Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
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Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 12th Session

Universal Period Review of Togo

Statement by Australia

6 October 2011

Australia welcomes the delegation from the Togo and appreciates its engagement in the Universal Periodic Review Process.

We welcome recent initiatives by Togo to strengthen human rights protections, including by ratifying international human rights treaties.

We note progress made by the government in promoting women’s rights, including in the areas of education and employment, but further work needs to be done. We call upon the government to pursue gender equality in all areas of society, in accordance with its obligations under Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

We are also concerned by reports of limitations placed on freedom of expression and opinion, including restrictions on particular media outlets and journalists. We urge the government to ensure that all laws and policies conform with its international human rights obligations, including those relating to freedom of expression and opinion.

Australia welcomes recent government initiatives, such as the “ALLO 111” helpline, aimed at promoting and protecting children’s rights. We remain concerned however by reports that children in Togo continue to be subject to abuse including sexual violence and trafficking.

We encourage Togo to decriminalise homosexuality. Through the United Nations General Assembly, Australia has urged all nations to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Australia recommends Togo:
1. Strengthen efforts to fulfil its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, including by adopting and implementing legislation prohibiting female genital mutilation;

2. Take further steps to protect freedom of expression and opinion, in line with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

3. Strengthen efforts to fulfil its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and

4. Repeal legislation criminalising homosexuality, and introduce policies aimed at ending discrimination against homosexuals.