Manual Report on Human Rights Practices for 2011 Country of Seychelles

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Also makes consequential amendments to wording in sections 51, 62 and adds a new section concerning savings and transitional. Amends the Constitution to make provision for an Electoral Commission. In particular it replaces all mention of the word "Commissioner" with the word "Commission", by amending Articles 52A 3 , 79 4 b and 7 , 81 1 and 5 , Chapter VII, Article 3 , Article , , , , Schedules 2, 3 and 4. Seychelles - Constitutional law - Constitution. Adoption : SYCC Amends the Constitution of Seychelles with regard to the re-election of the President.

Amends article 10 by inserting a new article 10A, allowing a person born outside of Seychelles between Independence Day and 5th June whose mother was Seychellois at the time to become a Seychelles citizen. In addition, inserts new clause in article 86 relating to the procedure by which a bill is passed by the Assembly. Also makes numerous technical amendments.

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Seychelles - Constitutional law - Regulation, Decree, Ordinance. Adoption : SYCR Establishes rules for the submission of applications to the Supreme Court for the exercise of supervisory jurisdiction over subordinate courts. Made under Article 2 of the Constitution. Amends Article of the Constitution by repealing in clause 3 the words "an appeal or complaint" and subtituting therefore the words "a complaint" and by repealing in clause 7 the definition of "public authority" and substituting the following definition: " "Public authority" means a Ministry, department or division of Government".

Amendments regarding pensions for the President, the Leader of the Opposition, and for Ministers, and the filling of any vacant seat arising from the dissolution of a party which nominated a member for the seat. Provisions in respect to, inter alia, practice and procedure of the Constitutional Court, application for contravention etc.

Made under the Constitution. Provides a complaint procedure with regard to allegations that an illegal practice has been committed in relation to an election of a President or member of the National Assembly. Provides for rules regarding election procedures including appointment of registration officers, counting of votes, allegations of irregularities and related matters. Constitution of Seychelles S. The Schedule of this Notice contains the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles, approved by more than 60 per cent of the votes cast by the people of Seychelles at a referendum held in June It is divided into XVI Chapters concerning citizenship, fundamental human rights and freedoms, states of emergency, remedies, the Presidency, the Executive, the Legislature, electoral matters, the judiciary, the Ombudsman, public service appeals, finance, the police force, and the defence forces.

Included among fundamental human rights and freedoms are freedom from slavery or forced labour, as well as freedom of expression, assembly and association, and in particular the right to join trade unions. In addition, the Constitution grants the right to health care, education, shelter, work and social security, and protects the rights of minors, working mothers and the aged and disabled. Provides for the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court with regard to referendum petitions.

Amendments concerning the Constitutional Commission and constitutional referendums. The Act provides for the establishment of a Constitutional Commission for the purpose of drafting a new Constitution; the composition and proceedings of the Commission; a national referendum on the draft; and the manner for giving effect to the new Constitution when it is approved. Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles 3rd Amendment Act, This Act amends the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles set out in the Schedule to the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles Decree, , by providing for the discharge of the functions of the President in the event of his death, resignation, or suspension, for the appointment of Members in the Peoples' Assembly, and by setting out the jurisdiction of the various levels of judiciary.

Short title and commencement. Registration of political parties. Application for Registration. Refusal to register. Appeal against refusal to register. Cancellation of registration. Foreign Travel: The law allows the government to deny passports to any citizen if the minister of defense finds that such denial is "in the national interest," but the law was not invoked during the year.

Access to Asylum: The country's laws do not provide for the granting of asylum or refugee status, and the government has not established a system for providing protection to refugees.

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Section 3. The constitution and law provide citizens the right to change their government peacefully, and citizens exercised this right in practice through periodic, free, and fair elections based on universal suffrage.

Recent Elections: In presidential elections held May , voters reelected incumbent and ruling People's Party candidate James Michel to a third term. International observers deemed the process credible, although they cited allegations of unfair campaign practices.


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The Francophonie Observer Group, the Commonwealth Expert Team, and the Southern African Development Community called for electoral reforms, such as a cap on campaign funding, a credible voters' register, and restrictions on the use of state resources. In National Assembly elections held on September 29, 30, and October 1, the People's Party won all seats due to an opposition boycott of the elections. Both the SNP and New Democratic Party opted out of the election, charging that the ruling party obstructed their activities, particularly in the National Assembly. Despite the boycott, international observers found the election credible and transparent.

Citizens Democracy Watch, a local observation group, the first domestic observer group allowed to monitor an election, expressed concern about "the sudden dissolution of the National Assembly, the use of state funds and resources during the election period, intimidation of candidates and activists; media coverage of events during cooling-off period; and nonadherence to agreed rules and procedures during campaigning. Remand prisoners were not allowed to vote in the legislative elections, despite a July 12 Constitutional Court ruling that provided them the right to vote.

Political Parties: The People's Party assumed power in a coup and continued to dominate the country through a pervasive system of political patronage and control over government jobs, contracts, and resources.

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Opposition parties claimed that they operated under restrictions and outside interference, especially in the National Assembly, where dissent was sometimes penalized. SNP members who walked out of the assembly in protest, for example, lost a day's pay. The speaker sometimes ordered individual opposition members to leave the chamber if debate tactics became contentious.

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Some members of opposition parties claimed that they lost their government jobs because of their political affiliation and were at a disadvantage when applying for government licenses and loans. Participation of Women and Minorities: There were 14 women in the seat National Assembly, 11 elected by direct election and three appointed by proportional representation. Two of the 10 cabinet members were women. The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, but the government did not always implement the law effectively, and officials sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.

Although public officials and citizens serving on boards were subject to financial disclosure laws upon taking office, this did not always occur. The ombudsman has legal authority to investigate and report on allegations of official fraud and corruption; however, no cases were reported or investigated during the year. There are laws allowing public access to government information, but the government did not comply with them. Citizens generally had no access to such information. Section 5. For example, the government refused to permit CEFRAD and other local groups to observe the May presidential election and prior elections.

Government Human Rights Bodies: The National Human Rights Commission investigated allegations of human rights abuse, including those committed by members of law enforcement agencies. The commission operated without government or party interference, had adequate resources, and was considered effective. The constitution and law affirm the right to be free from all types of discrimination but do not prohibit discrimination based on specific factors.

In practice, there was no overt discrimination in housing, employment, education, or other social services based on race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, or disability. Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape, spousal rape, and domestic abuse are criminal offenses punishable by a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment. Rape was a problem.

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The police registered 63 sexual assault cases for the year, although most rape cases went unreported for fear of reprisal or social stigma. Nine sexual assault cases were prosecuted during the year, and 36 cases remained under investigation. Domestic violence against women was a problem. Police rarely intervened in a domestic dispute unless it involved a weapon or major assault.

Authorities often dismissed the few cases that reached a prosecutor, and the court generally ordered light sentences for perpetrators. The Family Tribunal issued restraining orders, 82 eviction orders, and referrals of persons on restraining order to probation services during the year.

Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment, but enforcement was rare. The penal code provides no penalty for sexual harassment, although the court can order a person accused of such conduct to "keep a bond of peace," which allows the court to assess a fine if the harasser fails to cease the harassment.

Reproductive Rights: The government recognized the right of couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children. Health clinics and local health NGOs were permitted to operate freely in disseminating information on family planning under the guidance of the Ministry of Social Development and Culture. There were no restrictions on the right to access contraceptives, but few couples reportedly used these measures.

The government provided free childbirth services, although women traditionally preferred using nurses or midwives during childbirth as well as for prenatal and postnatal care, unless the mother or child suffered serious health complications. Men and women received equal access to diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. There were no legal, social, cultural, or other barriers that limited access to these services. Discrimination: Women enjoyed the same rights as men, and the society was largely matriarchal. Unwed mothers were the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children.

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There was no officially sanctioned discrimination in employment, and women were well represented in business. There was no economic discrimination against women in employment, access to credit, equal pay for equal work, or owning or managing a business. Inheritance laws do not discriminate against women.


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  • Birth Registration: Citizenship is derived by birth in the country or from parents, and births were generally registered immediately. Failure to do so, however, did not result in denial of public services. Education: The government requires children to attend school through the 10th grade and made free public education available through the secondary level until age Child Abuse: The law prohibits physical abuse of children, but child abuse was a problem. According to government social workers, sexual abuse of children, usually perpetrated by stepfathers and older brothers, occurred.

    According to WASO, most rapes of girls under age 15 went unreported for fear of reprisal or social stigma.