HRC discusses UPR with state officials

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has had discussions with government officials on implementing the recommendations mentioned during the last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Sri Lanka in 2008 in Geneva.

According to the Human Rights Commission the discussion was held as a prelude to the second cycle of 14th session of the UPR working group meeting which will be held from 22nd October – 5th November 2012 in Geneva where Sri Lanka will be among the countries reviewed.

The government has accepted 52 while expressing a general response to 8 of a total number of 85 UPR recommendations which were given by the working group in 2008 and has rejected 25 of the recommendations.

The accepted recommendations include the strengthening and ensuring of the independence of human rights institutions such as the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, to take measures to safeguard freedom of expression, and to adopt necessary measures to safeguard the human rights of IDPs in accordance with applicable international standards.

UPR recommendations such as to extend standing invitations under the special procedures and to accept an independent international HR mechanism on the ground as soon as possible have been rejected by the Government, while it has expressed a general response to recommendations such as to sign and ratify the International Convention for Protection of All persons from Enforced Disappearances.

The UPR is a human rights mechanism which was established by the UN General Assembly through which the UN Human Rights Council reviews, on a periodic basis, the fulfillment of the human rights obligations by each country.

The Human Rights Commission says among the government institutions which took part in the discussions were the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Mass Media and Information, Ministry of Social services and the Ministry of Resettlement.

During the discussions the participants expressed their views on the successful handling of various issues of human rights during and after the end of the civil war situation, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka said.

Separate discussions were also held between the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and civil society groups in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)