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

Ratification of international human rights instruments
•    To ratify and implement under national law the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, opting-in to its inquiry and inter-state procedures, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance without further delay.

National human rights institution

•    To establish a National Human Rights Institution, fully compliant with the Paris Principles.

Administrative detention of asylum-seekers and irregular migrants
•    To not deprive asylum-seekers and irregular migrants of their liberty under immigration and/or administrative powers, except in the most exceptional circumstances as prescribed by international and regional law and standards.  There should be a presumption against detention enshrined by law;
•    To further improve the living conditions in the closed centres and to revise the existing system for dealing with individual complaints, including to ensure that legal advice services are available inside the closed centres.

Breach of the principle of non-refoulement
•    To strictly observe the principle of non-refoulement, including constructive non-refoulement.

Forcible returns to Iraq
•    To stop forcible returns of individuals to Iraq, particularly to the provinces of Ninewa (Mosul), Kirkuk, Diyala, Salah al-Din and Baghdad, as well as to other particularly dangerous areas, such as parts of Al Anbar province. 
Inadequate reception conditions for asylum-seekers
•    To comply with the minimum standards for the reception of asylum-seekers and to take immediate measures to respect asylum-seekers’ basic rights upon their arrival in Belgium.

Excessive use of force during forced returns
•    To ensure that all allegations of ill-treatment and excessive use of force are investigated and to introduce an independent and effective system for monitoring forced returns.

Use of conducted energy devises by police
•    To ensure that conducted energy devices be used only when strictly necessary and proportionate and only in situations where the only lawful alternative would be use of lethal force;
•    To ensure that the procedures for the use of conducted energy devises by police officers are transparently and strictly regulated, and that effective control mechanisms are put in place to investigate use of conducted energy devises in specific situations.

Prison system
•    To ensure that sufficient and adequate resources are allocated to prisons and to promptly and effectively address the issue of prison overcrowding;
•    To ensure that all persons deprived of their liberty are held in humane conditions, commensurate with human dignity;
•    To fully respect prisoners’ rights, including by implementing existing legislation on such rights, and to ensure the establishment of an independent, effective and accessible complaints mechanism for prisoners;
•    To put in place measures to guarantee the rights of prisoners at all time, including during strikes by prison staff.

Ban on face veils
•    To withdraw draft legislation to introduce a complete ban of full-face veils in public and to take measures to ensure that all women are able to exercise their rights free from coercion, harassment and discrimination.



Belgium: Amnesty International's submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review

Other Amnesty International documents on Belgium