APF pledges support and solidarity for NHRIs during pandemic
Graphic: A husband, wife and child wearing masks walk together on a street
The APF Chairperson has stressed the important role of NHRIs to monitor, report and advocate for human rights at this time.
The APF Chairperson has called on national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the Asia Pacific region to continue working to ensure human rights are observed and respected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a message to APF members, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, stressed the important role of NHRIs to monitor, report and advocate for human rights.
"We must ensure that any laws or regulations enacted in response to COVID-19 are for the legitimate purpose of protecting public health, and that any restrictions they impose are reasonable, proportionate and strictly time bound," Prof Croucher said.
"We must also ensure that they do not operate in a disproportionate or discriminatory way against particular groups," she said.
Prof Croucher said the APF would continue to provide "whatever assistance we can to member institutions".
"The APF pledges to do everything it possibly can to help our NHRI family and the larger communities we serve," she said.
We are all in this together and, together, we can do what we never could alone.
Prof Croucher said that during the pandemic it was vital the APF remain flexible and use the opportunity to innovate and pilot new ways of working.
"Our previous investment in establishing an online learning platform to build the capacity and skills of NHRIs has proven invaluable," Prof Croucher said.
"With a significantly increased demand for online training, we are currently working on the development of more online resources, as well as the continued translation of existing content into Arabic," she said.
"And over the coming weeks we will be reaching out to APF members to provide information relevant to the work of NHRIs during this pandemic."
Date: 3 April 2020
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