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Seychelles defends human rights reporting record

Seychelles defends human rights reporting record ( The Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Jean-Paul Adam has responded to criticism of the Seychelles' human rights reporting record following the publication of a press release, which he says has unfairly targeted the Seychelles government and fails to consider the constraints that developing states are operating within.

The Minister has said that the statement from the Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), a small Swiss based non-governmental organization (NGO), was unnecessarily sensationalist and implied a habitual violation of human rights. The statement also falsely accused the government of not cooperating with the United Nations Human Rights Committee and refusing to submit a report.

“The inability, as opposed to unwillingness, to comply with the procedural rights like not submitting periodic reports is drastically different from violating substantive individuals' rights," said the Minister.

“The government of the Republic of Seychelles has been very open about its capacity constraints in dealing with the reporting burden of major international conventions. The UN system has recognized our constraints and has not made any public statement indicating that we have violated the Convention. We have spoken openly about this reporting problem also to local partners including NGOs," Minister Adam added.

The Minister explained that though Seychelles ratified the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1993, the vast reporting burden on developing states and in particular on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Seychelles has meant that most are unable to consistently comply with the reporting procedures.

The Minister added that the submission of reports is a very resource-intensive process and that Seychelles has been very vocal in the international arena in calling for greater assistance in addressing the limited human resources and capacity constraints that SIDS are faced with.

Minister Adam went on to say that considering the NGO's own website lists over 91 countries, including affluent countries such as the Unites states of America and Canada among the majority of developing states, as either having overdue reports or having failed to submit any, it is clear that meeting the reporting load is a very common problem.

The Minister also clarified that as Seychelles is party to 8 of the core human rights conventions, it would be next to impossible for countries that have inherent and structural human resources constraints to deliver the full number of reports required within the given timeframe.

The Minister concluded by saying Seychelles would welcome any measures that facilitate the reporting process and that he hoped that the NGO in question would take note of the clarification in the context of the Seychelles government's efforts to meet their international commitments.

MEDIA CONTACT: Alain St. Ange, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, Email:

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