08 February 2023
Eswatini has accepted 70.3% human rights recommendations
Following a review of Eswatini’s human rights records in November 2021, the Kingdom has accepted 156 out of 222 recommendations of the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in March 2022. The accepted recommendations relate to SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities and SDG 5: Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. The UPR is a State-peer driven process, under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations. The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, with support from three United Nations agencies in Eswatini (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – OHCHR; United Nations Development Programme – UNDP and United Nations Population Fund – UNFPA), has organised a 3-day (8-10 February) training and consultative workshop at the George Hotel in Manzini to develop an implementation plan for the UPR recommendations. Participants include the National Monitoring and Reporting Framework secretariat, the Commission for Human Rights and Public Administration, members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee and civil society organisations. Opening the workshop, Principal Secretary in the Ministry, Ms. Lindiwe Mbingo, who was represented by the Under Secretary, Ms. Gugu Nsibande, told participants that implementing the recommendations will improve the promotion of human rights for the people of Eswatini. “Today’s workshop is another result of the collaborative efforts between the UN and Eswatini,” she said. “For the first time, we are developing an implementation plan for the UPR recommendations which will be done in close consultation with all stakeholders drawn from Government, Non-Governmental Organisations, the Commission for Human Rights as well as the various UN agencies.” The implementation plan will facilitate Eswatini’s preparations for the UPR mid-term review in 2024 as well as the fourth cycle in 2026. The Principal Secretary encouraged all stakeholders to ensure that the plan is implemented. “Having a plan is an end to itself,” she said. “We all need to commit to the realization of this plan for the advancement of human rights for our people.” UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. George Wachira, who was represented by UN Eswatini Senior Human Rights Adviser, Ms. Laila Nazarali, expressed hope that this process will facilitate consultations and lead to strengthened collaborative efforts among all stakeholders, including marginalised groups. “I hope we can create a safe, open and enabling space for civil society actors and human rights defenders to follow up meaningfully to UPR recommendations, especially those related to civic space,” he said. The UN Resident Coordinator also applauded Eswatini in its ongoing efforts and progress made to improve the human rights of all Emaswati. The UPR workshop is also expected to introduce participants to the national recommendations tracking database (NRTD) which will facilitate management of information and action on human rights.