14 May 2008
HUMAN RIGHTS IN ZAMBIA – JOINT SUBMISSION FROM FRANCISCANS INTERNATIONAL AND EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL
The operation of the UPR requires the country under review (in this case Zambia) to first submit a self-assessment of its performance in upholding and promoting Human Rights. It is intended that this report should be prepared in consultation with the civil society sector in Zambia.
Any NGO is also free to submit a report about any issue of human rights about which concern exists. A summary of these concerns is prepared by the UN Secretariat and made available to all interested parties. Whilst NGO’s may not participate directly in the UPR hearings they can lobby sympathetic nation-states to raise a particular issue of concern through a direct question or recommendation to the nation under review.
Whilst it is ultimately up to that nation to act on a recommendation or not, the potential for embarrassment in an international forum (particularly if widespread concern exists about a particular issue) can be sufficient incentive for the government to take action.
The joint Franciscans International and Edmund Rice International submission highlighted educational issues relating to primary education and funding of community schools, particularly in poorer urban and rural areas.
The full text of the Zambian Government report, a summary of civil society submissions (including the joint FI/ERI submission) and the final recommendations to Zambia emerging from the UPR process can be viewed on the Human Rights Council webpage.