Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva
Switzerland, Liechtenstein

statement647

Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 20th Session
Universal Periodic Review of El Salvador

27 October 2014


Australia welcomes the steps the Government of El Salvador has taken to advance human rights since its mid-term Implementation Assessment in 2012. We also congratulate El Salvador on its recent presidential elections, the most accountable in El Salvador’s history, and the introduction of voting for Salvadoran citizens abroad.

Australia welcomes El Salvador’s moves to address violence against women through legislation which identifies specific crimes and sentences and obliges every state institution to tackle violence against women. Australia recommends El Salvador accord a high priority to the implementation of legislation addressing violence against women.

Australia prevails upon El Salvador to address concerns related to punitive anti-abortion laws, under which women, girls and health care professionals can face lengthy prison sentences, including if the pregnancy was a result of incest or rape, or puts the woman’s life at risk. Australia recommends El Salvador make the necessary constitutional and legislative amendments in order to decriminalise and remove the ban on abortion.

Australia notes with concern that UNICEF recently rated El Salvador as having among the highest incidences of homicide of children, and that homicide is the leading cause of death for adolescent boys. Australia recommends El Salvador allocate adequate resources for programs ensuring the full enjoyment of the rights of children and adolescents.