24.07.2015: Concluding Observations of the UN Human Rights Committee

UN Human Rights Committee published the Concluding Observations for the Republic of Macedonia, following the consideration of the 3rd periodic country report under the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The main concerns and recommendations are related to 19 issues, among which: discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; procedural obstacles to voluntary termination of pregnancy; conditions of detention for migrants and asylum seekers; lack of information on the measures to tackle human trafficking etc.
Regarding domestic violence, the Committee expressed their concerns about the lack of information on the sanctions for perpetrators of violence, as well as about the legal remedies for victims.

The Committee for the Republic of Macedonia recommended:

– Thorough investigation of cases of domestic violence, prosecution of perpetrators, punishment with appropriate sanctions, access to legal remedies and protection of victims, including an adequate number of shelters available in all parts of the country;

– Elimination of violence against women and children, as well as recognizing violence against women and children as a specific criminal act in the Penal Code;

– Concrete measures to ensure access to specialized assistance to all victims of domestic violence, particularly to unmarried mothers who are between 16 and 18 years old;

– Continuing carrying out awareness-raising campaigns to sensitize the population on the prevention of and protection against domestic violence;

– Organizing training sessions for local authorities, as well as social workers and medical personnel, on how to detect and adequately advise victims of domestic violence;

The Committee also requests that the Republic of Macedonia: “should avoid pursuing any further campaigns used to stigmatize those who undergo abortions. It should take concrete measures, including amending the Law on Termination of Pregnancy, to eliminate all procedural barriers that could lead women to resort to illegal abortions, which could put their lives and health at risk.“

The complete report is available at this link.

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