Human Rights Council 34th Session
We address the Human Rights Council on behalf of CIVICUS in consultation with 170 Venezuelan civil society organizations.
The majority of countries participating in the UPR drew the attention of the Venezuelan State to the undermining of a broad spectrum of human rights, lack of cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner, and its refusal to invite representatives of Special Procedures to the country.
In its report, the State justifies maintaining a State of Exception that does not comply with Venezuela's international human rights obligations, with the consequent breakdown of the rule of law and democratic freedoms.
As noted in the UPR:
Freedoms of association, peaceful protest and expression are severely restricted;
Journalists, students, political activists and human rights defenders are subject to stigmatization and criminalization, and detainees are subjected to torture and cruel treatment;
The Supreme Court of Justice, the National Electoral Council and the Ombudsman's Office do not act independently, thus affecting the guarantees of protection of human rights;
The Venezuelan Intelligence Service must stop operating as a parallel justice system and the use of military justice to prosecute civilians must cease.
These situations and the following issues require urgent attention:
- 82% of the population lives in poverty today.
- 1 in 10 children children under 5 in 4 states of Venezuela presented Global Acute Malnutrition, in December 2016.
- 75% of public hospitals cannot provide adequate minimal care due to lack of medicines and supplies and there are no reagents for HIV testing.
- 4 million people have not had access for months to the medicines that their conditions urgently require.
We live in Venezuela a Complex Humanitarian Emergency. The Venezuelan State must accept the international humanitarian cooperation offered to it, in order to avoid further irreparable damage and loss of life, particularly in children and adolescents, pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic health conditions, indigenous peoples and persons deprived of liberty.