UPR of Gabon: States commend implementation of first cycle recommendations
Friday, 26 October 2012 17:05


Gabon participated in its second universal periodic review on 23 October. Minister of Justice, Ms Ida Reteno Assonouet, headed the delegation. Ms Assonouet highlighted in her opening statement that all of the 30 recommendation made to it in the first cycle were accepted and for the most part implemented. Throughout the interactive dialogue, States echoed Ms Assonouet’s statement, by commending Gabon for its significant progress and ratifying a number of international conventions The abolition of the death penalty in 2010, the achievement of one of the highest school enrolments in the region, and the empowerment of women were mentioned as significant steps forwards in the progress of human rights in Gabon


Despite significant improvements, there were however some recurrent concerns from the first UPR review. States reiterated the need for Gabon to prevent the trafficking of women and children and to reinforce laws that prosecute traffickers. States also emphasised the need to put an end to censorship of the press and allow journalists to exercise their rights without harassment.  Ms Assonouet responded by stating that trafficking could not be singly attributed to Gabon because it is a transit country. Nonetheless, she pointed to measures to monitor borders and prosecute traffickers. With regard to freedom of the press, Ms Assonouet assured States that the press is free. However, she added, when the media starts to stir up racial hatred and war, it is important for the Government to act to prevent a breach of the peace.


New recommendations made by States in the second review included:


  • Strengthen the fight against ritual crimes, above all ritual murders.
  • Foster increased dialogue with civil society, especially regarding strengthening electoral processes.
  • Take the necessary measures to combat continued deforestation in order to ensure the enjoyment of economic, social, and cultural rights by indigenous communities.


Requests for information on the progress of implementation of recommendations from the first cycle included:

  • The status of national legislation on trafficking persons in accordance with the Palermo Protocol and international human rights law.
  • To advance the adoption of legislation for the establishment of a juvenile court system and    educational facilities in prisons.
  • The development of further legal frameworks in line with States obligations under international human rights instruments



Besides Ms Assonouet, no other members of the delegation took the floor to respond to the concerns and recommendations made by States. Even though there were two members of the Pygmy population in the delegation, they did not speak on concerns regarding the rights and integration into society of indigenous minorities.  


A total of 115 recommendations were made to Gabon, of which 105 were accepted and 10 rejected. Gabon admitted that the high number of recommendations made showed that there are major areas in which it needs to improve. It gave no explanation as to why it had rejected the 10 recommendations, which mostly related to the ratification of international instruments.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 11:19
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