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NewsUrgently deliver on number of HR reforms listed in GSP+ regulation, European Union tells Sri Lanka

Urgently deliver on number of HR reforms listed in GSP+ regulation, European Union tells Sri Lanka

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Image: The Government should ensure that alleged torture by the police and security forces comes to an end, that perpetrators are brought to justice and that its policy of zerotolerance to the use of torture is implemented says the report.

The report submitted to the European Parliament and the Council on Generalised Scheme of Preferences during the period 2016 – 2017, titled “Sri Lanka GSP+ Assessment”   says that the Sri Lanka government has to urgently deliver on a number of important reforms that are of direct relevance for the effective implementation of the human rights conventions listed in the GSP+ Regulation.

The conclusions of the report fellows:

Sri Lanka has made some progress on human rights in the past two years. It has restored the independence of key oversight institutions. There has been a significant opening of democratic and civil society space. A process of constitutional reform, including a Bill of Rights, has started, and action is underway towards accountability for enforced disappearances.

A national human rights action plan has been prepared. Furthermore, women will have a larger stake in local governments. A National Plan of Action for Children
has been adopted, and reform of the juvenile justice system is being prepared.

The Government is engaged with the UN system. With the co-sponsorship of UNHRC Resolution 30/1, Sri Lanka has made far-reaching commitments on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights. Nevertheless, according to UN reports, relevant reforms have stalled or slowed down considerably. Measures taken so far to fulfil Sri Lanka’s transitional justice commitments have brought insufficient progress, including bringing perpetrators of war crimes to justice and resolving longstanding ’emblematic cases’.

The Government has to urgently deliver on a number of important reforms that are of direct relevance for the effective implementation of the human rights conventions listed in the GSP+ Regulation. The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) must be repealed and if needed replaced by legislation that is fully in line with international human rights law, including CCPR and  CAT. The Code of Criminal Procedures Act needs to be amended to ensure fundamental legal safeguards. The Government should ensure that alleged torture by the police and security forces comes to an end, that perpetrators are brought to justice and that its policy of zerotolerance to the use of torture is implemented. This is essential in addressing reports of prevalent impunity in most cases of torture.

 

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