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Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 13th Session

Universal Periodic Review of the Netherlands

Statement by Australia

31 May 2012

Australia congratulates the Netherlands for its long-standing commitment to human rights domestically, and for its promotion of human rights internationally. We commend the passing of legislation to establish the National Human Rights Institution of the Netherlands in 2012, in accordance with the Paris Principles.

Australia recommends the Netherlands work with all sectors, including the education sector, to ensure the National Human Rights institute effectively supports the country’s commitment to human rights.

We note that Curacao and St Maarten’s new status as ‘independent countries’ in the Kingdom of the Netherlands brings human rights challenges, including that of establishing their own national human rights institutions. Aruba has acknowledged it also has work to do to revitalise its Human Rights Committee. We commend the Netherlands for establishing a Children’s Ombudsman. We recognise the challenge of implementing human rights education in the Netherlands, but note such education also helps safeguard the rights of the next generation.

Australia recommends the Netherlands continue to assist, when requested, Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten to develop human rights institutions, laws and policies.

We welcome the Government’s ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Australia further recommends the Netherlands ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.