[HRC21] Oral statement: United Kingdom fulfilment of its international human rights obligations

September 2012

[English] [français]

Geneva, 20th september 2012 -

The International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT) and ACAT U.K wish to thank the UPR working group for their thorough verification of the United Kingdom fulfilment of its international human rights obligations and undertakings.
We wish to congratulate the U.K on the Government broad consultation of civil society.

Firstly, we ask the UK to follow Switzerland and Austria’s recommendation to limit the detention period from 28 to 14 days for terrorist suspects and to ensure the application of the right of all detainees to legal assistance, immediately after being taken into detention.
Moreover, regarding Norway and Sweden statements, our organizations wish to know how the government will balance its concern for national security with respect for fundamental freedoms, as we do not consider that government-to-government assurances are meeting the requirements of the Convention against Torture.

Secondly, FIACAT and ACAT UK wish to remind the Government that The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, promised in January 2012 to halt the detention of children in immigration detention centres whereas there has been an increase in the number of detainees compare to last year.

Thirdly, our organisations found out that the Government has no intention to raise the age of criminal responsibility, which is now 10. The UK has to take into account the development of the child and its capacity to understand the consequences of its act. We urge the UK to raise the minimum age to at least 12.

We are alarmed by the 70% increase of the use of taser despite the evidence of its dangerosity for health. We urge the UK to use alternative and safe riot control technologies.

To conclude, FIACAT and ACAT UK joint several delegations in inviting the United Kingdom to accede to the Convention on Enforced Disappearances and set up a timetable in that regard.

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