Sexual Rights Recommendations at UPR30

Published on June 05, 2018

The 30th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was held at the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, from 7-18 May 2018. Fourteen countries were reviewed during UPR30: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Djibouti, Germany, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, and Uzbekistan.

Adoption of UPR Outcomes: September 2018

The UPR outcome for each State reviewed during UPR30 will be adopted at the 39th session of the HRC (September 2018). The outcome report indicates which recommendations the State agrees to implement and its responses to other recommendations. This is the only opportunity for civil society to make an oral statement during the official UPR process. The SRI, in collaboration with partners and allies, will work to ensure that sexual and reproductive rights are visible during this segment of the UPR process.

The intervening period is an opportunity to engage in dialogue with States on accepting relevant recommendations – and, at the same time, not accepting those recommendations that are inconsistent with human rights norms and standards. It is also a means for gaining the support of media and the general public. Below are some sexual rights related highlights from each UPR30 review. Click here for the full list of recommendations made related to sexual rights, including State responses to date.

 

Explainer on Terminology

  • Accepted Recommendation: State agrees to implement the recommendation
  • Deferred Recommendation: State will announce in September if it agrees to implement the recommendation
  • Noted Recommendation: State does not agree to implement the recommendation

 

Click here for the full list of UPR30 Sexual Rights Recommendations

 

Accepted Recommendations

  • Ensure women’s decision-making powers concerning their health status and the use of abortion for family planning (Iceland)
  • Enhance efforts to address patriarchal attitudes and gender stereotypes through strengthened implementation of relevant laws and policies (Rwanda)
  • Increase efforts to eliminate violent and discriminatory practices against women, specially addressing the issue of selective abortions based on the sex of the foetus (Uruguay)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Take the necessary measures to combat the acts of violence and discrimination, such as stigmatization against persons pertaining to the LGTBI community, and encourage Azerbaijan to deepen the measures to ensure the investigation and sanctioning of those acts (Argentina)

Accepted Recommendations

  • Formulate Rules of Procedures for the use of clause 22 of the 2017 Child Marriage Restraint Act to clarify existing gaps in order to prevent misuse of the provision allowing marriage for children below the legal age in “special circumstances” (Denmark)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Continue increasing efforts to combat all types of violence against women and girls, and eradicate discriminatory practices and measures against them, guaranteeing the full exercise of their rights, including those related to sexual and reproductive health (Uruguay)
  • Combat gender stereotypes and protect women from all forms of abuse and harm, including gender-based violence, marital rape, and addressing the persistent gender wage gap, among others (Namibia)

Noted Recommendations

  • Decriminalize in the criminal code relations between same-sex adults (Honduras)
  • Adopting legislative and political measures to ensure that women and young people have access to sex education and free use of friendly reproductive health services, particularly in rural areas and for persons on low incomes (Honduras)

Accepted Recommendations

  • Adopt legal and political measures to ensure that women and adolescents have access to sexual education and to free and friendly reproductive health care services (Honduras)
  • Strengthen measures aimed at combating gender discrimination in all spheres and to adequately protect women from all forms of violence and abuse including female genital mutilation, marital rape, domestic violence, and social exclusion for alleged witchcraft (Namibia)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Implement a strategy that ensures the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people by fighting against female genital mutilation and reducing maternal mortality related to unsafe abortions (Belgium)
  • Amend the Code of Individuals and Family to guarantee that the same minimum age for marriage of 18 applies to men and women and includes all types of marriages, including religious and traditional marriages (Australia)

Noted Recommendations

  • Decriminalize sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex (Iceland)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Implement in all instances the policy allowing pregnant girls to continue and return to school during and after pregnancy (Iceland)
  • Take necessary measures to investigate and sanction those responsible for the de facto polygamy and Female Genital Mutilation (Argentina)
  • Provide adequate resources to the Institute for Gender Equality and Equity in order to strengthen its ability to better promote gender mainstreaming at all levels of government (Ghana)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Intensify efforts to combat discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS (Lesotho)
  • Decriminalize consensual sex between adults of the same sex, as well as any other discriminatory practice based on sexual orientation and gender identity, protecting LGBTI persons and guaranteeing their fundamental rights (Uruguay)
  • Adopt comprehensive legislative and political measures to ensure access to health services to people with HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive education to women and girls, particularly in rural areas (Honduras)
  • Decriminalize abortion and repeal section 339 (2) of the amended Penal Code to remove the requirement to obtain certification from the prosecutor before attaining a legal abortion (Iceland)
  • Adopt measures preventing sexual harassment by teachers and child marriages, which cause a high dropout rates of girls in secondary schools (Poland)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Take action to ensure equal access to abortion and comprehensive sexuality education across provinces and territories (Norway)
  • Take the necessary steps to investigate complaints lodged regarding forced sterilization of women from vulnerable groups and, where appropriate, punish those responsible and assist affected women (Argentina)
  • Adopt a National Action Plan, in consultation with civil society organizations, especially indigenous women's organizations, to combat gender-based violence against women (Zambia)
  • Step up efforts in order to make more efficient the legal framework to protect women against all forms of violence, from all age categories and from sexual abuse (Lebanon)
  • Reinforce efforts to investigate missing and murdered cases of aboriginal women (Republic of Korea)
  • Strengthen measures to combat structural discrimination against LGTBIQ persons, in particular by establishing effective mechanisms of investigation and punishment of authors of acts of discrimination and violence against them (Argentina)

Accepted Recommendations

  • Consider establishing a protection programme for women rights defenders, taking into account their needs and realities from a gender-differentiated perspective, and allocate adequate financial and human resources for its implementation (Ghana)
  • Ensure that women and adolescents have access to sexual education and free and friendly reproductive health services (Honduras)
  • Guarantee full access to safe abortion, within the existing legal framework, in all regions of the country (Denmark)
  • Ensure the implementation of the Resolution of the Health Ministry based on a dialogue with civil society and persons with disabilities, to guarantee appropriate and dignified access to sexual and reproductive health services for women and girls with disabilities (Uruguay)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Encourage the implementation of a national health plan for mothers, new-borns and children, and the promotion of access to maternal, sexual and reproductive health services (Portugal)
  • Consult as widely as possible all relevant stakeholders, in particular disadvantaged women and those living in the rural areas to ensure that their views are taken into account in the overhaul of Djibouti’s Family Code to comply with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Singapore)
  • Accelerate the implementation of the Five-Year Strategy on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation and pay special attention to all forms of gender discrimination (Togo)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Consider introducing in legislation a third gender option for intersex and non-binary trans people based on self-determination (Israel)
  • Set up a national compensation fund for transsexual persons who were coerced into sterilisation or unwanted gender reassignment treatment in the years 1981-2011 (Sweden)
  • Recognize under family law unmarried couples in established relationships, both opposite-sex and same-sex (Canada)
  • Promote sexual and reproductive health and rights, including by removing barriers to safe and legal abortion services and post-abortion care (Canada)
  • Review Paragraph 219a of the penal code, prohibiting information about and advertising on abortion, which, in practice, restricts the prospects for women to undergo an abortion if she so wishes (Sweden)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Repeal the Federal Law No. 135-FZ by means of which “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” is a criminal offence (Denmark)
  • Ensure that LGBTI people are able to exercise their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression without discrimination or fear of reprisals, and investigate promptly, effectively and impartially all allegations of abductions, secret imprisonment, torture and other ill-treatment, and killings of gay men in Chechnya (New Zealand)
  • Criminalize domestic violence and abolish “the list of prohibited profession”, in order not to restrict the employment rights of women (Paraguay)
  • Prohibit non-consensual medical interventions performed on intersex people until the person in question is old enough to grant the free and informed consent, unless the intervention is absolutely necessary for the development of their vital functions (Spain)

Accepted Recommendations

  • Introduce domestic violence, including sexual violence and marital rape, into the Criminal Code as a specific crime, and create an independent mechanism for receiving victims’ complaints (France)
  • Expand the scope of the curriculum on basic life skills, in order to comprehensively address issues related to sexuality, to protect adolescents from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases preparing them for adult life (Honduras)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Take the necessary measures to establish, in its national legislation, a comprehensive legal framework of adequate and effective protection against all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and also repeal the criminalization of consensual sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex (Argentina)
  • Review provisions regarding compulsory HIV testing contained in 2016 Act on controlling the spread of the disease caused by HIV while providing early diagnosis and treatment to HIV-infected mothers and their infants in light of the recommendations of the Human Rights Committee and the relevant Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council (Brazil)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Amend sections 153-155 of the Penal Code to decriminalize same-sex conduct between consenting adults; as well as prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (Canada)
  • Assign human and financial resources in order to strengthen universal access to sexual and reproductive health services in particular for women and girls in the Outer Islands, who are not adequately equipped, with trained midwives and nurses to attend to maternal health and attend to the complications of deliveries (Honduras)
  • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health services for all women and girls (Uruguay)
  • Amend the Penal Code and the Family Protection and Domestic Violence Act in order to criminalise rape in all circumstances (Portugal)

Accepted Recommendations

  • Adopt legal and political measures to improve access to comprehensive sexual education inside and outside schools in order to increase health-seeking behavior with respect to sexuality, reproductive health and HIV prevention with particular emphasis on groups at risk such as women migrant workers, rural population, drug users and sex workers (Honduras)
  • Develop policies in order to: eradicate forced sterilization, improve contraception policies and policies on access to decent work for women (Paraguay)
  • Specifically define and prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace (Iceland)
  • Legally define and include in the Criminal Code the crime of domestic violence and gender-based violence, taking into account sexual orientation and gender identity (Uruguay)

Noted Recommendations

  • Repeal Article 120 of the Criminal Code that criminalizes consensual relationships between men and take measures to alleviate the discrimination against the LGBTI community and to investigate and punish acts of violence and the so-called "hate crimes" (Spain)

 

Click here for the full list of UPR30 Sexual Rights Recommendations

More info about the UPR

The UPR mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council is used to review each of the 193 Member States of the UN on its entire human rights record every four and a half years.