U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of South Africa

As delivered by Jason Mack

Universal Periodic Review 27th Session
Geneva,
May 10, 2017
 

Thank you Mr. President.

The United States warmly welcomes the South African delegation to the UPR Working Group.

 We applaud South Africa for its strong constitutional protections for human rights and forward-leaning positions on combatting discrimination.

Women and girls, migrants, and LGBTI individuals, however, continue to suffer from violence and societal prejudice.  Efforts to counter this, like the “Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech” bill, contain worrisome curbs on freedom of expression.  We are troubled by allegations of corruption at high levels of government and politically motivated killings in advance of the 2016 municipal elections.

We recommend the following:

  1. Engage civil society, activists, NGOs, and the media to seek common ground on the draft Hate Crimes bill;
  1. Commit to procurement and e-governance reforms, including the full implementation of the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan and a permanent dialogue mechanism with civil society; and
  2. Engage NGOs on the LGBTI Task Team and update and implement the national LGBTI strategy.

Thank you Mr. President.