This statement was delivered by the UK on Ecuador at the 27th Session of the Universal Periodic Review.
The UK strongly believes in a free media and freedom of expression and association. The Organic Law on Communications introduced in 2013 continues to cause concern by restricting the activities of the media to report freely, and is open to abuse and arbitrary application. It is important that civil society and human rights organisations and defenders have the right to operate and speak freely, and to engage with national and international organisations without interference nor hindrance. We urge Ecuador to apply the Law in an equitable and balanced manner.
The UK encourages Ecuador to ensure that the rights of indigenous people are respected and that they are consulted fully on projects that may impact on them.
We have three recommendations:
To align national laws and regulations on freedom of expression with international human rights standards.
To develop a national strategy to tackle modern slavery and contribute towards the realisation of SDG 8.7, and, as part of this, to, ratify the 2014 ILO protocol to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, and build law enforcement capability to further facilitate the investigation, prosecution and conviction of human traffickers.
To adopt an open, merit-based selection process when selecting national candidates for UN Treaty Body elections.