Seychelles’ human rights performance reviewed by peer at the UN
Seychelles underwent its second cycle review under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism of the United Nation's (UN) Human Rights Council yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland. The delegation for Seychelles was led by Secretary of State at the Foreign Affairs Department, Ambassador Barry Faure. The session was telecast live online and watched by many Seychellois as well as interested partners abroad.
The UPR is a peer-review mechanism, whereby UN States engage in an interactive dialogue and provide recommendations in view of furthering human rights within domestic and international frameworks. The UPR process is cognizant that tailor made solutions — rather than one-size fits-all approaches — are essential to improve upon fundamental rights.
In elaborating upon the significant strides Seychelles has made since its first UPR review in 2011, Ambassador Faure noted that in the Seychelles context “guaranteeing human rights for all is not a concept of radical change, but rather a part of everyday life, and present in the smallest of actions”. He made particular emphasis on the irrefutable effect that climate change has upon the fundamental rights of all persons, but especially with regards to SIDS and low lying coastal areas. He noted that “we are drowning from the consequences arising out of a world that is not making climate change the highest priority that it must be. These are not metaphors, but a reality that the people of my country face”
Sixty States attended Seychelles' UPR and shared their views, making about 160 recommendations towards improving Seychelles' human rights performance. Seychelles will now study these recommendations and following consultation at the national level, convey its position on each recommendation to the Human Rights Council at its next session.
Seychelles' review under the UPR is based on the National Report submitted by the Government of Seychelles in November 2015; a compilation report summarizing various comments and recommendations Seychelles has received under the various UN human rights mechanisms and treaty bodies, compiled by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; and the Summary of Stakeholders information, which is a summation of inputs from the National Human Rights Commission and Ombudsman's Office, the Civil Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS) and a London based NGO called Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children.
The delegation was also composed of: Ambassador Selby Pillay, Seychelles' Permanent Representative to the UNOG based in Brussels; Ms Michelle Marguerite from the Social Affairs Departments; Ms Gayethri Murugaiyan from the Foreign Affairs Department; Ms Irene Sirame from the Attorney General's Chambers; and Ms Audrina Dine from Seychelles' Mission in Geneva. The delegation was also supported by a back-up delegation based in Seychelles compromising of resource persons from relevant agencies in Seychelles.