Universal Periodic Review of Bhutan

Universal Periodic Review of Bhutan
8 May 2019
Intervention by the delegation of Estonia

Estonia welcomes the delegation of Bhutan to its third UPR. We thank Bhutan for the report presented and thanks for the additional information provided today.

We acknowledge Bhutan for combining, as a unique development model the implementation of the Five Year Plan, the SDG-s and the pursuit of Gross National Happiness. We encourage progressively combining also the instruments of international human rights law into this framework.

While noting Bhutan`s commitment to assessing possibilities for accession to human rights instruments in accordance with its capacity and national resources, Estonia would like to recommend to Bhutan:

1) to ratify relevant international human rights instruments, most notably the ICCPR and the ICESCR;
2) to ensure freedom of religion and belief and to actively combat discrimination of religious minorities.

Estonia appreciates the steps to advance gender equality and to combat domestic violence, inter alia by strengthening the National Commission for Women and Children. We encourage continuing with these efforts by fully implementing the Domestic Violence Prevention Act and eliminating all forms of violence against children.

Estonia highlights Bhutan`s continued efforts to deliver on the right to education, more precisely on school attendance and access to quality education, including sexual and reproductive health education. We encourage continuing with these efforts by increasing the enrolment ratio in secondary education and by providing opportunities for increasing also the adult literacy rate.

We wish the delegation of Bhutan a successful review meeting.

Thank you!