UN Human Rights Council 11th Session
Statement by the Delegation of the United States
Delivered by Mark Cassayre
Geneva, June 11, 2009
Merci Monsieur le Président.
Nous remercions aussi Excellence, le Ministre d’Etat et de la Justice du Sénégal, pour sa présentation aujourd’hui.
The United States appreciates the comprehensive approach that Senegal took in the preparation of its national report, and its willingness to consider and implement a number of the recommendations made during the Working Group Interactive Dialogue.
The United States appreciates Senegal’s commitment to further strengthen its efforts to eliminate economic exploitation of children, including by implementing more effective measures to provide access to education and to enforce laws against child labor and child trafficking.
The United States notes the concern expressed by several delegations regarding the criminalization of homosexuality, as well as harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation. We agree with the recommendation that Senegal free all persons imprisoned because of their sexual orientation, and thank the Minister for his earlier clarification on these points.
The United States also echoes the concern documented in the Working Group report regarding intimidation and harassment of journalists and media organizations. We agree with recommendations that Senegal reform its national legislation related to the independence of the media and ensure full respect for freedom of expression in accordance with international standards.
The United States joins other delegations in urging Senegal to fulfill the African Union mandate to bring former Chadian dictator Hissene Habré to justice through trial in Senegal. The United States also supports the recommendation that Senegal more effectively enforce law 99-05 prohibiting female genital mutilation, and encourages Senegal to undertake an awareness-raising campaign about this practice.
We again thank Senegal for its serious approach to the UPR process and its active participation in the Human Rights Council.