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Roundtable Considers Founding Legislation for Myanmar NHRI

By Asia-Pacific Forum  •  February 19, 2013

The APF was invited to Yangon in January to take part in a roundtable discussion on draft legislation to formally establish the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission.

The two-day meeting was attended by Commission members, along with representatives of government departments, the Office of the President, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the APF’s Legal Counsel, Greg Heesom.

Participants discussed the legal framework and the core provisions necessary to ensure that the proposed legislation complies with:

  • the Paris Principles, which set out international standards relating to the establishment and functioning of independent national human rights institutions (NHRIs)
  • the General Observations developed by the Sub-Committee on Accreditation of the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs.

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

The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission was established by presidential decree in September 2011. Once legislation is passed by Myanmar’s parliament, the Commission will begin operating under a statutory basis.

The roundtable follows an earlier meeting between the APF and the Commission, held in April 2012, which considered “good practice” examples of legislation establishing NHRIs in the Asia Pacific region.

The National Human Rights Commission was admitted as an Associate Member of the APF in November 2012, as part of the APF’s 17th Annual Meeting.

Human rights education

The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission has announced that a number of key human rights documents will be translated and disseminated among the public, according to a report in Eleven News (9 February 2013).

The report quoted Secretary Sit Myaing as saying that the Commission will translate the nine “core” United Nations human rights conventions in Myanmar.

Myanmar has acceded to three of the nine human rights conventions; the Convention on the Rights of Children, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

View the original article here.

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This post is in: NHRC Monitor

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