United Nations


Economic and Social Council

Distr.: General

22 December 2009


Original: Spanish

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Pre-sessional working group

23–26 November 2009

Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Draft list of issues to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the third and fourth periodic reports of Uruguay, concerning articles 1 to 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/URY/3-4)

1.Please provide information on progress in establishing an independent national institution for the protection of human rights in accordance with the Paris Principles. Please indicate whether this plan provides for the institution to have competence in respect of economic, social and cultural rights. Indicate also how it will be assured of sufficient resources for smooth operation.

2.Please provide information on the human rights education dispensed in the State party at all levels, as well as steps to create awareness among public officials, parliamentarians, members of the judiciary and the security forces.

3.The Committee notes that Uruguay was one of the first pilot countries involved in the “Unidos en Acción” experiment designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of United Nations human development activities, and would like to have more information on Uruguay’s experience with this process.

4.Please provide information on the methods used by Uruguay to compile statistics on the basis of disaggregated indicators in order to carry out an objective evaluation of problems encountered and progress made in the implementation of the Covenant.

Article 2

5.Please clarify the expression “State with no indigenous presence” used in the State party’s report (para. 14), as well as the promotion of projects for the recovery of cultural identity.

6.Please describe the practical steps taken by the Honorary Commission against Discrimination, Xenophobia and All Forms of Discrimination (paras. 19 and 20) and the results obtained.

7.Please indicate what steps have been taken by the State party to ensure that indigenous and minority communities play a part in the adoption of decisions that affect them.

8.Please provide detailed and updated information on the situation of the community of African descent referred to in the State party’s report (para. 32), as well as the official programmes and policies to meet the special needs of this community.

Article 3

9.The State party’s report provides information on the situation of discrimination faced by women in Uruguay (paras. 24–26). Please provide more detailed and updated information on this matter, including steps being taken to rectify this situation, and set out the content and outcome of the Plan for Equal Opportunities and Rights between Women and Men.

Article 6

10.Please provide more information on specific programmes to combat long-term unemployment (para. 54).

11.Please provide detailed information on practical steps being taken to alleviate the problems faced by women in the labour market (para. 31).

12.Please provide more information on the work of the National Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (para. 46), including information on how the State party ensures that the Institute has sufficient human and financial resources, and on the National Strategy for the Promotion of Employment (para. 48).

Article 7

13.The Committee notes the reference to a new wages policy in the State party and the reinstatement of the wage councils (paras. 61–65). In that regard, it would like to receive details on the outline and outcome of the new policy and the work accomplished by the councils.

14.In the light of the 2007 report by the International Labour Organization, what practical steps have been taken to narrow the wages gap between men and women (para. 69)?

Article 8

15.The Committee seeks more details concerning the restoration of collective bargaining and the impact of the Collective Bargaining Act on the private sector (paras. 77–85).

16.Please provide more details on the restrictions placed on the right to strike, in particular under the December 1968 law on provision of minimum services by trade unions (para. 88).

Article 9

17.Please provide more information on expenditure by the State party in the field of social security (para. 96), including information on the joint pension system. Please also provide more detailed and updated information on the 2007 National Dialogue on Social Security (paras. 89–92).

18.Please explain the mechanisms for the regularization and inclusion of workers in the informal sector and benefits for those who keep up with their contributions (para. 109).

Article 10

19.Please provide more information on the INFAMILIA programme (para. 119), its implementation and the results obtained.

20.The Committee would like more details of the steps that are being taken to address the problem of street children in Uruguay, and particularly in Montevideo, Canelones and San José (paras. 129–131).

21.The Committee notes that, under Uruguayan law, the minimum age for marriage is 12 for girls and 14 for boys (with the consent of the parents or legal guardian being required) and wishes to be provided with detailed and updated information on this legislation.

22.The Committee takes note of the adoption of the 2004 First National Plan to Combat Domestic Violence and the 2007 Corporal Punishment (Prohibition) Act and seeks information on their implementation and results.

Article 11

23.Please describe the process of implementation of the National Plan to Address the Social Emergency and its results (paras. 160–162).

24.The Committee would like more information on steps taken by the State party to support microenterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises, including those taken in the interior of the country.

25.The Committee notes the adoption of the General Environmental Protection Act, which strengthens the Environmental Impact Evaluation Act and provides for public hearings (para. 164), and wishes to know whether these laws take into account the need to obtain the free and informed prior consent of the communities that would be affected by any planned development project.

26.Please describe the implementation of the National System of Protected Areas (para. 166) and the Regional Planning Act (para. 167).

27.The Committee also notes the analysis of the housing situation in the State party and in this regard seeks details of the practical steps contemplated by Uruguay to improve the situation. It also wishes to know how this situation is connected with the laws mentioned in paragraphs 24 and 25.

28.The Committee also notes the information provided by the State party on forcible evictions and the situation of communities of African descent (paras. 231–233), and in this regard would like details of the practical steps Uruguay will take to tackle the situation, bearing in mind the Committee’s general comment No. 7 on the right to adequate housing: forced evictions (art. 11 (1)).

29.Please provide more information on the National Food Programme and the National Food Supplement Programme, and the outcomes of both programmes.

30.The Committee would also like information on the work of the recently established Inter-agency Commission for Food Security and the process it is pursuing to review and adapt the current rules and regulations on food security and the plan to draft legislation in this regard.

31.Please provide more information on the action brought by Argentina against the State party before the International Court of Justice and the environmental impacts in Uruguay and Argentina of the construction of wood pulp plants on the river Uruguay.

Article 12

32.Noting that the State party describes a crisis situation in the public health system (para. 241), the Committee seeks details of the implementation of the new policy, the processes whereby it is evaluated and the results obtained. Please provide detailed and updated information on the updating of the 1934 Mental Health Act (para. 321).

33.The Committee notes the recently held National Survey of Disabled Persons (para. 275) and the description of the results obtained (paras. 276–281). In this regard, it seeks information on the projects and programmes that will be implemented on the basis of the information gathered.

34.The Committee would like to have more details on the recently adopted Sexual and Reproductive Health Act.

35.Please indicate what steps have been taken to increase the numbers of professional nurses (para. 240).

Article 13

36.Please provide more information on the process of promoting adult literacy and its results (paras. 343–344), and the steps taken in the educational sphere to meet the needs of the community of African descent (paras. 345–346) and those of disabled children (paras. 347–349).

37.Please provide more information on the implementation of the Ceibal computer project and its results, including Internet access (paras. 357–358).

Article 15

38.The Committee would like to have more details on the work of the National Innovation, Science and Technology Council and the National Science, Technology and Innovation Directorate (paras. 387–390), including how the State party ensures that they have sufficient human and financial resources.

39.The Committee would like to receive more details on the cultural activities of the national television channel and SODRE, the central State institution generating cultural activity in the country (paras. 391–394).

40.What was the outcome of the candidatures of the tango and the candombe for inclusion in the Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity under the 2003 Convention?