UPR : Mozambique should ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Joint Press release

Universal Periodic Review: Mozambique should ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and implement its provisions.

Paris, Maputo, 10 June 2021

Our organisations welcome the 266 recommendations made by 106 State delegations during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Mozambique in May 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The recommendations made during this Peer review echo our concerns on the enjoyment of economic and social rights in particular:

  • The need for Mozambique to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as the country is one of the six African states that have not yet done so, which hinders the progressive realisation of ESC rights.
  • The importance of accelerating the process of reviewing the Land Act 1997 to better protect land use rights and facilitate the effective participation of rural communities and NGOs in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants. Indeed, for Mozambican rural communities, land occupation and exploitation are vital for their food security as almost 70% of the population depends on this activity. It is essential that the Mozambican state takes specific measures to ensure the effective participation of civil society organizations and rural communities in the review process.

States also urge Mozambique to improve the quality of and access to primary health care services in rural areas and to ensure the availability of qualified health personnel. These measures are of critical importance in the COVID-19 context. Training of health professionals as well as training in telemedicine will enable health services to adapt to the crises. This training needs to be complemented by comprehensive education, including HIV awareness, and strengthening family planning.

Another recommendation made by our organisations and State’s delegations is for Mozambique to step up its efforts to improve access to health care for all, including access to sexual and reproductive health-care services and information. Although many countries welcomed the fact that the abortion decriminalization law was passed in 2014, access to abortion remains limited for rural women. Mozambique should review and amend article 169 (1) a of the Penal Code to remove barriers for rural women and girls to access abortion.


Marvin Thomar, Human Dignity

See our report for the UPR, which is also available in Portuguese.