Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
Address: Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 102, 1211 Geneva 19 - Telephone: 022 799 9100 - Fax: 022 799 9178

Universal Period Review of Swaziland

Statement by Australia

4 October 2011

Australia welcomes the delegation from Swaziland and appreciates its constructive engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process. Australia welcomes the active involvement of civil society and non-governmental organisations in the preparation of Swaziland’s national report.

Australia welcome Swaziland’s commitment to fulfilling its human rights obligations, and would welcome further progress on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, the First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Optional Protocol to Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

We encourage Swaziland to continue to improve and strengthen its democratisation efforts and to enact laws that facilitate the registration of political parties.

We are concerned by the high rates of chronic malnutrition and mortality for children under-five years of age and urge Swaziland to take steps to reduce these rates.

We encourage Swaziland to continue to improve health services, including HIV/AIDS testing and counselling, and to provide access to affordable medication for people living with the disease.

We are concerned by reports of overcrowding and poor conditions in Swaziland’s prisons and detention centres, which could expose inmates and officers to diseases and life threatening infections.
We are also concerned by arrest procedures and treatment in detention.

Consistent with our position towards all other retentionist countries, Australia urges Swaziland to abolish the death penalty, abolish corporal punishment in all settings, and introduce awareness raising campaigns on alternative forms of discipline.

Australia recommends Swaziland:

1. Continue towards the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, the First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Optional Protocol to Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women;

2. Take steps to further democratisation efforts, including by enacting laws that facilitate the registration of political parties;

3. Improve healthcare for infants and children and for people living with HIV/AIDS;

4. Improve conditions in Swaziland’s prisons and detention centres; and

5. Take all steps to abolish the death penalty.