Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 11th Session
Universal Periodic Review of Seychelles
Statement by Australia
4 May 2011
Australia welcomes the delegation from the Seychelles and appreciates its constructive engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process.
Australia congratulates the Seychelles on the production of its national report. We particularly welcome the active involvement of civil society in its preparation.
Australia is mindful of the additional challenges faced by small states in engaging in the UPR without the support of a Permanent Delegation in Geneva. Australia will continue to do what we can to address this constraint, including through our support for the recently-established Commonwealth Small States Office in Geneva.
The Seychelles has made remarkable progress in addressing civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of its citizens.
Australia welcomes the establishment in 2009 of a National Human Rights Commission and passage in 2010 of the Seychelles Media Commission Act. Australia welcomes the Seychelles’ ratification in 2010 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and consideration now being given – including by civil society – to the report of the 2008 Constitution Review Committee. Australia takes note of the specific prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation in the Seychellois Employment Act of 1995 and the practical steps the Seychellois government has taken to provide human rights education – for example, through the translation of the Universal Declaration into Creole – and human rights training to police and prison officials.
Australia acknowledges the enormous effort being made by government and civil society to integrate all Seychellois in the Seychelles economy and society. The focus in the state housing and education program on the needs of the disabled is to be commended. Australia also commends the gender focus in the Seychelles social development program, notably with respect to domestic violence and prostitution.
Australia recommends the Seychelles:
1. Work toward ensuring that its National Human Rights Commission accords in full with the Paris Principles;
2. Facilitate greater diversity in radio broadcasting in the context of the current review of the Constitution; and
3. Enact legislation that expressly prohibits discrimination against a person on the basis of sexual orientation or identity.