Nations urge Tonga to give women land rights and improve LGBTQ record


Tonga has received mixed reactions during its human rights evaluation at the 43rd Session of Universal Periodic Review in Geneva. The Kingdom’s Foreign Minister Fekitamoelo ‘Utoikamanu heard mixed reviews by over 50 UN member states, with all of them commending Tonga’s Government for continuing efforts to ratify international treaties. “New Zealand… commends advancement in human rights,” New Zealand’s delegate Anna Louise Duncan said. “We note with satisfaction the steps undertaken by the Kingdom to improve its human rights mechanisms,” Russia’s delegate Kristina Sukacheva said. However, there were concerns expressed by a number of states about the rights of LGBTQ people, an existing law on capital punishment, the right of women to inherit land, the non-existence of a Human Rights Institution and the continuous non-ratification of various treaties including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

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