Bahrain to sign key UN rights convention
Manama, April 10, 2008
Bahrain has agreed to consider signing the Convention on the Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearances after a series of recommendations by the UN Human Rights Council.
The council recommendations came after Bahrain's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of its human rights record was discussed by the council at its meeting in Geneva on Tuesday.
Bahrain became the first country to have its special human rights report reviewed by the council under a new system. Sixteen nations will be reviewed as part of the first session.
'Bahrain has accepted all the recommendations of the council and has taken them in the right spirit,' said Bahrain's permanent representative and ambassador to the UNDP in Geneva, Abdulla Abdullatif Abdulla.
'This is a historic moment since Bahrain became the first nation in the world to be evaluated in this way,' said Abdulla, speaking to the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, from Geneva.
He said Bahrain can now consider conducting wide consultations between different partners, in particular the legislative authority, with a view to adopt a family law and consider a draft law on the provision of citizenship to children where the father is not a Bahraini citizen.
'Bahrain would inform the council in the next review that will be held after four years on the status of adoption of new legislation on female domestic workers,' the ambassador said.
He said another recommendation is that the draft Press law ought not to be unduly restrictive on freedom of expression.
'Bahrain could also consider inviting the United Nations to a workshop on follow-up to the UPR,' he said.
He said the 'positive dynamism' of the information sector of Bahrain was recorded by the council, which also said the independence of the judiciary is preserved by the Constitution and laws and that efficiency and performance are the main areas that the judiciary and the Government are working to enhance.
'Forced marriage is a crime according to Bahrain's laws and is covered by the Criminal Code and the anti-trafficking law, where victims are entitled to remedies and protection in accordance with the laws of the kingdom and this elicited a positive response.'-TradeArabia News Service