GENEVA, The United Arab Emirates today, Monday, announced that it is to set up an independent national human rights committee, on the basis of the internationally-accepted Paris Principles, and that a comprehensive national human rights plan is to be developed. The announcements were made in a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva as part of the Universal Periodic Review process. The report also presented, in detail, actions taken to promote human rights in the country since the adoption by the Council of the second Universal Periodic Review on the UAE in 2013, including legislation and steps taken across a wide range of topics, including human trafficking, labour rights and the empowerment of women.

The report was presented by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Gargash.

The report pledged that the Government would take a number of voluntary future steps to continue the process of enhancing the protection of human rights in the country. Among these will be the establishment of an independent national human rights commission on the basis of the Paris Principles, the formulation of a comprehensive national human rights plan that is updated in the light of new developments and is in line with local laws and the country's international obligations and the promulgation of a federal law on domestic violence. Institutional and legislative measures and mechanisms will be adopted to provide greater protection for domestic workers and to strengthen their access to effective arbitration mechanisms.

Special attention will be focused, the report said, on strengthening the role of specialised national mechanisms in the sphere of the protection of human rights, strengthening existing laws and legislation to keep up with best global practices and creating and training a team of specialised human rights officers. Also singled out in the report was the need to disseminate a human rights culture to the greatest extent possible, taking steps to entrench that culture in the professional world and in academia.

"The United Arab Emirates underscores that it will continue its efforts to promote and protect human rights in line with its national legislation and laws and its international obligations," the report said. "The State is determined to move forward by building on achievements made in the field of human rights and to continue to make a positive and active contribution to support best global practices in that area."

The UAE is "determined to move forward with its efforts to add to the outstanding achievements that it has scored in promoting and protecting human rights and to contribute to and engage positively in international activities in this domain," the report said.

The UAE was re-elected to membership of the UN Human Rights Council in 2015.

Source: Emirates News Agency