Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
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Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 11th Session

Universal Periodic Review of Singapore

Statement by Australia


6 May 2011

Australia welcomes the delegation from Singapore and appreciates its engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process.

We congratulate the Government for its progress in economic, social and cultural rights and its commitment to development, recognising the complexity of Singapore’s multi-ethnic society. We commend Singapore’s progress in areas such as access to health and education and for its measures to prevent the exploitation of children by passing the International Child Abduction Act in 2010. We encourage the Government to continue to ease restrictions inhibiting political expression and participation in Singapore.

We remain concerned at the continued use of the death penalty and caning as judicial punishments within Singapore. Consistent with our position towards all other retentionist countries, Australia urges Singapore to immediately establish a moratorium on the death penalty as an interim measure towards full abolition. Australia also remains concerned at the capacity under the Internal Security Act and Criminal Law Act for authorities to order lengthy detention without judicial review.

Australia commends Singapore on its involvement in the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission for Human Rights. We encourage Singapore to establish an independent national human rights institution of its own and to support visits by UN special procedures mandate holders.

We welcome Singapore’s consideration of ratification of international human rights instruments such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

Australia recommends Singapore:


1. Take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty, including by acceding to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Second Optional Protocol;


2. Consider the establishment of an independent national human rights institution; and


3. Become a party to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.