On 22 September 2016, civil society coalitions from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia submitted stakeholders’ reports to
the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) within the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) scheduled for May 2017. The reports examine the human rights situation in the three countries during the last four years and put forward a set of concrete recommendations to address priority human rights concerns.
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) and EuroMed Rights launched in January 2016 a regional Maghreb initiative around the upcoming UPR sessions of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. The project aims at promoting the participation of local civil society organisations in the UPR process and developing joint stakeholders’ reports for the review. Furthermore, the project includes in later stages advocacy activities to push for the adoption of priority recommendations identified by local civil society and human rights groups as well as setting up a follow up strategy to monitor the implementation of the recommendations adopted.
CIHRS and EuroMed Rights organised three workshops in the first half of 2016 aimed at strengthening local civil society’s engagement with the UPR process. The workshops included trainings in technical writing, monitoring, as well as methods of engagement of civil society actors at different stages of the UPR process, including in following up on the implementation of recommendations accepted by the State.
The Algerian members of the coalition includes the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights, the Coalition of families of the disappeared in Algeria (CFDA), the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH), the National Autonomous Union of Public Administration Staff (SNAPAP), the Network of Lawyers for the Defense of Human Rights (RADDH), and the Rally for Youth Action (RAJ). The report prepared by the Algerian coalition prioritized several thematic areas including freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, trade union rights, the situation of migrants and asylum seekers as well as enforced disappearances.
The Tunisian coalition includes the Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights, the Tunisian Forum for Social and Economic Rights, the General Workers’ Union, the Association of Tunisian Democratic Women and the Tunisian Association for Women for Research for the Development. The report prepared by the coalition was endorsed by several other Tunisian NGOs and includes a wide range of issues from social and economic rights to transitional justice, individual liberties and civil and political rights.
The Moroccan organizations that have participated in the UPR training workshop organized by CIHRS and Euro-med Rights in Rabat in February 2016 were the Moroccan Association for Human Rights, the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights, ADALA association, Prometheus Institute for Human Rights and Democracy, the Democratic Association of Women of Morocco, Alternatives Forum of Morocco and the Sahraoui Association for the Victims of Violations. These associations are all leading members of three different UPR coalitions and have submitted today their reports covering a wide scope of issues including social and economic rights, women’s rights, judicial reforms, minority rights, civil and political rights and the human rights situation in Western Sahara.
The UPR is a unique peer-review mechanism created within the framework of the UN Human Rights Council during which the human rights records of all 193 UN member states are assessed every four and half years and whereby recommendations on improving the human rights situation are presented to the States Under Review. The regional initiative launched by CIHRS and EuroMed Rights intends to make of these reviews an enhanced opportunity to scrutinize the three states’ human rights record based on their respective national and international obligations.
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