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Government ready with human rights report for int’l review

By Rana Husseini - May 13,2018 - Last updated at May 13,2018

AMMAN — Government coordinator for human rights Basil Tarawneh has said that his office has finished drafting the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Human Rights 2018, which “reflects the country’s commitments to the human rights and well-being of its citizens”.

A key mechanism of the Human Rights Council conducted every five years, the UPR includes a national review of the human rights records in all 193 UN member states.

The report focuses on the 126 recommendations the Kingdom is committed to with regards to several human rights issues, Tarawneh told The Jordan Times.

He added that the report will be submitted to the UPR in July, while the civil society has already presented its shadow report in late March. Both reports will then be presented in Geneva in late 2018 during the UPR meeting, according to Tarawneh. 

Turning to the 171-page report, Tarawneh said that it is a “comprehensive and informative document that includes all the procedures that the government and its institutes have implemented in response to the UPR recommendations during the past four years”.

In the coming days, Tarawneh added, the ad hoc government committee that drafted the comprehensive document “will prepare the final draft report that will be submitted to the UPR in Geneva in November to be discussed by the Human Rights Council”.

Tarawneh added that the report outlines the activities and efforts made by the ministries and other government agencies to implement the comprehensive national human rights plan.

The UPR report cites examples of related achievements. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation has, for example, worked on ensuring gender mainstreaming in all its divisions and worked on ensuring gender balance among the employees by holding gender equality workshops annually.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry also focused on boosting the concepts and history of human rights through incorporating them into schools curricula and introducing new stories for students in 2nd to 6th grade that focus on accepting others, tolerance, human rights and cooperation with others, the UPR report said.

The ministry has organised several activities that focused on combating early marriage, fighting extremism and violence against women and children among other topics, according to the coordinator. 

The report also listed the Ministry of Social Development’s (MoSD) efforts to introduce new services, laws and centres to help persons with disabilities (PwDs) and highlighted various government agencies’ role in improving services, drafting new laws and installing equipment for PwDs.

The MoSD is in its final stages of opening the first guesthouse to shelter women whose lives are in danger for reasons related to family honour instead of keeping them at the country’s correctional and rehabilitation centres to protect them from being killed or harmed, the report said.

The MoSD has also worked with civil society organisations to fight human trafficking and opened a shelter to host these victims to provide them with all kinds of assistance, including legal, medical and psychological aid, the report said.

Turning to the judiciary branch and the Ministry of Justice, the report pointed out that several discriminatory articles against women were either removed or amended, including the abolishment of Article 308 that used to grant sexual assault offenders immunity from punishment if they married their victims.

The report also indicated that there are 215 women judges, representing 20 per cent of the total number of serving judges in the country. 

The document also touched on the issue of abuse and police brutality and the steps the Public Security Department (PSD) is implementing to safeguard the rights and freedoms of citizens in Jordan.

The report said that 44 police officers have been tried at Police Courts on charges ranging from abuse of authority to harming individuals while in detention in the past three years.  The report also noted that there are four police officers who are currently being tried at the Police Court on charges of torture.




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