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Israel National Report UPR Second Cycle

Israel National Report UPR Second Cycle

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Published by Denis Fitzgerald
Israel's report to the UN Human Rights Council as part of its Universal Periodic Review
Israel's report to the UN Human Rights Council as part of its Universal Periodic Review

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Published by: Denis Fitzgerald on Oct 28, 2013
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Israel's National report submitted in accordancewith paragraph 5 of the annex to Human RightsCouncil resolution 16/21
Methodology and Consultation Process
The Report of the State of Israel was prepared in line with guidelines set out inResolution 16/21 (A/HRC/RES/16/21) and its Annex, and Decision 17/119(A/HRC/DEC/17/119) of the UN Human Rights Council. The report is based on theresults of consultations between a wide range of government ministries and agencies.
Normative and Institutional Developments
i. International Instruments
Further to Recommendation 2 (Mexico, Romania)
, on 28 September 2012 Israelratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) markingthe successful end of a lengthy process of internal discussions.
The ratification signifies another milestone in the promotion of disability rights agenda inIsrael throughout the last decade, which started with the Israeli
 Equal Rights for Personswith Disabilities Law
and continued with the establishment of theCommission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities in August, 2000.
In order to enforce and enhance accessibility compliance, an Inspection Department wasestablished in 2008 under the auspices of the Commission for Equal Rights of Personswith Disabilities. This department currently employs nine inspectors, acting mainly in thefields of public transportation, telecommunication and planning and building. TheCommission also employs four attorneys in its legal department and a fifth attorney whohandles accessibility queries.
Since the submission of Israel's 2008 UPR national report, Israel has enacted anadditional 9 sets of regulations mandating accessibility to all existing and new public buildings and services. Another set of regulations mandating accessibility to other public places such as beaches, parks, zoos and graveyards was finalized in Sept. 2013. Largelydue to the enforcement efforts of the Commission and the courts, significantachievements may be noted:a.
70% of municipal buses in Israel are now accessible to people with sight, hearing,cognitive and mobility disabilities. This accessibility includes vocal announcementof bus stops, ramps, accessible signage, and wheelchair fastening belts. b.
60% of municipal bus stops, train stations and airports countrywide are accessible to persons with mobility disabilities.c.
The Commission has informed all planning and building committees in Israel abouttheir duties under the accessibility laws and regulations. Sample inspections haveshown that, currently the committees have complied with the accessibility laws inabout half of the cases.d.
All major cell phone and telecommunications companies now offer disability-accessible phones, as well as telecommunications relay services for persons withhearing disabilities.e.
 National Insurance Law (Amendment no. 109) 5768-2008
enables persons withdisabilities to earn a monthly salary relative to their level of disability, withouthaving to forgo their disability benefit, thus creating a powerful incentive to reenter the work force.
In addition to the aforementioned information, in 2012, the Civil Service had designatedfor the first time 90 positions for persons with disabilities, for the first time. A circular regarding these positions was disseminated to all Government Ministries. This was donein order to better integrate persons with disabilities in the labour market.
Israel's Commissioner for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Ahiya Kamara,was elected in September 2012 to the General Assembly to the Bureau of the Committeeon the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for a term of two years. Israel has beeninvolved in organizing side events, with the help of Israeli NGOs and human rightsorganizations, during recent annual sessions of the Conference of State Parties to CRPD.Two examples of such events are "Access to Justice in the Criminal System for Personswith Disabilities", together with the Israeli Bizchut, The Israeli Human Rights Center for People with Disabilities (13.9.2012); and "Persons with Disabilities' role in DevelopingAccessible Environments", with the International Disability Alliance (17.7.2013).
Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation at
the Ministryof Foreign Affairs was involved in sharing Israel's knowledge and expertise on issues pertaining to persons with disabilities. In 2010-2011 MASHAV organized severalworkshops on equal educational opportunities for preschoolers with special need for Latin American decision makers and NGOs. Similarly, in 2011-2012 MASHAV workedin cooperation with the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe and INAPAM (Instituto Nacional de las Personas Adultas Mayores), the umbrella organization for older people inMexico, to focus on the special needs of the elderly and disabled within the community.ii. Engagement and Dialogue on Human Rights Issues with International Bodies and NGOs
Further to Recommendations 7, 40 (Latvia, Jordan, Brazil, Azerbaijan)
, Israel has been regularly subject to significant, and often politically motivated scrutiny over theyears, disproportional to the international attention received by other world regions. Nevertheless, Israel regularly cooperates with various international and domestic bodiesand NGOs that deal with human rights issues. Israel complies with requests for dialogueas an expression of its appreciation for transparency and dialogue in a democratic society.This includes intensive relations with a variety of human rights bodies, compilation of detailed State reports and interactive dialogues with high ranking delegations who visitIsrael. In 2008-2013 Israel was visited by a number of UNHRC Special Rapporteursincluding the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing (30.1-12.2.2012); the SpecialRapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion andExpression (6-18.11.2011); and The Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief (20-27.1.2008). Israel also hosted visits by the Special Representative for Children andArmed Conflict (2-6.2.2009) and by the Program Officer in the Office of the SpecialRepresentative for Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict
Israel is making genuine efforts to involve civil society in the process of articulating its periodic reports to all human rights treaty bodies. In addition to letters that are sent out toall the relevant Ministries and Governmental bodies, letters are also sent out to therelevant and leading NGOs, inviting them to submit comments prior to the compilation of the report through direct application, Moreover a general invitation to submit remarks is posted on the Ministry of Justice web site.
Israel is one of four states representing WEOG in the NGO Committee for twoconsecutive terms. Mission member, Mr. Yoni Ish Hurwitz, served as the 2012 ViceChair and Rapporteur of the Committee on behalf of WEOG. During this period, Israel
has helped NGOs from various countries receive “ECOSOC consultative status.”

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