NHRC to host AGM of APF tomorrow

Business Standard:

Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Representatives of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) from 21 countries will gather here tomorrow to discuss rights issues of vulnerable sections of the society.

The representatives would be gathering here for three-day 19th Annual General Meeting of the Asia Pacific Forum (APF), being organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The APF of NHRIs is a leading regional human rights organisation in the Asia Pacific.

"During the meeting, participants will discuss their collective agenda focusing on the human rights of some vulnerable sections of the society during the next five years from 2015 to 2020," NHRC Secretary General Rajesh Kishore, and Joint Secretary J S Kochher told reporters here today.

Kishore said the points of discussion, among others, may include, fostering human rights peace and security by addressing the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights with priority accorded to children, women, people with disabilities, mass movement of people (asylum seekers, refugees, migrants, internally and externally displaced persons), older persons and business and human rights.

The NHRIs will be expected to take up on priority the human rights of such vulnerable sections of the society with their respective Governments, he said.

Addressing the media, Kochher said also, there would be a dialogue of the representatives of the NHRIs with the Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI) to discuss practical and constructive ways in which they can engage and cooperate on the APF's Strategic Plan (2015-2020).

"This includes, five strategic objectives of, building capacity of member NHRIs through training and dialogue, advising member Governments and Civil Society in the region on NHRIs' functioning.

"Exchanging information and experiences by building cooperation and developing professional human rights networks to encourage peer to peer learning," he said.

Engaging regionally and internationally to promote member NHRIs' participation and views to share their expertise with others at different forums including UN Bodies, ASEAN, Arab League, SAARC, Pacific Island Forum, ANNI, etc and promoting gender equality and mainstreaming gender across all the works of the APF, Kochher added.

The APF was established in 1996 by four NHRIs of India, Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand following their meeting in Darwin in Australia.

Today, the APF has 15 full member NHRIs and six associate member NHRIs from across the breadth of the Asia Pacific Region.

The full members include: Afghanistan, Australia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Korea, Thailand and Timor Leste while the associate members are: Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Samoa and Sri Lanka. 

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