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APF members contribute to global rights dialogue

Graphic: Tracey Mikaele with other presenters at the GANHRI Knowledge Exchange

NHRIs from the Asia Pacific made a significant contribution to discussions at the annual global meeting of national institutions.

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Samoa's national human rights institution has shared their experience of engaging communities in difficult conversations, as part of a 'knowledge exchange' with NHRIs from other parts of the world.

Tracey Mikaele, Director of Communications & Education with the Office of the Ombudsman, described the successes and challenges of conducting the landmark National Inquiry into Family Violence, during the annual meeting of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).

The National Inquiry report was launched in September 2018, following a year-long process of public hearings and community consultations. The findings and recommendations from the National Inquiry have since generated widespread discussion in mainstream media, on social media and across government.

The National Human Rights Commission of India also contributed to the 'knowledge exchange' session, which explored the different ways that NHRIs are using their promotion mandate and their protection mandate to advance the rights of women and girls.

Graphic: Incoming Chair and Secretary, with the outgoing GANHRI Chair and UN High Commissioner

The 2019 GANHRI conference also considered steps that NHRIs can take to help States develop a people-centred approach to implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR) shared their experiences during a panel session on regional collaboration.

Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana described the CHR's efforts to work closely with other NHRIs in the Asia Pacific, such as the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar, to prevent, monitor and address human rights violations involving migrant workers.

A conference statement was developed and adopted by NHRIs at the conclusion of the 2019 GANHRI Conference.

It sets out a wide range of steps that NHRIs can take to promote a human rights-based and gender responsive plan to guide implementation of the Global Compact, in line with their mandates and functions under the Paris Principles.

During the conference, Dr. Carlos Alfonso Negret Mosquera, Ombudsman of Colombia, was elected GANHRI Chairperson, and Dr. Ali Bin Samikh Al-Marri, Chairperson of the Qatar National Human Rights Committee, was elected GANHRI Secretary. Both will serve three-year terms.

The NHRIs of Australia, India Jordan and Qatar will represent the Asia Pacific region on the GANHRI Bureau.

In addition, the NHRIs New Zealand and the Philippines will represent the Asia Pacific on the newly-established GANHRI Working Group on Disability.

Date: 18 March 2019

Image credits

  1. Tracey Mikaele with other presenters at the GANHRI Knowledge Exchange - Office of the Ombudsman of Samoa
  2. Incoming Chair and Secretary, with the outgoing GANHRI Chair and UN High Commissioner - GANHRI