U.S. Statement at the UPR of Jordan

Universal Periodic Review (UPR) – 17th Session

Intervention for Jordan
As delivered by Valerie Ullrich

UN Human Rights Council
Geneva,
October 24, 2013

 

The United States welcomes the Jordanian delegation to the UPR working group.

We commend Jordan for making progress on human rights reform, particularly through the creation of the Independent Electoral Commission and the National Integrity Committee, and for its ongoing commitment to limit the jurisdiction of the State Security Court.  We support Jordan’s efforts to improve its protection of women’s rights, such as the recent amendment to the Jordanian Passport Law regarding consent.

Challenges still exist for Jordan, principally concerning freedom of expression. Cases include the blocking of more than 200 websites in June and the arrests of journalists doing their work.

While we appreciate ongoing efforts by the High Commission on Disabilities to improve access to services and facilities for people with special needs, we are concerned by lack of access for persons with disabilities to public facilities, as well as reports of mistreatment in care centers.

We commend recent progress in enabling thousands of trafficked workers to return home.  However, we are concerned by the situation of migrant, domestic, and child workers who face poor working conditions and abuse.

Bearing in mind these concerns, we recommend that Jordan:

    1. Amend the Press and Publications Law to allow for open channels of public communication in print and online media and for greater access to public information in order for citizens to participate more meaningfully in the public sphere;
    2. Improve access for persons with disabilities to public facilities, including schools;
    3. Strengthen labor protections for all workers in Jordan, with special emphasis on migrants, children, and domestic workers.

Thank you, Mr. President.