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Universal Periodic Review of Iceland at the Human Rights Council

UK statement delivered on 1 November 2016.

The UPR takes place at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.
The UPR takes place at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.

The United Kingdom acknowledges the good human rights record of Iceland since the last Universal Periodic Review, noting legislative developments on gender equality and the rights of immigrants, asylum-seekers and elderly persons over the reporting period.

However, to substantiate these developments, the United Kingdom would be grateful for an update on levels of racial and ethnic discrimination, especially given the increases in asylum seekers in Iceland. The United Kingdom noted high, but falling, percentages of migrant survey participants in 2012 having experienced racism or prejudice, as quoted in Iceland’s national report.

The United Kingdom supports the establishment of a national human rights institution in Iceland, based on the Paris Principles, and would appreciate an update on progress. The United Kingdom would also like to be kept informed of progress on the ratification of the OPCAT.

Similarly, the United Kingdom seeks an update on Iceland’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and would appreciate notification of conclusions made during the evaluation stage in the Althingi.

We have 2 recommendations:

1) That Iceland ratifies and implements the OPCAT at the earliest possible time.

2) That Iceland considers introducing a criminal law provision that expressly considers the racist motivation of an offence as a specific aggravating circumstance.

Published 1 November 2016