Jordan 3rd Review: The Way Forward

On Tuesday, 10 April the Prime Minister of Jordan, Omar Razzaz, issued a memo to all ministries and governmental associations to implement the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of human rights endorsed by the Jordanian government. Jordan was reviewed in the third cycle of the UPR on November 8th, 2018 and the government committed to implement 149 recommendations out of 226.

The Director of the Prime Ministry’s Human Rights Department Khalil Abdallat affirmed in a statement to The Jordan Times the importance of the UPR and the country’s objectives, saying “these endorsed recommendations will serve the interests of the nation and its welfare, by enhancing the status of human rights in Jordan”. Abdallat added that “work is underway to formulate a plan for the execution of a clear four-year strategy with measurable objectives and a precise timeline”.

UPR Info has been actively engaged with Jordanian National Actors both in preparation for the UPR and afterwards to assist with follow-up of the review. In February of 2018, nine months ahead of the UPR, UPR Info collaborated with Friedrich-Ebert-Stitftung (FES) to facilitate a two-day civil society submission workshop aimed at bringing together national actors to prepare quality civil society submissions. The workshop in Jordan brought together the Government of Jordan, the National Centre for Human Rights, civil society organisations, grassroots activists, the OHCHR, the UNDP, and media activists, for a total of 50 participants, to prepare for Jordan’s UPR. The workshop covered topics such as effective engagement at the UPR, long-term UPR strategies, technical training, advocacy strategies, and the linking of the UPR with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Another workshop put on in Jordan as part of the In-Country Programme was the UPR Strategy Workshop on Implementation of UPR Recommendations in December of 2018, a month after Jordan’s UPR. This workshop brought together a cross section of national and UPR actors to build capacities clustering recommendations and identifying indicators for the implementation and monitoring of recommendations received in the UPR. The workshop encouraged discussions on the implementation plan and action strategies as well as on the challenges and progress of implementation by government and civil society representatives.

In his statement to The Jordan Times, Director Abdallat emphasized the strengthening of relationships between government, national institutions, and civil society organisations through the UPR. Building partnerships between these actors is a priority of UPR-Info and was a main focus of both the Civil Society Submission Workshop and the Implementation workshop. Abdallat also spoke of the variety of issue areas brought up by the recommendations including women’s rights, the rights of the child, the rights of people with disabilities, torture, and the freedom of speech. As for the recommendations not accepted in the UPR, Abdallat ensured that they would be reviewed at a later time and are no less important, and that “these joint efforts lay the foundations for institutionalizing human rights work in Jordan and the partnerships that support this endeavor” .