Guinea-Bissau reviewed by the UPR: new standing invitation to special procedures
Tuesday, 08 June 2010 15:22

The Working Group on the UPR conducted its review of Guinea-Bissau on 7 May 2010. The lack of civilian control over the armed forces was a main topic throughout the review and numerous States called for an end to corruption and impunity in the military ranks reflecting the recent political events in the country, including the the military’s illegal detention of Prime Minister Carlos Gomes, Jr and Army Chief of Staff Zamora Induta, among other state officials in early April 2010.


For its part, the six-member State delegation, led by Minister of Justice Mr Mamadu Saliu Jalo Pires, acknowledged the profound problems plaguing the country, including weak infrastructure, extreme poverty, health issues such as HIV/AIDS, and violence and discrimination against women and girls. Indeed, gender equality was highlighted as a priority area for improvement. While commending Guinea-Bissau for the frankness of its report and its progress in certain areas (particularly in holding democratic elections in June/July 2009 and in health and education promotion), States gave recommendations in the following areas:


  • Investigate and prosecute human rights violations committed by members of the military and establish independent inquiry commissions that are transparent and credible
  • Allow for full independence of the judiciary without military interference
  • Grant unconditional release to state officials currently being detained illegally
  • Protect journalists and human rights defenders, and investigate threats made against them
  • Adopt a legal definition of discrimination against women in line with CEDAW, increase the participation of women in decision-making by providing adequate human and monetary resources, and develop a national strategy to eradicate all forms of violence against women; and ban female genital mutilation
  • Provide access to clean water and basic health services, particularly reproductive health services for women
  • Increase efforts to combat human trafficking, especially of women and children; incorporate into current legislation a definition of trafficking in line with the Palermo Protocols
  • Consider reviewing strategies aimed at protecting children and align them with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including in the area of juvenile justice
  • Adopt and implement all necessary measures to prevent torture and ensure due accountability for such violations
  • Sign and/or ratify the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocol, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Convention Against Torture and its two Optional Protocol, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the two Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, and the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
  • Seek assistance from the international community, work more closely with human rights mechanisms, increase cooperation with treaty bodies and extend standing invitations to all UN special procedures.

Mr Pires responded directly to many of the concerns raised during. In particular he requested technical assistance for the ratification of the remaining international instruments and to combat poverty. Finally, Mr Pires extended an open invitation to all special procedures to visit the country. The review session ended 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 07:50
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