Human rights reviews concern eight countries, including Syria
GENEVA – ADF International filed eight submissions Tuesday with the 26th session of the Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations in Geneva. The submissions focus on the human rights situation in countries across four continents and cover a wide range of issues, including the right to life, freedom of conscience, religious liberty, free speech, abortion, maternal health, and the family.
“It is very important to participate in this international review process and help to improve the human rights situation in as many countries as possible, and especially in Syria, for which we also filed a report,” said Elyssa Koren, director of UN Advocacy for ADF International. “Too often, the UN’s review processes focus on the wrong issues, and fundamental human rights are neglected. As our report makes clear, the ongoing genocide in the Middle East should be at the top of the UN’s priorities.”
The Universal Periodic Review mechanism assesses the human rights situation in all 193 UN member states. The process is state-driven and provides the opportunity for each member state to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situation in their countries. The UPR is designed to give civil society, as well as fellow UN member states, an opportunity to help promote fundamental human rights around the world.
ADF International used its recent UPR submission to raise awareness about the ongoing genocide of Christians and other religious minorities in Syria by ISIS. The report focuses on the crucial importance of protecting the right to life of all and prosecuting unlawful killings and executions.
“Syria must prioritize its obligation to uphold freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, and go after the perpetrators of genocide on its territory,” said ADF International Legal Counsel Ewelina Ochab, who drafted the report on Syria.
ADF International also submitted detailed reports on the following countries: South Sudan, Moldova, Haiti, Lithuania, Iceland, Togo, and Uganda.
On March 17, ADF International will co-host a side event at the 31st session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Mariela Shaker, a Syrian violinist; Johny Messo of the World Council of Arameans; Jacqueline Isaac of Roads of Success; and Ruben Navarro, senior UN counsel for ADF International will address the issue of the ongoing genocide of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. The event will be held at Palais des Nations, United Nations Headquarters, Geneva, Room XXI at 2 p.m. CET. Requests for interviews can be submitted before the event to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADF International is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.