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HRC – Report of the UPR Working Group on Lesotho
May 5, 2010

UN Human Rights Council

Consideration of UPR Reports
Report of the UPR Working Group on Lesotho

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

May 5, 2010

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States warmly welcomes the Honorable Mpeo Mahase- Moiloa and the Basotho delegation to the Working Group of the UPR. We have carefully considered the information the delegation has provided in its national report and greatly appreciate the further information provided in its presentation this afternoon.

The United States commends Lesotho for its general observance and culture of human rights, particularly the effort to eliminate gender discrimination and advance women’s role in the political realm. We do recommend that the government do more to prohibit persistent forms of discrimination against women, such as issues of discrimination in inheritance rights, and to strengthen the principles of equality for women, particularly in top levels of political party leadership. We take note of the delegation’s statement regarding the current review of the applicable laws in this regard, and the promising figures that the delegation has provided regarding women’s participation in local government.

The 2010 World Cup has raised awareness of human trafficking in the region, and the United States urges Lesotho to take advantage of international focus on this issue to rally national support for a comprehensive law to combat trafficking in persons.

The United States commends Lesotho’s efforts to professionalize the police and guard against impunity. We strongly recommend that Lesotho strengthen the Police Complaints Authority and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offenses; increase training for law enforcement officers; and increase the capacity of Lesotho’s Police force and other public agencies to gather data and share that data with the international community so that improvements can be tracked.

Finally, The United States commends the tabling of the Children’s Protection and Welfare Bill in Parliament and hopes that the bill will be promptly enacted. Taking into account the Minister’s statement that the bill draws inspiration from the CRC, the United States recommends that the bill include the prevention of worst forms of child labor and provide equal access to education for all children.

Thank you.