Concluding observations on the i

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					Concluding Observations of the African Commission on the Initial
Report of the Republic of Seychelles

                           39th ordinary session

Introduction

1. The Initial Periodic Report of the Republic of Seychelles was received at
   the Secretariat of the African Commission on 21 June 2004 and was
   scheduled for consideration at the 36th Ordinary Session of the African
   Commission, which was scheduled for 23 November to 7 December 2004
   in Dakar, Senegal.

2. After several requests from the Commission for the Republic of Seychelles
   to send a representative to present the report, the Commission decided at
   its 38th ordinary session that should Seychelles not send a representative
   to its 39th session, the Commission will proceed with the consideration of
   the report and send its observations to the State.

3. At its 39th session the Commission proceeded with the consideration of
   the report without the State Party and expressed regret that Seychelles
   has not given the Commission the opportunity of dialogue offered by the
   State Reporting process.

4. The Report was presented by Commissioner Bahame Tom Nyanduga,
   Commissioner responsible for promotional activities in Seychelles.

Background of the Report

5. The Report is structured into two distinct parts, beginning with the
   provision of information on the institutional system and the human rights
   instruments to which Seychelles is signatory. The second part includes an
   analysis of the substantive rights provided in the African Charter and the
   measures taken for their application in Seychelles. The Report also gives
   an account of future prospects for the country.

Positive Factors

6. The African Commission notes that the Constitution makes provision for
   the Charter on Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms and various
   constitutional bodies to guarantee fundamental rights and freedoms in
   Seychelles.

7. The Commission commends Seychelles for ensuring that the State Report
   conforms to the guidelines on the preparation of State Reports and further
   that the report identified legislative measures to implement the basic
   rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the constitution, which
   conform to the Charter.

8. The Commission further notes that the Constitution in Article 48, Part V,
   Chapter III on the Principles of interpretation recognises that it shall be
   interpreted in such a way so as not to be inconsistent with any
   international obligations of Seychelles relating to human rights and
   freedoms and a court shall, when interpreting the provision of this
   Chapter, take judicial notice of, among others, the international
   instruments containing these obligations.

9. The Commission also takes note of the fact that Seychelles’s has ratified
   the majority of major international human rights instruments including
   regional instruments.

10. The Commission also notes that Seychelles provides for a greater
    protection of the right to life and she has abolished the death penalty.
    The Constitution also provides further that "A law providing for the
    extradition of a person from Seychelles shall not authorise the extradition
    to a country in respect of an offence punishable with death in that country
    unless that country undertakes not to carry into effect a sentence of death
    in respect of the offence".

11. The state also provides for remedies for people unlawfully deprived of
    their liberty and provides that a person unlawfully arrested or detained has
    a right to receive compensation from those responsible for his/her
    detention, including the State.

12. The Commission recognizes the efforts being made to combat the
    HIV/AIDS pandemic, including the adoption of the "National Policy for the
    Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS and STI (Sexually transmitted
    infections)", in 2001 and the National AIDS Trust Fund, in February 2002.


13. The African Commission appreciates measures taken by Seychelles to
    abolish extreme poverty and commends her for being ranked 36th State in
    the world under the UNDP Human Development Report.



14. The Commission commends Seychelles in its legislative and other
    measures taken to deal with issues relating to the protection of the rights
    of women and children.




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15. The African Commission also recognizes that education is compulsory for
    the first 10 years of the Primary/Secondary cycle and that there are
    sufficient safeguards to protect working women in the "International Trade
    Zone (Conditions of Employment) Order, 1997", which regulates
    compulsory maternity leave and maternity protection, all in the same way
    as the "Regulations" of the "Employment Act.

Concerns

16. The African Commission expresses regret that the Seychelles, in spite
    several reminders could not send a representative to present its report.

17. The African Commission is concerned that the HIV and its pandemic “has
    put at risk many years of development effort”.


18. The Commission notes that Seychelles is yet to ratify the Protocol on the
    establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

19. The Commission is also concerned that domestic violence, including child
    abuse, continues to increase in the country.

Recommendations

The African Commission notes the problems encountered by Seychelles in
the implementation of the African Charter and:

(a) urges the State to work closely with civil society to sensitize the society
    about these difficulties, in particular problems related to unemployment of
    men;
(b) that Seychelles ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and
    Peoples’ Rights on the establishment of an African Court on Human and
    Peoples’ Rights
(c) requests Seychelles to take all the necessary measures to submit its First
    Periodic Report in 2008 and take steps to send a representative to present
    it before the African Commission.




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