Sexual Rights Recommendations at UPR31

Published on novembre 28, 2018

The 31st session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was held at the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, from 5-16 November 2018. Fourteen countries were reviewed during UPR31: Belize, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Congo, Jordan, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Senegal.

The UPR outcome for each State reviewed during UPR31 will be adopted at the 40th session of the HRC (March 2019). 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 UPR31 review. Click here for the full list of recommendations made related to sexual rights, including State responses to date.

 

Explainer 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 UPR31 Sexual Rights Recommendations

Accepted Recommendations

  • Secure equal human rights for LGBTI persons by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the anti-discrimination legislation, in order to protect LGBTI persons against discrimination and violence (Germany)
  • Take concrete steps to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, including HIV tests, with particular attention to the specific needs of women and girls, and the LGBTI population (Brazil)
  • Strengthen the capacities of police officers to better treat cases of violence against sexual workers and LGBTI persons (Uruguay)
  • Include education on sexual and reproductive health, including on HIV prevention, in the education system and among health sector staff, and integrate HIV testing and treatment into the public health system without discrimination    (Portugal)
  • Adopt additional policy and legislative measures, including an increased allocation of financial resources, in order to guarantee the provision of education on sexual and reproductive health, particularly in rural communities and indigenous populations as well as intensify efforts to avoid school dropouts among pregnant teenagers (Honduras)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Take timely measures to ensure the rights of girls and women, in particular by guaranteeing independent access to sexual and reproductive health services in accordance with the age of consent and without parental permission (Netherlands)

Noted Recommendations

  • Amend the legislation in order to decriminalize abortion, in particular in case of pregnancy resulting from a rape (France)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Adopt legal provisions criminalizing marital rape (Iceland)
  • Strengthen efforts to combat violence against women and ensure the investigation, prosecution and punishment of all cases of violence against women and the full operationalization of the joint Unit for Rapid Intervention and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Children (Rwanda)
  • Take every measure necessary to prevent sexual violence perpetrated against girls and women by combatants and armed civilians and to increase efforts to put an end to the widespread impunity for these acts (Belgium)
  • Elaborate a strategy aimed at putting an end to sexual violence against women with special attention given to IDP women inside the country (Brazil)

Accepted Recommendations

  • Adopt legislative measures in order to increase equitable access to sexual and reproductive health in development and egalitarian environments (Honduras)
  • Strengthen the delivery of family planning services with a special emphasis on guaranteeing access for adolescent women, without discrimination on the basis of their marital status or authorization requirements by a third person (Mexico)
  • Take measures to guarantee access to justice for victims of female genital mutilation, child marriage, gender-based violence and violence against girls, boys and adolescents, as well as ensure that the investigation of the allegations and the prosecution and punishment of the perpetrators is carried out (Uruguay)

Noted Recommendations

  • Promote awareness campaigns to eliminate stereotypes that undermine the dignity of women and repeal discriminatory provisions against women, including Article 385 of the Penal Code, so that adultery is not considered a crime with penalties of prison, as well as to remove the provision according to which homicide and assault resulting in bodily injury were excusable if the victim was the spouse of the perpetrator of such acts (Article 69) (Paraguay)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Ensure full enjoyment of human rights for women, girls and individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities, by implementing the anti-domestic violence law and clearly defining its coverage (Sweden)
  • Endeavour to promote racial harmony through improvement of equality of women of African descent (Botswana)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Improve treatment for HIV/AIDS infected, ensure early diagnosis and the immediate initiation of treatment, particularly for adolescents (Ukraine)
  • Reinforce the equality of men and women by modernizing the divorce law and penalizing rape in marriages (Germany)
  • Adopt a comprehensive law to prosecute all forms of violence against women, including marital rape, female genital mutilation and sexual abuse and exploitation of women in prison and in conflict areas (Ukraine)
  • Approve a general law to combat and eliminate all forms of violence against women, including spousal rape and female genital mutilation (Paraguay)

Accepted Recommendations

  • Consider the elaboration of a comprehensive strategy in the efforts to modify and eliminate all forms of attitudes and stereotypes that discriminate against women (Turkey)
  • Enhance efforts to eradicate all forms of discrimination, in particular against women, including in the Penal Code (Italy)

Noted Recommendations

  • Amend the Personal Status Law to remove conditions that allow child marriage and to eliminate the recognition of legal guardians of adult women (Ireland)
  • Ensure that women and girls can exercise their sexual and reproductive rights (Uruguay)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Take concrete steps to protect LGBTI persons from discrimination and violence, including through enactment of explicit non-discrimination provisions in law, development of public awareness programs and to allow for recognition of the gender of transsexual persons (Netherlands)
  • Update the current Reproductive Health and Social Education syllabus, to include inter alia education on healthy and respectful family life and interpersonal relationships, human rights, violence and gender-based violence, consent and bodily integrity, in line with UN technical guidelines on education (Slovenia)
  • Take effective measures to ensure that unmarried women and vulnerable groups have access to sexual and reproductive healthcare in government health centres (Fiji)
  • Eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women, including by criminalizing all forms of female genital mutilation and marital rape and prohibiting whipping of women as a form of punishment, as well as child marriages (Portugal)

Accepted Recommendations

  • Continue efforts to put in place a system of comprehensive sexuality education (Austria)
  • Invest appropriate resources to ensure the implementation of existing strategies relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including ensuring access to safe, affordable and modern means of contraception, and information related to them (Canada)

Noted Recommendations

  • Amend the Penal Code to decriminalize termination of pregnancies in cases of rape, incest and severe foetal impairment and eliminate all punitive measures (Denmark)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Modify Section 282 of the Penal Code by inserting a direct indication that hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity will be an aggravating circumstance and punishable by law (Chile)
  • Revise the penal code so that women can access legal, safe and voluntary termination of pregnancy, and guarantee the provision of the respective medical services (Iceland)
  • Expand measures being taken to address attitudes and stereotypes that lead to discrimination and violence against women and girls (Guyana)
  • Adopt measures to combat violence, abuse and neglect of persons with disabilities and with mental health conditions, including by prohibiting forced sterilisation, respecting their autonomy and free and informed consent while promoting their inclusion in the community and combatting institutionalization (Portugal)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Recognize the important work of women human rights defenders, LGBTI defenders, environmental defenders and others; ensure their effective protection against threats and violence they face because of their work or who they are (Iceland)
  • Revise and harmonize the federal and state legislation to de-criminalize abortion and allow legal abortion at least in cases of rape, incest and danger to the woman’s life and health (Georgia)
  • Continue and expand measures to address all attitudes and stereotypes that lead to and result in discrimination and violence against women and girls (Guyana)

Accepted Recommendations

  • Abolish the discriminatory prohibition on women remarrying within 310 days following a divorce (Iceland)
  • Continue to promote women’s rights, including ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health services (Australia)

Noted Recommendations

  • Adopt a civil union agreement that grants equal rights from that of marriage to unmarried partners (Canada)
  • Amend legislation in order to grant equal recognition and legal rights to same sex couples, in particular with respect to laws governing marriage, cohabitation of couples, adoption and employment discrimination (Netherlands)
  • Adopt measures to protect the reproductive rights of women through the enactment of legislative reforms to fully decriminalize voluntary termination of pregnancy (Uruguay)
  • Continue working to ensure the effective protection of victims of gender-based violence by amending Law No. 1.382 of 2011 to adequately meet the specific needs of women victims and also amend article 262 of the Criminal Code to ensure that the definition of rape is based on the lack of freely given consent (Spain)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Adopt a comprehensive definition of discrimination against women in line with Article 1 of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (Botswana)
  • Adopt measures to combat violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, repealing the section of the Penal Code that criminalizes homosexuality with the death penalty, as previously recommended (Uruguay)
  • Ensure that the rights of women are respected, protected and fulfilled including their rights to sexual and reproductive health, addressing discrimination through wife inheritance laws and eliminating child marriage (New Zealand)
  • Take further measures to fulfil its obligations under the CEDAW Convention and the Security Council Resolution 1325 to protect women from sexual violence in IDP-camps and that allegations of misconduct are investigated and brought to justice, and,  in this context, establish an oversight mechanism for security forces, that meet with international human rights standards (Sweden)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Repeal its reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and eliminate domestic provisions regulating legal capacity, divorce and guardianship systems and inheritance that currently discriminate against women, and advance women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (Estonia)
  • Immediately release all Human Rights Defenders, in particular women (Germany)
  • Review the male guardianship system and to reject amendments to laws when this amendments discriminate against women and girls, and to enact new laws and enforcing existing laws to protect women and girls against violence, including when the violence is exercised by their pairs or members of the family (Mexico)
  • Criminalise sexual violence against women and children including migrants and ensure all perpetrators are punished accordingly (Botswana)
  • Continue the dynamic in favour of women’s rights by ensuring more access to justice for women and girls who are victims of domestic violence (Gabon)
  • 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)

Accepted Recommendations

  • Support the full realisation of sexual and reproductive rights and access to relevant health services for all (Australia)
  • Adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents (Botswana)
  • Strengthen education on sexual and reproductive health appropriate to age and improve access to sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people, as well as carry out awareness-raising actions to promote the support of parents and local communities (Austria)
  • Strengthen the training of health personnel on adolescents, youth and sexual and reproductive health (Iceland)
  • Align its legislation with the Maputo Protocol, ratified by Senegal in December 2004 (Canada)

Noted Recommendations

  • Repeal all provisions that give rise to discrimination and violence based on any ground, including sexual orientation and gender identity, and guarantee the respect for fundamental freedoms for all citizens, including article 319 of the Criminal Code (Chile)
  • Revise the Criminal Code to bring it in line with the regional and international law and standards, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, including by criminalising marital rape, prohibiting early and forced marriage and decriminalising abortion       (Slovenia)
  • Remove from the Family code any provisions that allow for the discrimination of women in law or in practice, including Article 152 assigning marital authority to the husband, and Article 277 assigning paternal authority to the father (Germany)

 

Click here for the full list of UPR31 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.