Agenda Item 6 UPR General Debate
Joint statement of SRI & COC Netherlands
Statement delivered by Meghan Doherty, ACPD (Canada)
Thank you Madam President
We welcome the Council’s attention to women’s human rights in the UPR process, and trust that this attention will continue throughout the second cycle.
However, we urge States to be more specific in their recommendations about the laws and policies that serve to systematically discriminate against women, marginalize women and place our lives, health and wellbeing at risk.
The UPR process is supposed to be a mechanism that can shine an international spotlight on the human rights violations occuring in every country and for the international community to make constructive and concrete suggestions on how to remedy these situations. General suggestions to ’improve the rights of women’ are not sufficient to encourage States to shape and make real changes or to hold States accountable for their obligations and commitments.
We call for States to make recomendations on specific discriminatory laws and policies, against impunity for violence and States’ positive obligations to respect, protect and fulfill women’s human rights. We also urge States to make recommendations on the wider range of rights affecting our lives throughout their life cycle. This includes sexual and reproductive rights, land rights, right to do sex work, employment rights and issues such as early and forced marriage, maternal mortality and morbidity, access to education, including comprehensive sexuality education and issues of autonomy, bodily integrity and self determination.
We see the UPR as an innovative and potentially transformative mechanism to address the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that we experience on a daily basis, in every country of the world. To meet this standard, States must make a concerted effort to listen to what women are telling them through stakeholder reports and national level consultations in order to develop recommendations that actually reflect their concerns and national context and can be used to hold our States accountable.
We are counting on States in this second cycle of the UPR to refine their recommendations to make them more relevant and useful for implementation at the country level.