The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) is pleased to make a statement on the occasion of the adoption of Zimbabwe’s Second Cycle UPR Report. The ZHRC is a National Human Rights Institution recently accredited with ‘A’ status by the Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) in accordance with the Paris Principles. It is a great honour for us to participate at this Universal Periodic Review Meeting and indeed to make our very first remarks at such an August gathering.
It is laudable that the Government of Zimbabwe has been open and amenable to be bound by the UPR mechanism which is a pointer to its commitment to the improvement of the human rights terrain in the country. We have noted the strides made in the area of human rights, including the adoption in 2013 of a progressive Constitution with an expanded Bill of Rights. We however, urge the Government to urgently align the various pieces of legislation to the Constitution, within specified and reasonable timelines, to make the gains more tangible and beneficial to the generality of our people. The Commission appreciates the measures that Zimbabwe has taken in implementing the accepted recommendations after the first cycle of the UPR in 2011.
The ZHRC continues to independently monitor and investigate human rights issues in Zimbabwe without interference. Some of the UPR recommendations speak to findings of the Commission especially on the need for the ratification of key human rights instruments such as the Convention Against Torture (CAT) and the improvement of conditions in places of detention and police cells.
In order to foster a culture of transparency and accountability, the ZHRC urges the Government of Zimbabwe, as recommended by a number of peer Member States, to fully establish, operationalise and capacitate independent Commissions supporting the entrenchment of human rights and democracy in Zimbabwe.
The ZHRC welcomes the recommendations accepted by Zimbabwe and urges the Government to further make efforts to adopt some of the recommendations
under consideration. As a Commission, we will continue to monitor the implementation of the recommendations and assist the Government in its efforts to improve the enjoyment of human rights by its citizens.