The International Commission of Jurists has compiled a list of countries that participated in Singapore’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. The comparison between the 1st cycle in 2011, and the 2nd cycle in 2016, shows an increased in the number of countries taking an interest in the human rights situation in Singapore.
MARUAH’s forum letter on Singapore’s participation in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, has been published online.
On Jan 27, Singapore participated in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. Ambassador-at-Large Chan Heng Chee led a delegation that comprised civil service officers (“UN praises Singapore’s social policies”; Jan 29).
Absent from the table were ministers and elected government leaders, who ought to take the lead to speak for human rights, explain the Government’s stance and address the issues raised.
Maruah hopes that our government leaders take the UPR process seriously enough to spare time for a discussion on human rights issues.
Singapore’s human rights record should be presented by a minister or deputy minister.
Issues raised during the UPR session included recognising migrant workers and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, questioning, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA) community as people with equal rights, abolishing the death penalty, reviewing the Internal Security Act and certain laws such as Section 377A, removing corporal punishment, and ratifying several international conventions.
Race and security also featured in some observations and questions, with countries asking for clear ratification on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
There were also calls made for a National Human Rights Institution and an independent elections commission to be set up.
These are issues that civil society, Singaporeans and the Government will continue to negotiate on.
However, Maruah finds the approach and stance taken by the Government to certain issues disappointing.
The use of exceptionalism to defend the existence of anachronisms like the death penalty and arbitrary detention without trial shows the Government’s lack of commitment to the core principles of human rights.
Human rights are indivisible, inalienable and interdependent.
Yes, we live in difficult times, where security of the person and a country are real.
All the more we need to have meaningful engagement on these issues between our population and the Government.
Braema Mathi (Ms)
Join us for a ‘live’ streaming from Geneva on Wednesday, 27 January 2016.
Streaming will start from 9.30pm. Doors open at 9.00pm.
Information on this UPR session can be found at the link below.
Block 28 Sin Ming Lane
#03-142 Midview City
Singapore 573972 [map]
Take bus 410W or 52 from Bishan Bus Interchange and alight in front of Ai Tong Primary School. Midview City is just behind Ai Tong Primary School.
Please register your attendance, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details
Organisation (if any):
Contact (email or mobile):
Speech by MARUAH for MARUAH and Collective of Singapore NGOs (COSINGO)
DECLARATION MADE BY MARUAH Singapore
UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW (UPR) PRE-SESSION ON SINGAPORE, GENEVA
16th DECEMBER 2015
Presentation of the Organisation
1. This statement is delivered by MARUAH Singapore, on behalf of Civil Society Organisations and individuals who have participated and followed the UPR process. “MARUAH” is a human rights NGO with special consultative status on the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
National consultations for the drafting of the national report (if any)
2. There were 2 government-organised consultations held in Singapore.
3. MARUAH held 3 open consultations with various Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), individuals and university students.
Acknowledgment of work done by the Singapore Government
4. Since the 2011 UPR, the Government has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2013, acceded to the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (UN TIP Protocol), often known as the Palermo Protocol in 2015, made legislative changes to the mandatory death penalty, thus introducing discretionary approaches and signed onto the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
5. The Government has organised more consultations without CSOs asking for it. Seemingly the government is becoming more open in discussing matters with civil society though the number of people being hauled up under various laws, continues as a deterrent to shut the voices down.
Plan of this Statement
6. The statement addresses the following issues:-
a. Freedom of expression, Freedom of information, Freedom of peaceful assembly and association
b. Impediments to free and fair electoral systems, specifically the GRC system, redrawing of electoral boundaries
c. Lack of Independent Institutions for elections and setting up a National Human Rights Body
d. Ratification of other core international human rights instruments, specifically CERD, and optional protocols for CEDAW, CRC, CRPD
e. Continued usage of preventive detention without trial, under ISA & CLTPA
f. Lack of human rights education in schools
7. This statement will not go into all details but we have introduced footnotes to highlight the notes and evidence. (https://maruahsg.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/maruahupr2015-final.pdf); (https://maruahsg.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/combinedupr-final.pdf)
8. The aim of asking for interventions through questions and recommendations is for people in Singapore to be able to move away from this fear-ridden climate that we are embedded in.
MARUAH has submitted 2 reports to the United Nations, as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.
The 1st report, a joint submission involving several NGOs, highlights concerns and recommendations covering all areas, including political-security, economic, and socio-cultural domains.
The 2nd report, a MARUAH submission, focuses on electoral systems, death penalty, and preventive detention without trial.
Singapore will undergo it’s 2nd UPR session in Jan/Feb 2016. More details on the UPR process can be found at the link below.
Please come and learn more about Singapore’s human rights track record.
The UPR is a process where UN member states are reviewed on their human rights situation.
Join our forum. Be part of this process. Raise your awareness.
Date: 28th May 2015
Time 7-9 pm
Venue: Blk 28 Midview City #03-142 18 Sin Ming Lane Singapore 573960
Register at the link below
MARUAH Singapore has made an oral statement at the United Nations, as the report on Singapore’s human rights was adopted under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process at the 18th session of the Human Rights Council.
Ms Braema Mathi, President of MARUAH, made the first Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) oral statement under the banner of ARTICLE 19, an international NGO focusing on freedom of expression and information.
In the oral statement, MARUAH highlighted that the 2 recent elections in Singapore have shown that the people want to be engaged; the government too has said that. Hence, it is disheartening that they have not supported the core recommendations on civil and political rights.
MARUAH urged the Singapore government to focus on civil and political rights as a priority over the next 4-year cycle of the UPR process. Read the rest of this entry »