Central African Republic reviewed by the UPR
Monday, 04 May 2009 09:20

The Central African Republic (CAR) was reviewed by the universal periodic review (UPR) Working Group on 4 May 2009. The delegation did not use a lot of time to speak, rather leaving the floor open to more than 40 States to make comments and recommendations, many of which were only commending CAR for its efforts to protect and promote human rights. The delegation did not respond to most of the written questions submitted in advance and provided very brief replies to some of the comments and recommendations made. The key themes repeatedly mentioned by States included:

  • International financial and technical assistance: The CAR delegation made a request in their opening statement for international assistance to meet their human rights obligations. This request was supported by many States during the interactive dialogue, particularly other African States
  • Security forces: Many States focused on the alleged human rights abuses by security forces in CAR and urged the State to provide these forces with training in international human rights and humanitarian law, to end the culture of impunity, to stop and prevent the recruitment of child soldiers, and to prevent extrajudicial executions and prosecute those responsible. The issue of the demobilisation and re-integration of ex-combatants was also raised
  • International and national human rights institutions and treaties: The majority of States recommended that CAR consider signing and /or ratifying various human rights treaties and their Optional and Additional Protocols. The most commonly mentioned were the Convention against Torture and the Optional Protocols of the Convention of the Rights of the Child. Quite a large number of States urged CAR to abolish the death penalty and in this regard sign and ratify the second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR. A couple of States encouraged CAR to extend an open invitation to all the special procedures, and a number of States supported the idea of establishing a national human rights commission in accordance with the Paris Principles. Various States also recommended that CAR implement the recommendations of the treaty bodies, including the Human Rights Committee
  • Women and children: Discrimination against women and children was a concern for a large number of States resulting in recommendations that CAR bring its domestic legislation into line with international norms, in particular that it review its Family Law. A few States specifically urged the abolition of female genital mutilation and greater efforts to be made in guaranteeing girls the right to education and end violence against women
  • Internally Displaced Persons: Various States asked for further information as to how CAR was protecting the rights of IDPs and dealing with their return and settlement.


The Working Group on the UPR adopted the draft report on 6 May 2009. The Central African Republic accepted 64 of the recommendations made to it. It took 35 recommendations under consideration until the September 2009 session of the Council. These recommendations dealt with:

  • ratification of the Convention against Torture and its optional protocol, the Convention on the protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, the second optional protocol to the ICCPR, the protocol to the African Charter on the establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  • the establishment of a national human rights institution in accordance with the Paris Principles
  • cooperation with the treaty bodies and the special procedures
  • reviewing legislation to ensure respect for the principle of non-discrimination
  • abolishing the death penalty
  • preventing extrajudicial killings by the military
  • ending torture
  • prohibiting female genital mutilations
  • de-criminalising witchcraft
  • reintegrating child soldiers
  • abolishing self-defence militias
  • ensuring a safe environment for journalists.


The Central African republic pledged to: re-establish the national human rights commission by 2010; ratify ILO Convention no. 169 by the end of 2009 elaborate a national action plan on human rights by 2010; adopt new laws (criminal code, and the code on criminal procedure) by the end of 2009; and fight against impunity for human rights violations and economic crimes.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 May 2009 04:33
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