UPR Media Briefing Note


Tuesday, 29 May 2012 (Afternoon)
For use of information media; not an official record

State under review

Represented by 28-member delegation headed by M. Mourad MEDELCI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria.


To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit the Algeria page on UPR website.

Troika *

Costa Rica, Nigeria, Philippines.

Opening statement by State under review

Key points from opening statement of State under review:

  • Since Algeria’s first UPR in April 2008, the State has made important headway to advance human rights and freedoms; 
  • A significant step taken recently was the lifting of the state of emergency in February 2011, which had been in place since February 1992;
  • The State continued to observe a moratorium on the death penalty and had not carried out an execution since 1993; a number of death sentences have also been commuted to prison terms and Algeria continued to support the related GA resolution;
  • Torture has been criminalized per the Criminal Code and efforts have been made to build new penitentiary facilities in line with international standards and to promote the social reintegration of former prisoners; human right training was also afforded to law enforcement personnel; Algeria was also a signatory to the Convention on forced disappearances;
  • In March 2010, Algeria extended an invitation to seven Special Procedures, three of whom have already visited the country;
  • On women’s rights, the State introduced new constitutional provisions in 2008 stipulating that the State increase opportunities for representation of women in legislative assemblies, which subsequently led to a substantial increase in the participation of women in public life;
  • Domestic violence was punishable by law without condition; a related action plan for combatting violence against women was also in place;
  • The State was currently implementing a National Action Plan for Children, which, among other things, made it possible for a child to inherit the nationality of their mother;
  • Algeria was now well positioned to achieve all MDGs, and has already achieved those pertaining to combatting poverty, primary education and combatting HIV/AIDS; the country would also soon reach the goal of reducing infant mortality;
  • Legislative elections, monitored by some 500 international observers, were held on 10 May 2012 which ushered in a new electoral process supervised by judges and representatives of candidates and included the amendment of the Political Parties Act, among others; this process led to the election of 146 women for the 462 seats, or 31% of the lower house of the Parliament.
(See full statement on the Algeria page on UPR Extranet)


In total, 77 States participated in the discussion:  33 HRC members and 44 observers  (Statements available on Algeria page on UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The lifting of the state of emergency in February 2011;
  • The State’s policy of national reconciliation;
  • The increased participation of women in public life;
  • The adoption of the law on political parties;
  • Improvements made towards achieving the MDGs;
  • The increased rate of school enrolment in the country;
  • Amendments introduced to the Penal Code to criminalize human trafficking.

Issues and Questions

Main issues and questions raised by the Working Group:

  • Steps taken to address incidence of violence against women and children;
  • Measures to formally abolish the death penalty and address cases of torture and ill-treatment;
  • Efforts undertaken to enhance freedom of expression and assembly and to avoid any restrictions thereon;
  • Plans to improve the health system in the country, particularly for vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities;
  • Intention of the State to extend invitations to Special Procedures’ mandate holders.


In total, States participating in the discussion posed a series of recommendations to Algeria. These included, among others: 

  • To review and eliminate laws that discriminated against women and to review the Family Code in order to amend and repeal all gender-based discriminatory provisions; to withdraw reservations to the CEDAW and to pursue efforts to reduce gender disparity;
  • To step up measures aimed at protecting children from exploitation and violence and to investigate all alleged cases on these acts;
  • To ban all forms of corporal punishment;
  • To step up efforts to combat all forms of violence against women and adopt legislation in that regard; to address impunity and prevent the incidence of violence against women and girls, including domestic violence;
  • To ratify the OPCAT with a view to formally abolish the death penalty;
  • To commute any existing cases of those on death row to prison sentences; to take the steps to do away with any provision in national legalisation which could authorize the death penalty;
  • To extend an invitation to the Special Rapporteur on torture and accept the request for a visit by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights and counter- terrorism;
  • To ratify the Rome ICC Statute and the Convention on forced disappearances; to respond positively to the request by the Working Group on enforced disappearances to visit the country;
  • To take steps to improve prison conditions and to facilitate access to justice;
  • To guarantee the right to freedom of expression and assembly without restrictions and review laws restricting freedom of the press;
  • To review legislation in the areas of freedom of expression, association, assembly and religion to ensure full compatibility with Algeria’s international obligation;
  • To implement legal measures to limit the Government’s ability to deny an organizations’ license for political, religious, or arbitrary reasons;
  • To lift restriction on the freedom of assembly in line with the ICCPR;
  • To guarantee the right to privacy for all persons;
  • To continue to promote and protect the right to health and support health services;
  • To strengthen efforts to advance the right to education;
  • To enhance efforts to fully respect the rights of persons with disabilities;
  • To take efforts to reduce unemployment among youth;
  • To continue to support the Saharawi people in order to exercise their right to self-determination;
  • To elaborate a time frame for visits of UN Special Procedures who have already requested a visit to Algeria and to issue a standing invitation to all Special Procedures.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Algeria is scheduled to take place on Friday, 1 June 2012.

The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR.