Within the frame of consultations of stakeholders for the second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Macedonia, Studiorum submitted a Joint Submission together with Roma S.O.S. and LIL. The UPR is conducted by the Human Rights Council (HRC) of every UN member state, on the basis of the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights instruments to which the state is a party, voluntary pledges and commitments made by the state, including those made by the candidate in elections to the Human Rights Council, as well as international humanitarian law, where applicable.
Our Joint Submission and all other documents for the review scheduled for January 30th, 2014, are now live online. It focused on four areas: (1) international obligations, (2) institutional and legal framework for Human Rights protection and promotion, (3) equality and non-discrimination and (4) minority rights. We are glad to see that a majority of the recommendations and a big part of the critical assessment of the current situation from the submission found their place in the Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (referred to in the text as ‘Joint Submission 6’).
A very positive development from this cycle is the increased interest with national CSOs for participating in the review. Out of the thirteen submissions, seven were submitted by national CSOs or with their contribution (six of which are joint submissions). In comparison, in the first cycle only three (out of a total of nine) submissions came from national organizations (one was an individual submission while two were from a coalition of organizations).
Another positive development is that one of the two national Human Rights institutions – the Ombudsperson, submitted its own contribution for the first time. We highlight this fact as, by submitting the UPR contribution, the Ombudsperson is acting upon the recommendations it received by the Sub-committee for Accreditation (SCA) when granted ‘B’ status (not fully in compliance with the Paris Principles). Namely, the SCA highlighted the importance that the Ombudsperson “[engages] with the international human rights system, (in particular the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms (Special Procedures and UPR)”.
This is only the beginning of the review of Macedonia. The HRC session will take place on January 30th, 2014. We will be closely following all developments and will continue our engagement in the process where and when possible. Further news and information in relation to this will be posted on our website.