Human Rights in Uruguay

Addressing the most pressing human rights issues during the 46th UPR Pre-Session.

On February 16th, in preparation of the 4th review of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay during the 46th UPR Working Group Session in May 2024, the Pre-Session took place in Geneva. The Pre-Sessions, organized by the Geneva based NGO UPR-Info, provide a space for civil society organizations to raise the most pressing human rights issues in their respective country directly with representatives from Permanent Missions to the UN. FES Geneva collaborates regularly with local partners of FES country offices to support their involvement in the UPR process. To this end, FES Geneva assisted Cristina Prego Tramuja from the Asociación Nacional de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales Orientadas al Desarrollo (ANONG) in her participation at the UPR Pre-Session of Uruguay. We conducted a written interview with Cristina about why the UPR are important for her work in promoting human rights.

FES Geneva: Your organization submitted a report to the review of Uruguay in the UPR process and you are now following the different steps in Geneva. Why is the UPR a relevant process for your work?

Christina Prego Tramuja: The review looks at all human rights in an intersectional way and complements the work of the UN treaty bodies. It encourages the State under Review to conduct a self-assessment when drafting its own report. Additionally it invites other states to recommend actions for improvement based on the exchange of good practices to guarantee the enjoyment of human rights. Importantly the review provides space for civil society to add its own written contributions and to make its voices heard.

You came to Geneva for the UPR Pre-Session of Uruguay and to meet other permanent missions. How do the Pre-session and other meetings help you in your advocacy work (and do you have any other activities planned before the review of Uruguay in May)?

The Pre-session allows civil society organizations (CSOs) to go beyond the written contributions and to get in direct dialogue with recommending states. CSO representatives can bring information from the ground, emphasize the most relevant issues, and the actual state of implementation of human rights, which are not always reflected in a public policy plan. These actions by CSOs during the pre-session will be complemented by visits to embassies of recommending states in Uruguay.

What are the most important issues you want to see addressed during the review of Uruguay in May?

The most important issues for us are the situation of children and adolescents and the failures of their protection; the prison crisis; the consequences caused by the impunity of the last civic-military dictatorship; the regressive effects of Law 19.889 (“Urgent Consideration Law”; the situation of people with disabilities; gender-based violence against women and girls; the implementation of the welfare system; the excessive indebtedness of households; the difficulties in the implementation of decentralised policies, and the risks to the enjoyment of the human right to water.

Once Uruguay has received its recommendations in Geneva in May, the government will have to implement them over the next 4.5 years. How will you follow-up the process at the national level during this time?

The drafting of the submissions was the starting point for a civil society coalition that will work together in the future to accompany the implementation process. The coalition will dialogue with the different state authorities responsible for the implementation of public policies, contribute to innovative alternatives based on local work and knowledge of the communities, exchange with the states that have made recommendations, and denounce shortcomings when necessary.

The Asociación Nacional de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales Orientadas al Desarrollo (ANONG) was founded in 1992 and brings together civil society organisations in Uruguay, which work on different issues to promote development from a human rights perspective contributing to dialogue among partners and the strengthening of democracy.

Cristina Prego Tramuja has a degree in Sociology and is University Social Worker. She was the president of ANONG between 2019 and 2023. Her work focuses on issues of gender, childhood, and adolescence, gender-based violence, as well as development and human rights. She is a member of ‘Asociación Civil El Paso’, developing activities of support, research, training, and advocacy.

The interview was conducted in Spanish. 

More information:

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