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

Universal Period Review of Timor-Leste

Statement by Australia

12 October 2011


Australia would like to acknowledge and congratulate Timor-Leste on its detailed and constructive participation in the UPR process.

Since independence in 2002, Timor-Leste has signed onto many major human rights treaties and continues to enact legislation that brings its domestic laws in line with its international obligations. We look forward to the adoption and full implementation of the Civil Code, the Children’s Code and the Land Law (which should improve women's ability to own property). We encourage Timor-Leste to consider ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

We are pleased that Timor-Leste has established a national human rights institution, the Provedoria for Human Rights and Justice, which is compliant with the Paris Principles. Australia encourages the government to continue to work closely with the Provedoria and give consideration to implementing more of its recommendations. We also welcome the establishment of the National Commission on the Rights of the Child and encourage Timor-Leste to continue its efforts to increase access to education and reduce malnutrition amongst children.

Australia notes Timor-Leste’s adoption of the Domestic Violence Law, which recognises domestic violence as a public crime, however we remain concerned by the high prevalence of domestic violence. We encourage the government to continue to commit appropriate resources and training to the Special Victims unit of the national police and likewise encourage training of the wider police force in the new law. We encourage Timor-Leste to continue to strengthen women’s access to the formal justice system.

We note that Timor-Leste continues to strengthen the mechanisms for supervising and ensuring the accountability of the national police and defence force. Australia is committed to continuing to provide human rights specific training to both forces to ensure each carries out its work in compliance with domestic and international human rights laws.

Australia commends Timor-Leste’s work on national reconciliation through the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation and with Indonesia on the Commission on Truth and Friendship. Australia encourages Timor-Leste to continue to implement the Commissions’ recommendations.

Australia recommends Timor-Leste:
1. Proceed to ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
2. Continue to take a comprehensive approach through its law and justice, civil society and health programs to address the high incidence of domestic violence, particularly strengthening women’s access to the formal justice system; and
3. Continue to provide adequate training, particularly in human rights, to the national police and defence force.