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Human Rights Council: 17th Session of Universal Periodic Review Working Group, Geneva, 21 October to 1 November 2013

Statement by UK Mission Geneva on Mauritius' Universal Periodic Review, 23 October 2013

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UN Building in Geneva

The Universal Periodic Review is taking place at the Palais des Nations, Geneva

Thank you Mr President.

The United Kingdom welcomes Mauritius’ engagement in the UPR process and the Human Rights Council. We are pleased by positive progress in several areas since 2009, including the establishment of the Equal Opportunities Commission. Whilst encouraged by Mauritius’ commitments and legislative framework regarding equality and non-discrimination, we note that statistics for gender-based violence continue to cause great concern, and it is likely that the problem is under reported. We urge the Government of Mauritius to prioritise efforts to tackle gender-based violence.

We are concerned to see that detention on the basis of provisional information may be retained under the new Police and Criminal Evidence Act .We urge reform of the system of detention on the basis of “provisional charges” which allows suspects to be detained, sometimes for several months, on the basis of provisional information provided by the police, before a charge is made.

We recommend:

  1. Improved emphasis and transparency in tackling gender-based violence by introducing specific measures to encourage more reporting by the public and increased investigations, prosecutions, convictions and sentences to deter those who commit gender-based violence.
  2. Ensure that the new Police and Criminal Evidence Act fully addresses the practice of detention on the basis of “provisional information” by specifying that detention beyond a short time limit, defined in statute, is only possible once a suspect is formally charged.

Thank you Mr President

Published 24 October 2013