42nd UPR Session Argentina, Benin and Zambia
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a cyclical review process of all 193 UN Member States. Once every four years the human rights situation in each State is reviewed. The State under review declares what action has been taken and the measures to be adopted to improve human rights within the Country. During the UPR, specific recommendations are made by the Member States of the Human Rights Council to the State under review. The UPR sessions for Argentina, Benin, and Zambia were held between the 23rd and 30th of January 2023.
The delegation of Argentina, Benin, and Zambia emphasized the efforts undertaken to improve the education sector in terms of access and quality, especially for girls and children from rural areas. Argentina further established structures to close the technological gap at schools all over the country. On another positive note, all three countries presented the achievement of free public health care, and, in the case of Zambia, a special focus on mothers in need of sanitation. Benin extended its focus on health by planning to ensure safe and universal access to drinking water by 2030. This is based on the promise made to provide its citizens with basic services, which also includes a strategy to fight against corruption more efficiently. Furthermore, Benin and Argentina mentioned positively the improvements achieved to prevent torture, while Zambia presented the abolition of the death penalty.
In the following discussion, other States expressed their recommendations to the reviewed States. Recommendations to Argentina focused on the elimination of discrimination against women – with particular emphasis on the multiple femicides happening in the country -, the rights of indigenous peoples, and the combat of racism and hate speech. In the case of Benin, the attending States highlighted the importance of the elimination of all forms of violence and exploitation against children, especially the practice of vidomegons, which is the placement of children, especially girls, with third parties to supplement the parents in their educational task; this positive tradition has turned into an exploitative network of child placement for domestic and other work, that is today assimilated to the sale and trafficking of children.
The recommendations for Zambia also dealt with child exploitation and marriage. Additionally, many countries agreed that further efforts are needed to ensure the rights of migrants in Zambia and eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities, particularly those with albinism.
IIMA contributed to the 42nd UPR session with Joint UPR Submissions on Argentina, Benin and Zambia. The written report was based on the information provided by local human rights defenders. VIDES, as well as other national and international partners, contributed to these reports.
The recommendations made by IIMA, VIDES, and their partners focused on the following topics:
Argentina: the right to (sustainable) development, the right to education and the inclusion of persons with disabilities, the elimination of and awareness-raising about violence against children, the elimination of gender violence, the fight against discrimination and xenophobia, and the rights of indigenous peoples and their participation in decision-making processes regarding their territory.
Benin: the right to education and the enrollment of girls, the employment of youth and the creation of professional training centers, and the elimination of violence against children by strengthening the judicial system in prosecuting perpetrators.
Zambia: the right to education and the increase of national budget allocated to the educational sector, the elimination of violence against children, and the elimination of child labor and marriage by working with the civil society and local authorities
To consult all UPR submissions presented by IIMA, please click here.