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Friday, 18 February 2011


The following is from the Swazi Bill of Rights blog by Jackson Rogers, posted yesterday (17 February 2011).


Human Rights Review of Swaziland

The Universal Periodic Review of Swaziland is happening this year, with civil society submissions about the human rights situation in Swaziland due by 14 March 2011. For more information about this new United Nations procedure, there is a page here:

For civil society groups interested in making a submission, look here:

I have been asked by a few people what documents are used in the review and I have to confess I was a bit stumped. But research reveals the following:

1. The basis of the review is:

(a) The Charter of the United Nations;

(b) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

(c) Human rights instruments to which a State is party;

(d) Voluntary pledges and commitments made by States, including those

undertaken when presenting their candidatures for election to the Human Rights Council (hereinafter “the Council”).

2. In addition to the above and given the complementary and mutually interrelated nature of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, the review shall take into account applicable international humanitarian law.

(For the document which has this information, and which establishes the review mechanism, click HERE (word file).)

The (rather paltry) list of human rights treaties to which Swaziland is a party reads as follows: the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (since 7 May 1969); the Convention on the Rights of the Child (6 October 1995); the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; the Convention Against Torture (both 26 April 2004); the Convention on Civil and Political Rights; and the Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (both 26 June 2004).

I haven’t yet reviewed what the Human Rights Council (the body of experts that undertakes the review) has been ruling regarding “international humanitarian law” but this presumably provides some scope for moving beyond the UN treaties.

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