U.S. Statement at the Adoption of the Working Group Report of the UPR of Brunei Darussalam
As Delivered by Ambassador Robert King
Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues
27th Session of the Human Rights Council
September 19, 2014
Thank you, Mr. Vice-President,
The United States welcomes the return of the delegation from Brunei Darussalam to the Council.
We appreciate the Government’s commitment to protecting the rights of children as well as its commitment to women’s empowerment and gender equality. We also note, with appreciation, Brunei’s pledge to advance educational opportunities for all Bruneians.
However, we would like to see meaningful progress on Brunei’s laws and practices regarding freedom of expression and freedom of association. In particular, we remain highly concerned that Brunei’s enactment of the Penal Code Order of 2013 may undermine Brunei’s longstanding international human rights commitments, including with regard to the freedoms of religion, of expression, and of association; and the prohibitions on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
We also urge Brunei to strengthen respect for human rights that relate to labor issues, including the rights of migrant workers who remain especially vulnerable to forced labor.
We continue to urge Brunei to consider ratifying the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.