Seychelles shows commitment to human rights after voluntarily sumitting to mid-term review
Seychelles has submitted its voluntary mid-term report under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council at its 26th Session on the 13th of June, 2014.
The voluntary report, presented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Jean Paul Adam, is demonstrative of the determination of the Government of Seychelles to achieve the full realisation of human rights for all its citizens, and the country’s support and cooperation towards the UN’s Human Rights Mechanisms. The report has been well received by the 26th session of the council, and areas of partnership and support have been identified for further follow up.
Seychelles took part in the first cycle of the UPR in May 2011, receiving constructive recommendations from countries regarding improving the promotion and protection of human rights. The voluntary mid-term report assesses how far the country has come in implementing accepted recommendations, acting as a self-critical analysis, as well as preparation towards Seychelles’ second UPR cycle in 2016. The voluntary report provides the status of implementation on a wide range of issues, including the ratification of international treaties, the tackling of gender based violence and trafficking in persons, the improvement of the penitentiary services, and issues such as health and education, to name a few.
A courtesy call was also made upon the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navi Pillay, who commended Seychelles’ commitment towards the promotion and protection of human rights, and continued dialogues regarding avenues of cooperation and assistance. The specific human rights challenges in the context of SIDS was discussed, with support expressed by the High Commissioner for the progress of Seychelles in this aspect. The Minister congratulated Ms Pillay for the extensive efforts and achievements of the High Commissioner during her six year term, which will be ending in August 2014.
In his intervention, Minister Adam also highlighted that climate change also represented a grave obstacle to the respect of human rights in relation to Small Island Developing States: “As a Small Island Developing State, Seychelles is also concerned about the challenges that the threat of climate change brings towards ensuring the respect of our people’s rights. The relationship between climate change and its anticipated consequences on the rights of persons is undeniable, and my Government looks forward to constructive exchanges with fellow countries in order to achieve real and substantive global changes in this area.”
The Minister also reminded the council that Seychelles was committed to a holistic and inclusive approach to human rights protection, and this underpinned all of the government’s efforts.