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Seychelles' responses to Human Rights Council well received in Geneva

Seychelles' responses to Human Rights Council well received in Geneva ( Following Seychelles' presentation of the human rights report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) on May 4, 2011 as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, the government of the Republic of Seychelles has also participated in the 18th Session of the HRC in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 21.

At this session, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by the Director for the Treaties and Legal Affairs Division, Mrs. Sandra Michel, presented responses of the government of Seychelles to the recommendations made by the UPR Working Group on May 4, 2011.

In her opening remarks, Mrs. Michel said that:

“In Seychelles the concept of a great nation is not defined by its budget surplus or bank reserves, but by the happiness index of each one if its citizens: we call that people-centered development. A development that takes into consideration the individuals that make up the workforces and take special care of the people they, too, care about."

All of the major recommendations were addressed in the government response presented, and included the acceptance of a number of recommendations. The recommendations included the strengthening of the Seychelles National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), as well as issues relating to domestic violence, protection of children, discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, acceptance of the HRC Special Procedures, and assistance required for fulfilling the pending human rights reporting obligations.

In her concluding remarks to the council, Mrs. Michel stated:

“This First Universal Periodic Review has been a very fruitful and enriching experience for the Seychelles. We are in the position now to say that we have made full use of this important process and learned more about good practices in the implementation and enforcement of human rights."

The Minster for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, has stated: “Seychelles has shown in this exercise its determination to be an example of good governance and human rights. Our adherence to the council's special procedures also show[s] that Seychelles is proud of its record and also confident that it has the institutions to properly protect its citizens and is open to any discussion with partners on human rights and other related issues."

Special procedures of the Human Rights Council allow special rapporteurs of the Commission on Human Rights to have an open invitation to visit countries that have signed up for these procedures to review their human rights practices.

The final outcome of the review will be a report produced by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) containing a summary of the proceedings of the review process, conclusions and recommendations, and the voluntary commitments of Seychelles. The report will be available in due course on the HRC and the MFA websites.

Seychelles will have its second UPR in 2016, during which Seychelles should provide information on what it has done and is doing to implement the commitments it made during this year's review.

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

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