Repository of United Nations recommendations on human rights in Macao

This page compiles all recommendations issued by UN human rights bodies - including the UN Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups, the UN Treaty Bodies, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights - on the human rights situation in Macao since 2018. Recommendations are sorted by topic and community affected.

Latest updates, 18 April 2024

This repository compiles all recommendations issued by UN human rights bodies to the Government of the Macao since 2018, the year of the People's Republic of China's third Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

This includes recommendations in Concluding Observations issued by UN Treaty Bodies following reviews of China, including Macao, in 2022 (Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)) and 2023 (Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)), as well as Macao's review by the Human Rights Committee in June 2022.

These UN bodies are composed of independent, impartial experts, from all geographic regions.

This repository maintains the original language of the recommendation issued by a given UN body, with minor formatting changes.

Please click here for the repository of recommendations on China, and here for the repository of recommendations on Hong Kong.


Recommendations from the Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations on the second periodic report of Macao, 22 July 2022

Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

    • Ensure that the Covenant prevails over local legislation, and bring its local legislation and practice into full conformity with the Covenant. It should also ensure that all interpretations of the Basic Law and other local laws, including those by the Standing Committee, and practices are in full conformity with the Covenant and with the principle of “ one country, two systems ”
    • Intensify its efforts to raise awareness among judges, prosecutors, the legal profession and the general public of the rights set out in the Covenant, and their applicability under local law

National human rights institution

    • Establish an independent national human rights institution with a comprehensive mandate and appropriate powers in full compliance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles)
    • Take concrete measures to strengthen the independence and effectiveness of the existing institutions and to further expand their mandates


    • Take concrete steps to adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that prohibits all forms of direct, indirect and multiple discrimination in all public and private spheres, in accordance with the Covenant, and that provides for effective remedies in cases of violations
    • Develop and conduct awareness-raising campaigns and activities to address stigmatizations of and discriminatory attitudes towards minority and vulnerable groups, promote sensitivity and respect for diversity and eradicate prejudices against members of such groups among the general public

Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons

    • Put in place a simple, transparent and accessible procedure for the legal gender recognition of transgender persons
    • Refrain from any discriminatory treatment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and afford equal protection to all

Women's rights

    • Intensify its efforts to raise public awareness with a view to combating gender stereotypes in the family and society and to achieve the full and equal participation of women in political and public life and in the private sphere
    • Step up its efforts to combat violence against women, including domestic violence , by, inter alia:
      • Considering legislative amendments to further clarify the definition of domestic violence, refraining from reclassifying cases of domestic violence under legal provisions that provide for lesser penalties, and providing law enforcement officers, members of the judiciary, prosecutors and other relevant stakeholders with training on how to detect, investigate and handle those cases in a gender-sensitive manner and under the most pertinent legal provisions;
      • Promptly, effectively and thoroughly investigating all cases of violence against women;
      • Ensuring that victims have adequate access to effective remedies and means of protection;
      • Encouraging the reporting of cases of violence against women, especially domestic violence and sexual harassment.

Prohibition of torture and ill-treatment

    • Take the steps necessary to establish an effective and independent complaints mechanism to receive, handle and investigate allegations of torture and ill-treatment, lodged without fear of reprisals, in all places of deprivation of liberty
    • Ensure that persons with psychosocial disabilities who are deprived of their liberty are afforded appropriate legal and procedural safeguards
    • Reach an agreement with the Government of mainland China on the surrender of offenders from Macao to mainland China
    • Ensure that its legal framework governing the surrender of fugitive offenders and the extradition, transfer or removal of individuals, including to mainland China, provides sufficient legal and procedural safeguards against their exposure to treatment contrary to articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant

Asylum seekers and migrant workers

    • Expedite the processing of pending asylum applications and ensure that asylum - seekers have access to adequate standards of education, health, social and legal aid services
    • Enhance the protection of migrant workers, provide effective complaints mechanisms for reporting abuse and exploitation, and raise awareness about such mechanisms among migrant workers

Elimination of trafficking in persons

    • Ensure that the legal framework prohibiting trafficking in persons, particularly with regard to the scope of victims, are in compliance with the Covenant and other international standards
    • Ensure that all cases of trafficking in persons are thoroughly investigated, that perpetrators are prosecuted and punished with appropriate penalties and that victims are provided with full reparation
    • Strengthen relevant training programmes
    • Provide victims of trafficking in persons with protection and assistance and ensure that legal alternatives

Access to justice, judicial independence and fair trial

    • Continue its efforts to reduce the backlog of court cases and ensure true bilingualism in the administration of justice
    • Safeguard the full independence, impartiality and safety of judges and prosecutors and prevent judges from being influenced in their decision-making by any form of political pressure, in accordance with the Covenant and relevant international standards

Right to privacy

    • Ensure that its regulations governing data retention and access, surveillance and interception activities are in conformity with the Covenant and ensure strict adherence to the principles of legality, proportionality and necessity

Freedom of expression

    • Ensure that any restrictions on the right to freedom of opinion comply with the strict requirements of article 19 of the Covenant and the Committee’s general comment No. 34 (2011)
    • Review all restrictions imposed on press and media activities so as to ensure that they are strictly in accordance with the provisions of article 19 (3) of the Covenant
    • Refrain from taking any measures against journalists, human rights defenders, critics of the Government and academics that are aimed at deterring or discouraging them from exercising their right to freedom of expression, guarantee their effective protection against any kind of threat, pressure, intimidation or attack, and ensure that such acts are promptly, independently and effectively investigated and that those responsible are brought to justice
    • Ensure that the legal framework provides adequate protection to whistle-blowers
    • Consider decriminalizing defamation and insults to the national flag, emblem and anthem, and, in any case, resorting to criminal law only in the most serious cases, bearing in mind that imprisonment is never an appropriate penalty for defamation

Right of peaceful assembly, and free association

    • Bring all laws and practices governing peaceful assembly into full compliance with the Covenant and ensure that any restrictions
    • Review article 2 of Law No. 2/93/M and clarify the definition of the phrase “ purposes contrary to the law ” with a view to preventing any arbitrary interpretation that can unduly restrict the right to freedom of assembly
    • Ensure that the right to freedom of assembly is guaranteed for all persons within its jurisdiction, regardless of their nationality or residency status
    • Develop and implement clear and publicly available guidelines to ensure the use of recording devices by law enforcement officials during assemblies
    • Take the measures necessary to guarantee, in law and in practice, the meaningful exercise of the right to freedom of association

Participation in public affairs

    • Introduce universal and equal suffrage in conformity with the Covenant; outline a clear and comprehensive plan of action and set timelines for the transition to an electoral system based on universal and equal suffrage that will ensure enjoyment by all its citizens of the right to vote and to stand for election
    • Review and revise candidate eligibility criteria for the Legislative Assembly, and the criteria for and process of disqualification of candidates under Law No. 3/2001 on the Electoral Law for the Legislative Assembly, as amended, with a view to bringing the law into line with the Covenant

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Concluding Obserations on the ninth period report of China, 12 May 2023: 

    • Establish within a clear time frame an independent human rights institution, with a strong mandate to promote and protect women’s human rights, in accordance with the Paris Principles 
    • Ensure the effective investigation and prosecution of acts of gender-based violence against women, and ensure that perpetrators are adequately punished; 
    • Collect data on the use of protection and assistance measures issued by the Social Welfare Bureau and the penalties handed down by judges; 
    • Ensure a sufficient number of adequately funded shelters for women victims of gender-based violence, including domestic violence. 


Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), Concluding Observations on the third periodic report of China, 3 March 2023: 

    • Establish an independent national human rights institution with a broad mandate in line with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles), and to allocate sufficient human, technical and financial resources for it to fully exercise its mandate in relation to economic, social and cultural rights 
    • Increase its efforts to combat gender stereotypes, including by increasing the use of the media and awareness-raising campaigns and enhancing women’ s participation in senior public and private positions, including by considering quotas 
    • Intensify its efforts to close the gender pay gap, including by addressing the gender-based segregation in the labour market, reviewing its social and tax policies and addressing the factors that discourage women from continuing their careers or taking up full-time employment 
    • Take all measures necessary to reduce the extent of the informal economy and to increase employment opportunities in the formal labour market, with a view to ensuring that workers are covered by labour and social protection laws 
    • Extend minimum wage protection to domestic helpers and increase the effectiveness of labour inspectorates 
    • Take all appropriate measures to ensure the effective and equal application of labour legislation to migrant workers in order to guarantee their right to just and favourable conditions of work 
    • Be guided by and follow the Committee’ s general comment No. 23 (2016) on just and favorable conditions of work. 
    • Pass legislation to regulate the right to form and join trade unions and the right to strike 
    • Take all necessary measures to ensure that workers enjoy their trade union rights without undue restrictions or interference 
    • Take all necessary measures to increase the participation of, in particular, but not limited to, migrant workers (classified as non-resident workers) in the social security system, ensure employers’ full compliance with mandatory social security system contributions and extend the mandatory system to non-resident workers 
    • Review the Law on Preventing and Combating Domestic Violence with a view to including same-sex couples, and ensure its effective implementation by raising awareness and conducting specific training for law enforcement agents and prosecutors to protect all victims, bring perpetrators to justice and prevent impunity 
    • Ensure comprehensive and accurate data collection on poverty to allow for analysis and subsequent implementation of targeted poverty-eradication programmes 
    • Take a holistic approach to raising the standard of living, including by expanding its approach and reducing its emphasis on employment schemes and self-reliance 
    • Immediately allocate emergency funding to hospitals and health clinics to expand the capacity of intensive care units, including staff and material 
    • Earmark additional funding specifically to strengthen the resilience of the health-care system to the health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic 
    • Funding be earmarked to improve mental health care services at both the preventive and the curative levels 
    • Redouble its efforts to increase pre-primary education enrolment and intensify its efforts to ensure equal opportunities in access to quality pre-primary education for children of migrants 
    • Take appropriate measures to narrow the digital divide for the benefit of older persons, including by increasing programmes aimed at providing increased access to the Internet and training in its use 

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Concluding Observations on the combined second and third periodic reports of China, 1 September 2022: 

    • Reorient its disability assessment systems by replacing elements of the medical model of disability with principles of the human rights model of disability and by establishing systems aimed at the assessment of legal and environmental barriers to persons with disabilities and the provision of the necessary support and assistance to promote the independent living of persons with disabilities and their full social inclusion 
    • Adopt laws and policies that replace the substitute decision-making system with supported decision-making mechanisms that respect the autonomy, will and preference of persons with disabilities 
    • Review all legislation, with a view to eliminating all restrictions of rights as a result of a declaration of legal incapacity or on the grounds of a person’s disability 
    • Provide the authorities, including law enforcement agencies and courts, with training on the requirements of the right to legal capacity of persons with disabilities 
    • Remove the legal exceptions to the requirement of free and informed consent of all persons with disabilities to medical interventions, including hospitalization, and ensure adherence to the requirement of free and informed consent with regard to all persons with disabilities 
    • Take into account the guidelines on independent monitoring frameworks and their participation in the work of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 
    • Establish an independent mechanism for monitoring human rights with a broad mandate in full compliance with the Paris Principles 
    • Ensure that persons with disabilities and the whole range of their representative organizations are effectively involved in monitoring the implementation of the Convention, including during the COVID-19 pandemic