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AfricaMoney | August 22, 2017

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Mauritius lauded for human-centred approach to policies

Mauritius lauded for human-centred approach to policies

During the 17th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group held in Geneva, Switzerland, Mauritius was lauded for its ‘human-centred’ approach to policies. (Image: UPR Info)

The island nation is increasingly being regarded as a successful model of a multicultural, multiracial, multi-ethnic and multireligious society by the international community. During the 17th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group held in Geneva, Switzerland, Mauritius was lauded for its ‘human-centred’ approach to policies.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Arvin Boolell, led a delegation comprising officers from the State Law Office and the Human Rights Commission to the UN headquarters for the review on 23 and 25 October.

Boolell said that the international forum now has a better understanding of Mauritius as a melting pot of different cultures, ethnicities, races and religions, where the right to be different is certainly acknowledged but it is important to reconcile these differences to achieve unity.

The minister added that Mauritius was praised for positive developments having taken place since the last review. In particular the enactment of the Equal Opportunities Act (Recommendation 41) that provides better protection against discrimination, was lauded, as was the island nation’s decision to maintain a database of Human Rights (HR) Indicators. Boolell added that the project for the HR Database, being worked out between the United Nation Development Programme in Mauritius and the University of Mauritius, is slated to be finalised soon.

However, Boolell pointed out that the UPR also highlighted issues that need to be improved on the human rights front. In all, the country has accepted 114 of the 150 recommendations of the working group. Among the recommendations, important ones are increased protection and education for the disabled, overcoming racial discrimination, review of legislation on child protection, improving the human rights situation of working migrants, and the strengthening of domestic violence law.

The minister said that Mauritius is committed to implement these recommendations and show concrete action prior to the 25th session of the Human Rights Council in March 2014 where the outcome of the 17th session will be adopted. The minister called on stakeholders to conduct monthly meeting to fast track legislations, programmes and policies based on the working group recommendations.

The UPR is a mechanism spearheaded by the Human Rights Council that examines the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. Reviews take place through an interactive discussion between the state under review and the UPR Working Group, comprising 47 members of the Human Rights Council. The exercise in Geneva was the second UPR for Mauritius and focused on the changes brought about to improve the country’s human rights situation and on the implementation of the recommendations accepted by the island nation following the first review held in February 2009.

Source: Government of Mauritius

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