UNITED KINGDOM

In the context of the UPR, Amnesty International has made the following recommendations to the United Kingdom

 

Follow up to the previous review:

  • To ensure the full and effective implementation of the Action Plan: Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls, including by guaranteeing appropriate resources and funding for its effective implementation;
  • To establish an independent observatory or strategic oversight body, including relevant experts, to ensure more effective protection against violence for women and girls;
  • To ensure that all women and girls who experience violence have access to specialized community support.
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    National human rights protection mechanisms:

  • To reaffirm its commitment to the protection of all human rights in the UK and ensure that standards for their protection and means of enforcement under national law are the subject of progressive development, not regression;
  • To ensure the legal protection of all economic, social and cultural rights, including access to appropriate means of redress for the violation of these rights;
  • To establish a specific Bill of Rights or other human rights legislation for Northern Ireland which builds upon the rights enshrined in the Human Rights Act and takes into account the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland.
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    Extraterritorial application of human rights treaties:

  • To fully recognize the extraterritorial application of human rights obligations under international and regional law and standards;
  • To fully respect the implications of the decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Al-Skeini on the interpretation of the term "jurisdiction" in Article 1 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, both in relation to the specific issues addressed in that judgment and with respect to the broader applicability of the Convention to the actions of its armed forces and other state agents outside the UK’s ordinary territory;
  • To recognize the extraterritorial application of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in line with the jurisprudence of the UN Committee Against Torture;
  • To take appropriate legislative and administrative measures to ensure that transnational corporations registered in the UK are required to exercise due diligence to avoid causing or contributing to human rights abuses in other countries, including as recommended by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and to hold them accountable if they are found to have committed or contributed to human rights abuses in other countries, and to ensure access to remedy for the victims.
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    Human rights protection and counter-terrorism measures:

  • To ensure that counter-terrorism legislation and policy fully comply with international human rights law and standards and undergo adequate and timely public consultation;
  • To commit to investigate individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism-related activities and, where sufficient evidence exists, to prosecute them in the ordinary criminal courts, in conformity with international fair trial standards, rather than establish and use procedures such as control orders and Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures that circumvent and undermine the ordinary criminal justice process;
  • To further reduce the length of time that people suspected of terrorism-related activity can be detained prior to charge;
  • To abandon the policy of relying on diplomatic assurances against torture and other ill-treatment as a means of circumventing the prohibition on exposing individuals to the risk of such human rights violations through any form of involuntary transfer to the territory or custody of another state.
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    Failures of accountability:

  • To ensure that allegations of UK involvement in human rights violations are investigated in a manner that is effective, impartial, independent and thorough, in line with international human rights standards;
  • To make immediate changes to the Protocol to the Detainee Inquiry to ensure that it is compliant with international human rights standards, including by establishing an independent mechanism to determine what material may legitimately be withheld from the public;
  • To ensure individuals who claim to have been subjected to human rights violations can seek access to an effective remedy and reparation, and to reject those proposals in the Justice and Security Green Paper that would restrict disclosure of material pertaining to human rights violations.
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    Protection of migrants and asylum-seekers:

  • To ensure all allegations of harm on removal from the UK are subject to effective investigation by an impartial and independent body;
  • To ensure all removals from the UK are independently monitored by a competent independent body who should accompany, monitor and report on all stages of the removal process;
  • To take concrete measures to reduce the resort to detention of individuals solely for immigration purposes, in line with relevant international refugee and human rights law and standards;
  • To ensure that foreign workers are not trapped in exploitative and abusive working relationships in the UK.
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    United Kingdom: Amnesty International's submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review