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Myanmar Rights Body Charts Path Ahead

By Asia Pacific Forum  •  August 14, 2012

The Chairperson and members of the newest national human rights institution (NHRI) in the Asia Pacific region recently took part in an APF roundtable discussion to examine the organisation’s key goals and priorities.

The High Level Dialogue for Commissioners, held in Yangon on 30-31 July 2012, provided an opportunity for the 15-strong leadership team of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission to discuss the strategic direction of the new organisation, as well as their responsibilities as Commissioners within an independent NHRI.

The two-day program included practical discussions on the role of NHRIs and the importance of engaging with both the State – including the government, parliament, judiciary, police and military– and with the community to promote and protect fundamental rights.

Other specific topics covered during the High Level Dialogue included:

  • the importance of drafting and finalising the Commission’s founding legislation, in conformity with the Paris Principles
  • developing effective complaint handling procedures
  • establishing human rights education programs and partnerships
  • building relationships with NHRIs in the region and internationally.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the APF reaffirmed its support for the Commission and undertook to:

  • collate material from APF members and elsewhere about how NHRIs communicate their official status and independence to important domestic stakeholders, such as the government, the parliament and the judiciary
  • invite the Commission to participate in a proposed APF workshop on NHRIs working in conflict situations
  • gather information from APF members on a range of relevant topics, including their complaint handling processes; their coordination mechanisms with NGOs; how they take cases to court or intervene in the judicial process; and including human rights in the formal school curriculum.

The APF was represented at the High Level Dialogue by Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia; Kieren Fitzpatrick, Director of the APF secretariat; Chris Sidoti, APF senior consultant; and Eugene Quah, APF consultant.

Following the High Level Dialogue, members of the APF delegation held meetings with government officials, parliamentarians and civil society groups, including the Lawyers Network.

View the original post here. 

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This post is in: NHRC Monitor

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