzania. Highlighted issues of concern include recognising the legal existence of Indigenous Peoples, increasing the annual education budget for more schools and teachers, and undertaking the necessary measures and action to combat human trafficking.
Torture and Extrajudicial Execution in Papua
Franciscans International, Faith Based Network on West Papua and TAPOL delivered an oral statement to the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council to address the issue of torture and extrajudicial execution still taking place in Papua. Despite the fact that Indonesia ratified the UN Convention against Torture in 1998, the use of torture continues unabated. Provisions have yet to be made in the military and civilian penal codes to criminalise torture so the Indonesian security forces still carry out this practice with impunity.
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Violence Against Albino Children in the United Republic of Tanzania and Neighboring Countries
Violence against albino children in the Republic of Tanzania and its neighbouring countries is an increasing concern according to a joint oral statement delivered to the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council by Franciscans International, World Vision, Edmund Rice International and Marist International Solidarity Foundation. Albino children are subjected to physical and sexual violence, stigmatization, and
discrimination. The non-governmental organisations recommend that a holistic response, based on prosecution, prevention, and protection, is needed at the international, regional, and national levels.
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Child Marriage in India
Sex-selective abortions and female infanticide, coupled with the persistent lack of adequate systems of birth and marriage registration, have increased the number of child marriages in India in recent years according to an oral statement delivered to the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council by Franciscans International on behalf of World Vision, Edmund Rice International, and Marist International Solidarity Foundation. The perception of girls as social and financial burdens on their families is often the cause of gender selection and early marriages. The three non-governmental organisations urge the Government of India to take specific actions including to “adopt and implement a holistic National Action Plan for the eradication of child marriages, and to provide for long term strategies and adequate budgeting, while reinforcing the provisions envisaged in the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.”
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Call for Adoption of Draft Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights
The adoption of the draft guiding principles on extreme poverty and human rights should be adopted in September 2012 according to a joint oral statement submitted to the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council co-signed by International Movement ATD Fourth World, Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII, Franciscans International, CIVICUS, International Catholic Child Bureau and Points-Coeur. It is an opportune time, as the international community is discussing how to put the world on the path to sustainable development. The guiding principles would provide the world with a concrete tool for integrating human rights into a new development framework.
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