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Human Rights Council 33, UK Statement on the Universal Periodic Review of Swaziland, 22 September 2016

UK Statement on the Universal Periodic Review of Swaziland, given at the Human Rights Council 33.

The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva
The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

Thank you Mr President,

The UK thanks Swaziland for its continued commitment to the Universal Periodic Review process.

We welcome the recent steps taken by the Government to amend the Suppression of Terrorism Act 2008. This included engagement with civil society on proposed amendments.

We continue to urge Swaziland to take urgent steps to ensure the Swazi legal system meets the requirements of the UN Basic Principles on the independence of the judiciary. We encourage Swaziland to make the necessary structural changes and amendments to legislation to ensure that those Principles are adhered to and that the judiciary are effectively independent and impartial, institutionally and individually. This is particularly the case with appointments, suspension or removal of judges.

We also note that legislation and customary practice in Swaziland continues to prevent women from achieving their potential, and limits the role they play in society. Swaziland should enact legislation to protect equality of rights for women, in line with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

We further note that a number of previously supported recommendations from the first cycle such as on OPCAT ratification are yet to be implemented and we hope that Swaziland will implement all supported recommendations during the second cycle.

Thank you,

Mr President.

Published 22 September 2016