On October 27, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Italy was carried out at the Human Rights Council (HRC). During the review, Member States commented and made recommendations on the human rights situation in Italy, and in a report submitted by the Italian government.
Violence and discrimination against women
Many Member States made recommendations on gender issues, especially on domestic violence and violence against women, discrimination against women in the workplace, and the situation of migrant women.
Some Member States endorsed the recommendations made by WILPF Italy on gender based violence and discrimination against women in the job market. We were happy to hear that Germany recommended that Italy “allocate sufficient funds for the effective protection of victims who report gender based violence and focus on training and education in order to prevent such acts of violence, especially within the family.”
In addition, Ireland, India, Uzbekistan and Vietnam recommended that Italy take all necessary measures to address violence against women, as well as gender inequality in particular in the workplace.
Other issues in the review
During the review, many Member States recommended that Italy make further efforts in order to protect the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
Major concerns were raised regarding the inclusion of ethnic minorities, the conditions in which asylum seekers and migrants are received, and the repatriation of unaccompanied minors. All of the latter present some of the major challenges for the Italian State in terms of human rights promotion and protection.
Another major issue of concern in Italy is the absence of a National Human Rights Institution. It is the second time this particular recommendation has been made to the Italian State. Serious efforts for the creation of such an institution are notwithstanding missing.
WILPF’s remaining concerns
We regret that no Member State addressed the gender dimensions of arms trade and its consequences on women’s human rights. Yet, it is crucial for Italy to apply solid criteria for gender based violence in its process of risk assessment before authorising any arms transfer.
What to do now?
The non-implementation of UPR recommendations will put at risk this mechanism. It is therefore of the utmost importance to monitor and assess their implementation by each State. Indeed, the UPR process does not end at the review itself: it’s an ongoing process in which civil society and WILPF’s National Sections have to be involved.
In terms of follow up, it is essential that WILPF’s National Sections participate in monitoring committees to provide their input, and encourage States to submit mid-term reports. We hope that Italy will submit a mid-term report after this review, as recommended both by Ireland and WILPF Italy.
If you would like to know more on the UPR process, visit UPR Info’s webpage to find out how you can engage in the advancement of the human rights situation in your country.
Do you know what part of the process your country is in? You might still be in time to make a change! Spreading the word about the UPR mechanism is also essential to the protection and promotion of human rights.