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Chile reviewed by the UPR
Monday, 11 May 2009 03:52

 

The review of Chile under the UPR took place on the morning of 8 May 2009. The delegation of Chile was headed by Minister Secretary General of the Presidency Jose Antonio Viera Gallo, who provided a detailed presentation and then deferred to experts in answering questions. Over 50 States took part in a frank dialogue that included the following comments, questions and recommendations:

 

  • The focus of the discussion related to the rights of indigenous peoples. Many noted that ratification of ILO Convention No. 169 had been an important recent step. Sweden, Austria and others recommended that the State demarcate and restore indigenous lands, and consult with indigenous peoples before granting licences for land use, increase budget allocation, ensure indigenous representation in political affairs, and better protect freedom of assembly and expression for indigenous groups.  Chile explained that laws were presently going through congress in relation to the above, as well as the creation of a council of indigenous peoples for political representation.  
  • The Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Canada reiterated the concern of treaty bodies on Chile’s definition of terrorism and misuse of the counter terrorism law, and urged that police be held accountable for abuses. Uzbekistan also recounted allegations of police torture. Chile responded that the law is only applied on the basis of the alleged act committed, and that police excesses are dealt with by the courts.
  • Concerning women’s rights, Algeria, Japan and Pakistan called on the State to take effective measures increase women’s presence in the labour market and to ensure equal pay for equal work. Switzerland and Norway questioned the efforts being made to combat domestic violence and recommended that targets be set.  Sweden and Finland recommended that abortion laws be amended to comply with obligations under CEDAW and the ICCPR, yet the Holy See called for Chile to ‘adhere to the religious and cultural elements that make up the country’.
  • While States appreciated that the process of creating a national human rights institution was underway, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Mexico called on the Government to expedite the process and to create an institution in accordance with the Paris Principles. Germany asked how civil society was being involved in the process. 
  • Azerbaijan, Canada, France and Switzerland called for an end to trials of civilians by military courts as their jurisdiction is not in conformity with international norms.
  • Sweden, Netherlands and New Zealand called for sexual orientation to be included as grounds for discrimination in the draft anti-discrimination bill. Bangladesh called for Chile the uphold the right of the family by incorrectly claiming that Article 16 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights identifies the family as being between a man and a woman.
  • Ecuador questioned access to healthcare and education for immigrant children. Austria welcomed penal reforms but urged that persons under 16 be deprived of their liberty only as ‘a last resort’.
  • The Minister declared at the close of his statement that Chile would issue a standing invitation to all special procedures, and this was welcomed by a number of States. Others called for ratification of the Rome Statute, the Convention on Enforced Disappearances and the Optional Protocol to Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The United Kingdom advised that Chile expedite the process of identifying a national mechanism for monitoring the OPCAT, in discussion with civil society. Brazil also recommended that Chile should define torture in accordance with the definition under the Convention against Torture. 

 

Other issues raised included immigration policy (Morocco, Guatemala), freedom of religion and belief (Algeria), the rights of national minorities, particularly the Arab community (Egypt), efforts to combat trafficking (Japan), poverty and disparity between urban and rural populations (Malaysia, Latvia), prison conditions (Nicaragua, Holy See), training of police on human rights (United States), and the rights of persons with disabilities and older persons (Ukraine). 

ISHR's reports on the UPR reviews can be found here

Click here for general information about the UPR and reviews from this session onfthe Central African Republic, Monaco, Belize, Chad, Congo, Malta, New Zealand and Afghanistan.

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Last Updated on Monday, 11 May 2009 09:47
 
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