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Universal Periodic Review Australia 2015 Corey Irlam Co-Convenor Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby.

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Presentation on theme: "Universal Periodic Review Australia 2015 Corey Irlam Co-Convenor Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby."— Presentation transcript:

1 Universal Periodic Review Australia 2015 Corey Irlam Co-Convenor Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby

2 Acknowledgments Traditional Owners LGBTI Health Alliance for hosting webinar Anna Brown / Amanda Alford for sharing their presentations that this powerpoint has been based on To each of you for being engaged in the UPR processes

3 Overview What is the Universal Periodic Review? How is the UPR Process Helpful for NGO’s? Key Stages of the UPR and 2015/2016 Timeline LGBTI in UPR 2010/11 Process for getting involved in LGBTI content for UPR 2014/15 Key timelines

4 What is Human Rights? Human rights recognise the inherent value of each person, regardless of background, where we live, what we look like, what we think, or what we believe. They are based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect, which are shared across cultures, religions, and philosophies. They are about being treated fairly, treating others fairly, and having the ability to make genuine choices in our daily lives. Respect for human rights is the cornerstone of strong communities in which everyone can make a contribution and feel included. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on 10 December 1948, sets out the basic rights and freedoms that apply to all people. Drafted in the aftermath of World War Two, it has become a foundation document that has inspired many legally-binding international human rights laws (HRC, 2014).

5 What is the Universal Periodic Review? UN Human Rights Council process Established in 2006 when HRC was established All UN Member States once every 4 years

6 General Assembly Human Rights Council UPRSpecial Rapporteurs CAT, CERD, CEDAW, CRPD etc Funds & Programmes Security CouncilICTY, ICTR Economic and Social Council Funds & Programmes Commissions, Spec Agencies & Other Bodies SecretariatOHCHR Other Dept’s & Offices UN Structure

7 What is the Universal Periodic Review? The UPR differs from Treaty Bodies reviews in a number of ways: Peer review process not review by independent experts Indv Governments make recommendations UPR allows consideration of human rights record of all UN Member States as considers UN Charter, UDHR, human rights treaties state has ratified, voluntary pledges and IHL

8 Second UPR Cycle First cycle saw 48 countries reviewed each year. Australia’s First UPR 2011 Second cycle commenced May 2012 Second cycle focus on implementation of accepted recommendations and other developments in the human rights situation in Australia

9 What documents are used in the UPR? Australian Government Report OHCHR Information (10 pages) Other Stakeholder Information (10 pages) Other NGO Submission NGO Coalition Report (5300 words) AHRC Report All NGO and NHRI reports are collated by OHCHR staff into a single 10 page ‘other stakeholders’ report. Working with NGO’s to consolidate one submission increases likelihood OHCHR will include issues NGO’s raise. Aust Gov report is prepared by Attorney-Generals Dept. OHCHR report identifies compliance issues with UN treaties and summarises issues from Spec. Rapporteur reports

10 How is the UPR Process Useful for NGOs? Critique Australia’s human rights record Dialogue with Government Develop knowledge of human rights in Australia Use of international human rights standards to secure domestic implementation and use in law reform, policy development, advocacy and litigation One of a range of international processes as part of broader advocacy

11 What Happened Last Time? Overview of Australia’s First UPR NGO Involvement: Joint Report, Mission visits and NGO delegation Lessons/Insights

12 NGO Involvement in 2015 Review What will we produce and do? (Joint NGO Report of 5630 words, Factsheets, Lobbying, Follow up) How can/will NGO’s be involved? NGO Coalition

13 NGO Involvement in 2015 Review Consultation and teleconferences Identification of gaps/new issues and areas Reflection on last UPR and implementation Drafting, writing and endorsing draft Joint Report Preparation of factsheets Lobbying and advocacy Follow up on implementation of recommendations

14 What did we say about LGBTI in the NGO UPR report in 2010? NGO Report – July GLBTI Communities: Recent amendments to federal laws gave equal financial and workplace benefits to unmarried same-sex couples. 17 However, GLBTI Australians continue to experience higher levels of discrimination and assault. 18 Australia should extend equality in marriage and parenting laws 19 to same-sex couples, and recognise sex and gender identity in all official documents. 20 Federal law should prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, Intersex and relationship status. 21

15 What Has Happened Since Last Time? Impact of voluntary commitments and recommendations on domestic policy, NGO lobbying etc Monitoring of implementation Role of NGOs: Joint NGO Update Report Australian Human Rights Commission annual progress reports

16 NGO Coalition – LGBTI Contacts Corey Irlam VGLRL All LGBTI NGO’s LGBTI Coordinating / Lead NGO Advisory Committee Corey Irlam Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby or Coordinating Committee Anna Brown Human Rights Law Centre or (03)

17 Australia’s Next UPR Timeline: Key Stages and Dates 23 March 2015: NGO Report(s) Due 20 July 2015: Government Report Due November 2015: Australia’s Appearance at HRC (‘Working Group’) Jan/Feb 2016: Adoption of ‘Outcomes Report ’

18 Australia’s UPR Timeline: NGO Input 30 January 2015: Contributions from Lead NGOs Due 23 March 2015: NGO Report(s) Due Dec 2014–June 2015: Consultation and Feedback in Relation to Australian Government Report 20 July 2015: Government Report Due July 2015–Nov 2015: Lobbying Government including about Voluntary Commitments August/Sep 2015: Embassy Meetings Canberra & Sydney

19 Australia’s UPR Timeline: NGO Input 5–9 October 2015: Pre-Session UPR Info Session in Geneva November 2015: 23 rd Session of Human Rights Council- Australia’s Appearance at HRC Nov 2015–Feb 2016: NGO Advocacy (Gov to Accept Recommendations) Jan/Feb 2016: Adoption of ‘Outcomes Report’ Post Feb 2016: Education, Follow Up, Implementation, and Monitoring

20 LGBTI Section – Drafting Timelines DateItem Tues 2 December 2014 UPR LGBTI Survey Open Wed 3 DecemberUPR Webinar Mon 7 DecemberUPR Webinar Wed 14 January 2015LGBTI Survey Closes Mon 19 JanuaryLGBTI 400 words circulated for comment – Version 1 Fri 23 JanuaryComments on Version 1 close Mon 26 January LGBTI 400 words version 2 – Version 2 - comments open Wed 28 January Comments on Version 2 close Thurs 29 January FINAL draft submitted to NGO Coalition February 2015Potential minor changes as part of consolidation March 2015NGO’s invited to endorse final NGO Coalition

21 LGBTI Survey – The way to have input into UPR NGO 2015 text Asks you to review Australia’s Human Rights record on key areas raised in UPR 2010 Asks you to nominate top 3 human rights issues for UPR 2014 Any other comments The survey will be basis on which VGLRL will draft the 400 words – so make sure you share your views/thoughts

22 What sort of things should we include about LGBTI in UPR 2015? Think strategically - what are the key issues likely to be worked on in the next 4 years Include achievable goals as well as stretch goals Look at whole of country and issues where some parts of Australia are behind other parts Consider other UPR recommendations – see Submit your ideas to the LGBTI Survey

23 Draft 400 words for LGBTI VGLRL working with the Nat. LGBTI Health Alliance will draft the words based on your suggestions Monday 19 January – draft words will be put on If you received an directly from the LGBTI Health Alliance, then you’ll receive a reminder when Draft 1 text is up. If you didn’t – please and I’ll send an We do not accept massive changes on draft 2 so don’t forget to comment on draft 1!!

24 More information UPR 1 – review-of-australia-in-january-2011-ngo- materials/http://hrlc.org.au/universal-periodic- review-of-australia-in-january-2011-ngo- materials/ UPR 2 - LGBTI involvement in UPR 2 -

25 Questions Any Questions?

26 First UPR Cycle- what other countries recommended about LGBTI UN Member State RecommendationAust Gov. StanceAust Gov Explanation Continue to consolidate anti- discrimination laws protecting people on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender (recommendations 86.51, and 86.68). Already reflected Australia accepts the recommendation on the basis it is reflected in existing laws or policies and Australia will continue to take steps to achieve relevant outcomes. Equalise the recognition of same-sex relationships across and between states (recommendation 86.69). Accepted The Australian Government will continue to support a nationally consistent framework for relationship recognition that would need to be implemented by States and Territories. Recognise same-sex marriage including recognising overseas marriages (recommendation 86.70). RejectedThe Australian Government does not intend to amend the Marriage Act The Australian Government will continue to support a nationally consistent framework for relationship recognition that would need to be implemented by States and Territories.

27 First UPR – LGBTI Summary 1/2 January 2011 NGO RecommendationUN RecommendWhat’s happened since Federal law should prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, Intersex and relationship status anti-discrimination laws protecting people on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender Federal Anti-Discrimination laws were passed in 2013 Australia should extend equality in marriage and parenting laws to same-sex couples Equalise the recognition of same- sex relationships across and between states -QLD Relationship Register / Civil Partnerships (already in NSW, VIC, TAS & ACT) -No register in NT, WA, SA Recognise same-sex marriage including recognising overseas marriages Nothing. Continues to be rejected by Aust. Gov.

28 First UPR – LGBTI Summary 2/2 January 2011 NGO RecommendationUN RecommendComment recognise sex and gender identity in all official documents No UN state made this recommendation -Will be important to have trans advocates actively part of embassy lobby activities -May need more education info as part of factsheet -Aust Gov. Guidelines helps Australia should enact national legislation prohibiting the use of non-therapeutic sterilisation of children, regardless of whether they have a disability,13 and of adults with disability in the absence of their fully informed and free consent. Comply with and implement the recommendations of international treaty bodies prohibiting the sterilisation of women and girls with disabilities (recommendation 86.39). -Aust Gov accepted in part. -UPR 2 may include Intersex within NGO recommendation under disability section


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