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CSO Strategy Workshop on Implementation of UPR Recommendations, 29 November- 1 December 2017, Kandy, Sri Lanka

CSO Strategy Workshop on Implementation of UPR Recommendations, 29 November- 1 December 2017, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Outcome Declaration

Sri Lanka’s human rights record has been reviewed twice at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), between 2008 and 2012. In total, during the first and second cycle, Sri Lanka received 303 recommendations. Out of these, Sri Lanka Accepted 175 and Noted 128 recommendations.
The third, and latest, review of Sri Lanka took place on 15 November 2017, at which the State received 230 recommendations. 177 were accepted and 53 noted at the adoption of the Draft report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review. The Government of Sri Lanka will provide its final responses to recommendations no later than the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council in March 2018. The State of Sri Lanka has until the next UPR in 2022 to implement received third cycle UPR recommendations.

The UPR framework encourages the active involvement of civil society in the implementation of UPR recommendations. The success of Civil Society Organisations’(CSO) engagement in the UPR ultimately depends on their ability to monitor and support the implementation of UPR outcomes in cooperation with their Government and other stakeholders.
Sri Lankan civil society representatives (see annexe 1) met for three days to develop; cooperative partnerships with national human rights organisation, a CSO action strategy, and a suggested implementation plan.

As a result of this three-day workshop, and based on the analysis of all the recommendations received by Sri Lanka in the third cycle, participating CSOs have agreed to advocate for and to prioritise the following:
  1. ·      Seek input from organisations not present at the workshop prior to finalising the workshop documents;[ST1] 
  2. ·      Continue to actively include a wide range of CSOs working on diverse human rights issues in the UPR process;
  3. ·      Raise awareness at the grassroots level of the rights of women particularly regarding the CEDAW review, CEDAW outcomes, and laws and regulations prohibiting domestic violence;
  4. ·      Advocate for the inclusion of a separate chapter on the rights of women in the new constitution;
  5. ·      Lobby the Government of Sri Lanka to implement laws to protect women;
  6. ·      Support the Government of Sri Lanka to create a Women’s Commission;
  8. ·      Lobby the Government of Sri Lanka to draft and pass the new constitution and to include economic, social, and cultural rights as fundamental rights;
  9. ·      Push the Government to act progressively in ensuring economic, social and cultural rights of the people, with particular attention in increasing resource allocations for health, education and social security systems
  10. ·      Resist development projects and economic plans which violate human rights and destroy environmental systems;
  11. ·      Lobby for an economic policy which protects the rights of local producers and communities and is in line with the sustainable development commitments of the Government of Sri Lanka;
  12. ·      Lobby the Government of Sri Lanka to return military occupied land to its previous civilian owners;
  13. ·      Advocate for the Government of Sri Lanka to enact legislation to protect people’s right to their land;
  14. ·      Support the establishment of a Commission on Plantation housing, and land rights;
  15. ·      Create a civil society action group to support the implementation of the 5-year National Plan of Action for plantation community’s social development;
  16. ·      Strengthen the operational capacity of the National Human Rights Commission in line with the Paris Principles;
  17. ·      Support the full implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan, including integration of third cycle UPR, CESCR, CEDAW and other treaty body recommendations;
  18. ·      Lobby the Government of Sri Lanka to publish a list of all enforced disappeared persons;
  19. ·      Push the Government to implement the recommendations from the final report of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms and engage in its the wide dissemination;
  20. ·      Lobby the Government of Sri Lanka to establish the Truth-Seeking Commission and judicial mechanisms for accountability;
  21. ·      Lobby the Government of Sri Lanka to criminalise enforced disappearance in national law;
  22. ·      Lobby the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate action to implement the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and to include representatives from families of the disappeared in the staff;
  23. ·      Advocate for the full implementation of the Witness Protection Act;
  24. ·      Support efforts to address any discriminatory laws and practices, in line with Sri Lanka’s accepted international obligations;
  25. ·      Advocate for the establishment of an Anti-Discrimination Commission;
  26. ·      Contribute to the Government of Sri Lanka’s effort to increase access of persons with disabilities to public life, education, employment, health, and political participation;
  27. ·      Advocate for the elimination of discriminatory laws and regulations against people living with disabilities;
  28. ·      Lobby for an increase in budget allocations to welfare programmes, particularly for those living with disabilities;

  29. ·      Support all initiatives to prevent and combat all forms of discrimination, in particular, those on the ground of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI);
  30. ·      Advocate for the amendment of the penal code Section 365 and 365A to decriminalise consensual same-sex conduct and displays of affection;

  31. ·      Advocate for the Government of Sri Lanka to adopt provisions for rehabilitation, within the IDP policy or through separate policy, to ensure durable solutions for Sri Lankan refugee returnees;
  32. ·      Advocate for the integration of the Convention of the Rights of the Child into domestic legislation;
  33. ·      Advocate for adequate resourcing of special courts, police, investigations, and the National Child Protection Authority for the improved protection of children;
  34. ·      Advocate for the full implementation of the Government of Sri Lanka’s National Language Policy, particularly in bilingual areas;

  35. ·      Advocate for the establishment of a National Independent Commission to ensure religious rights and protection of religious institutions, particularly of minorities;
  36. ·      Take concrete measures aimed at preventing and punishing the perpetrators of hate speech and incitement of violent attacks against ethnic and religious minorities;

With this Outcome Declaration, the signatories commit to continue working on the implementation of UPR recommendations throughout the third UPR cycle, together with all relevant stakeholders, and to meet regularly to provide updates on the status of their UPR activities.
Kandy, Sri Lanka, 1 December 2017

Annex 1
List of participating Civil Society Organisations

1.     National Fisheries Solidarity Organization
2.     The Law and Society Trust
3.     Naula Rural Development Federation
4.     Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform Law and Society Trust (LST)
5.     Uva Wellassa Women’s Organisation
6.     Jaffna District Fisheries Organisation
7.     Rural Liberation Society
8.     Lanka Farmer’s Forum
9.     District Fisheries Organisation Trinco
10.  Farmers’ Association of North Central Province
11.  FIAN Sri Lanka
12.  Sri Lanka Nature Group
13.  Equal Ground
14.  Disibility Organsiations Joint Front
15.  V for Rights
16.  Social Institute for Development of Plantation Sector
17.  Welfare Organisation of Persons With Disabilities
18.  Justice for All
19.  Affected Women’s Forum
20.  Women’s Action Network
21.  Savisthri
22.  Women’s Centre
23.  Rural Women’s Forum
24.  Mannar Women Development Front
25.  Mothers and Daughters of Lanka
26.  Sri Vimukthi Women’s Organisation
27.  Center for Human Rights and Development
28.  Child Development Initiative
29.  Mannar Social and Economic Development Organisation
30.  Forum for Returnees
31.  Centre for Policy Alternatives
32.  Right to Life
33.  Galle Human Rights Organisation
34.  Rule of Law Forum
35.  Jayawabodhay
36.  Uva Shakthi Foundation
37.  Fisheries Cooperative Federation, Kilinochchi