17 Jan 2018

Tonga urged to ratify core human rights treaties

8:43 pm on 17 January 2018

Tonga has been urged to ratify core human rights treaties at a UN gathering in Geneva.

Delegates speaks prior to the opening of a session of the Human Rights Council on the Palestinian territories situation on March 23, 2015 in Geneva. (redownloaded 21/12/18)

Delegates speaks prior to the opening of a session of the Human Rights Council on the Palestinian territories situation on March 23, 2015 in Geneva. Photo: AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

The kingdom's human rights record is under scrutiny this week at the UN Human Rights Council, part of the Universal Periodic Review of member countries.

Tonga was commended for bringing in new laws since its last review five years ago to boost child protection and literacy rates.

Many countries at the review session singled out the Family Protection Act of 2013 as a welcome step forward.

They also praised Tonga for policies towards gender equality.

But most countries expressed concern Tonga had not ratified key international conventions like the Convention Against Torture and the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms Discrimination Against Women known as CEDAW.

They also called for the abolishment of the death penalty and child marriage.

The countries conducting the review panel are Angola, Slovakia and the United Arab Emirates.

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