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APF Discusses Myanmar NHRI’s Founding Legislation

By Asia Pacific Forum  •  May 21, 2012

As part of its program of support for Myanmar’s newly established national human rights institution, the APF recently travelled to Yangon to take part in discussions on the development of legislation to formalise the NHRI through an Act of Parliament.

The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission was established by presidential decree in September 2011, as part of democratic reforms taking place in the country. A draft law is currently being prepared that will provide the Commission with a statutory basis.

On 28-29 April 2012, the APF, represented by Legal Counsel Greg Heesom, met with the Chairperson and members of the Commission to discuss all aspects of the founding legislation of a national institution.

The two-day meeting provided an opportunity to consider and compare founding legislation from NHRIs in the ASEAN region, the broader Asia Pacific region and other parts of the world, with a focus on highlighting good practice in relation to the structure and functions of a national institution.

The discussions also addressed the international standards relating to the establishment and functioning of NHRIs – known as the Paris Principles – and the General Observations of the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs, which seek to interpret and clarify the Paris Principles.

Both the Paris Principles and General Observations are used to accredit NHRIs for participation in the United Nations human rights mechanisms.

In addition to providing technical advice on the Commission’s establishing legislation, the APF has undertaken to support the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission by:

  • coordinating a high-level dialogue involving Commission members, possibly in July 2012
  • providing assistance with the Commission’s strategic planning process, either later this year or in early 2013
  • provide training for Commission staff, as more are appointed.

Kieren Fitzpatrick, Director of the APF Secretariat, has also indicated that the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission would be invited to attend, in an observer capacity, future meetings of the APF and to send participants to APF training courses, pending the Commission’s membership of the APF and its international accreditation by the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs.

View the original article here.

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This post is in: NHRC Monitor

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