4 Nov 2019

Fiji's human rights record up for review again at UN

4:58 pm on 4 November 2019

Fiji's human rights record is to be examined by the United Nations Human Rights Council this week.

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Photo: 123RF

It's the third time that Fiji has come up for review by the council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group.

Fiji's delegation to the review in Geneva will be headed by the country's Chief Justice, Kamal Kumar.

The three country representatives serving as rapporteurs, or the "troika", to conduct the review of Fiji are Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

Universal Periodic Review is a peer review that all UN countries go through.

States are expected to demonstrate steps they have taken to implement recommendations posed during their previous reviews

During the previous review, in 2014, Fiji was urged to ratify key human rights treaties and, among other actions, allow in UN rights experts including the Rapporteur on Torture.

Ahead of this week's review, the UN council issued a national report which outlines the main areas for review.

It notes Fiji's progress on various fronts, including gains in access for citizens in relation the rights to health and education, as well as in efforts against slavery and trafficking.

Areas of concern the report notes include recent allegations against the government relating to basic civil liberties of trade unionists and restrictions on freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

The webcast of the session will be available here.