Sexual Rights at UPR25

Published on May 18, 2016

The 25th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was held at the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, from 2-13 May 2016. Below are some sexual rights related highlights from each UPR25 review.

Fourteen countries were reviewed during UPR25 including: Antigua and Barbuda, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) collaborated with national NGOs in six of the countries reviewed to prepare stakeholder submissions and advocate for strong recommendations on sexual and reproductive rights. They include:

 

Adoption of UPR Outcomes: September 2016

The UPR outcome for each State reviewed during UPR25 will be adopted at the 33rd session of the HRC from 13-30 September 2016. 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.

 

Click here for the full list of UPR25Sexual Rights Recommendations

 

Accepted Recommendations

  • Review its domestic legislation in order to criminalize sexual abuse within marriage (Honduras)
  • Abolish all provisions that criminalize consensual same-sex relationships and adopt a national policy to promote tolerance and address discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons (Germany)

Noted Recommendations

  • Ensure comprehensive sexuality education with a view to preventing teen pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections, in particular HIV. (Slovenia)
  • Allow abortion, especially in cases where the pregnancy involves a risk to the life or health of the pregnant women, or is the result of rape or incest (Slovenia)

 

Accepted Recommendations

  • Combat more actively the stereotypes and prejudices to which LGBTI people are subject, organizing public awareness campaigns and ensuring that the perpetrators of acts of violence on the grounds of sexual orientation are prosecuted and punished (Chile)
  • Accelerate the adoption of a new comprehensive plan of action on gender equality and ensure its effective implementation (Belarus) Revise its Law on Combating Domestic Violence 3005/2006 to address the issue of marital rape … (Thailand)

Deferred Recommendations

  • 7.11. Take steps towards full legal recognition of same-sex relationships; this includes registered partnership, fiscal partnership, and marriage and the possibility to adopt children (Netherlands)

 

Deferred Recommendations

  • Continue to enhance access to sexual and reproductive health services for women, in particular women with disabilities, women with low income, women with HIV/AIDS, and women living in the rural areas (Thailand)
  • Criminalize different types of violence against women, to amend the Criminal Code to ensure that rape is defined according to the CEDAW recommendations (Lithuania)
  • Adopt a strategy and a comprehensive plan of action to counter discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (Chile)

 

Accepted Recommendations

  • Step up efforts to promote sexual education, particularly oriented towards adolescents paying special attention to the prevention of early pregnancy and to the control of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, as previously recommended (Mexico)
  • Review and reform all policies, laws and practices that restrict women’s rights to equal employment, property and credit, as well as access to medical care and related services (Haiti)

Deferred Recommendations

  • 6.35. Repeal laws that criminalise consensual same sex-conduct, and prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas of public life, including employment, health and education, bringing Samoa’s legislation into conformity with its commitment to equality (Canada)

 

Defered Recommendations

  • Continue and strengthen health education and family life programs, such as education on appropriate sexual and reproductive health for every age, and access to sexual and reproductive health, including contraceptive methods (Colombia)
  • Abolish section 148 of the Criminal Code, which criminalizes consensual sexual practices between persons of the same sex, as a step towards decreasing discrimination of same-sex relationships (Netherlands)
  • Adopt, without delay, a new legislation that fully incorporates the principle of equality of women and men as well as a prohibition of discrimination on the basis of gender in the public and private spheres (Germany)

 

Accepted Recommendations

  • Take all necessary steps to adopt legislative and other measures to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (Netherlands)
  • Draw up a national health policy in order to reduce the high rate of maternal mortality (Senegal)
  • Promote gender equality in law and in practice in order to increase the participation of women in the political and economic life of the country (Paraguay)

 

Accepted Recommendations

  • Redouble its efforts on HIV/AIDS response, particularly on prevention strategies and to take steps to address discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS (Ghana)
  • Ensure and guarantee non-discriminatory access to health services, education, justice and employment for all persons, irrespective of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity (Spain)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Ensure and guarantee non-discriminatory access to health services, education, justice and employment for all persons, irrespective of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity (Latvia)

Noted Recommendations

  • Decriminalize same-sex relations (Slovenia)

 

Accepted Recommendations

  • Implement and enforce the domestic violence law of 2013 as well as strengthen the protection and promotion of women’s rights through legislative and policy measures and by addressing social and cultural attitudes and practices (Norway)
  • Allocate resources to promote universal access to HIV prevention and treatment in state and NGO-run health-diagnostic facilities without fear of stigma and discrimination (Netherlands)
  • Strengthen sexual and reproductive health education, as recommended by CESCR (Slovenia)
  • Adopt concrete measures to tackle structural inequalities, occupational segregation, the gender pay gap, and to ensure equal opportunities for women in all spheres of life (Slovenia)

 

Noted Recommendations

  • Implement the provisions in the African Union’s Maputo protocol into its national legislation, including women’s rights to medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest and where the life of the mother or the foetus is in danger (Norway)
  • Improve access to justice for victims of intimate partner violence, including by enacting legislation that would recognize and criminalize marital rape, spousal battery and other forms of intimate partner violence (Ireland)
  • Repeal provisions criminalizing homosexuality, with the aim at fully respecting the principles of equality and non-discrimination (France)

 

Accepted Recommendations

  • Increase its efforts to ensure the right to the highest attainable standard of health also to sex workers by ensuring them access to health care and services and comprehensive sexuality education (Finland)
  • Establish an effective policy and legal framework to prevent and contrast all forms of discrimination and violence against women, including domestic violence, in order to ensure that women victims of violence receive adequate support and offenders are brought to justice (Italy)
  • Intensify efforts to promote policies in the area of prevention, sanction and eradication of all forms of violence against women, including measures aimed at promoting their rights regardless of … sexual identity (Mexico)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Eliminate the legal provision that states that the age limit of marriage could be lowered to 13 years old in cases where children were sexually abused and could consequently marry the perpetrators (Timor-Leste)

 

Accepted Recommendations

  • Ensure the right to health of persons living with HIV/AIDS, through the strengthening of inter-institutional coordination, the establishment of programs to make available essential medicines, as well as strategies to address the increased rate of infection by HIV and new infections among adolescents and young women (Colombia)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Adopt legislation prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, introducing also awareness-raising programs that promote respect for sexual diversity (Chile)
  • Ensure comprehensive sexuality education, with a view to preventing teen pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections, in particular HIV (Slovenia)

 

Deferred Recommendations

  • Implement fully the Family Protection Act from 2013, to ensure that police and prosecutors treat gender based violence, including within the family, as criminal matters, and to adopt a comprehensive national action plan to combat sexual and gender based violence, including raising general awareness through education and training, develop official and credible statistics, and ensuring access to justice for victims (Sweden)
  • Decriminalize sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex and amend national legislation to include sexual orientation and gender as prohibited grounds for discrimination (New Zealand)
  • Adopt measures that all cases of violence against women, including sorcery-related and sexual violence are duly investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted and punished, and to ensure a wide availability of assistance and protection programs for the victims (Czech Republic)

 

Accepted Recommendations

  • Strengthen measures to address violence against women, including sexual violence, provide help for its victims and hold accountable its perpetrators, while also ensuring effective implementation of the laws prohibiting FGM at the State level and adopting legislation prohibiting the FGM completely throughout the country (Czech Republic)
  • Continue taking strong measures to combat human trafficking and the sexual exploitation and abuse of migrant women and children, including by fully implementing the Human Trafficking Act of 2014, training law enforcement officials and ensuring adequate protection for victims of human trafficking (Sweden)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Ratify CEDAW to ensure full gender equality and adopt a comprehensive national action plan with clear goals and deadlines to eliminate all forms of violence against women, including sexual violence and FGM (Latvia)

Noted Recommendations

  • Adopt measures in the legislative and political spheres, including appropriate budget allocation, to guarantee, prevent and eradicate discrimination on … [the basis of] gender or sexual orientation (Honduras)

 

Accepted Recommendations

  • Conduct consultations involving all stakeholders, including civil society organisations, in order to examine whether Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution could be revised and the legal framework related to abortion broadened (Switzerland)

Deferred Recommendations

  • Adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents and ensure that sexual and reproductive health education is a part of the mandatory school curricula and targeted at adolescents (Lithuania)
  • Protect and promote reproductive rights without any discrimination, recognising reproductive rights include the right to the highest attainable standard of sexual and reproductive health, the right of all to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children, as well as decide on matters related to their sexuality, and to have the information and means to do so free from discrimination, violence or coercion (Canada)
  • Repeal legislation that criminalizes abortion and eliminate all punitive measures, in particular Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution (Iceland)

 

Click here for the full list of UPR25 Sexual Rights Recommendations