Italy reviewed under the UPR
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 16:53


On 9 February 2010, the Working Group on the UPR reviewed the situation of human rights in Italy. Italy was represented by a high-level delegation headed by the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Vincenzo Scotti, who used most of his presentation to respond to written questions submitted in advance by States. He stressed that Italy faced many challenges in the transformation from a country of emigration to immigration. In a 30 minute speech he also announced that Italy intends to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment once the relevant national mechanisms are put in place.


The question and answer session was used very effectively by all States, expressing concerns and providing specific recommendations to Italy. The main concern expressed by Algeria, Cuba, Pakistan, Yemen, Canada, Iran, Uzbekistan, Australia, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Brazil, Chile, Bangladesh, Austria, and Albania related to the increase of xenophobia, racial discrimination, and incidents of hate speech by politicians targeted at immigrants, Roma people and the Sinti population. Italy was recommended to strengthen public education and awareness programs in order to prevent negative attitudes and promote diversity. Moreover, Italy was urged to introduce penalties for hate speech targeting minority groups. States were also concerned about the lack of equal access to health care and social services for Roma and Sinti population, and the increase of forced evictions of Roma and Sinti persons without previous notification or consultation about these measures.


The rights of women was another key topic of discussion. Here, States specifically focused on reports of violence against women, including domestic violence; discrimination against women in the labour market, especially in terms of equal pay for equal work; and the lack of representation of women in all levels of politics, which was raised by Cuba, France, and New On a related issue, Zealand. Yemen, Turkey, Canada, and Belarus expressed concern regarding the increasing numbers of cases of human trafficking and modern slavery, especially of women and children. A number of States also expressed the need to create an independent human rights institution in accordance with Paris Principles (Kuwait, Algeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, India, Denmark), and to set a concrete time frame for establishment of an independent authority for children’s rights with a special focus on migrant children and children with disabilities as recommended by Norway, the Russian Federation, and Spain.


Among the other issues raised during the session were: the need to reconsider the current criminalisation of irregular migration and to take legislative measures to decriminalise undocumented persons; the rising number of reports of exploitation of migrant workers in informal sectors and in agriculture; the lack of media independence and the need to implement objective and transparent criteria for receiving broadcasting licences; the lack of steps taken to insure an independent judicial system; the lack of condemnation and effective prosecution of increasing attacks against LGBT groups; the improvement of conditions of detention especially relating to overcrowding; incidents of torture of prisoners by prison guards; the need to provide human rights education and training to police, prison and detention staff and the judiciary; the inclusion of a definition of torture and effective criminalisation of torture in domestic legislation as stipulated by the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as soon as possible, as well as the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.


Italy took considerable time during the session to address a number of questions which showed the willingness to cooperate with UPR in a constructive manner. At the conclusion it promised to provide further answers to questions not addressed due to time constraints.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 10:13
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