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Building closer links across the region

Graphic: Discussions at the 2019 SEO Network meeting

Senior executive officers from NHRIs across the Asia Pacific have expressed their desire to stay connected to each other following an APF workshop.

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Senior executives of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) from across the Asia Pacific have expressed their desire to stay connected and keep learning from each other, following a recent meeting organised by the APF.

Representatives from 21 NHRIs gathered in Doha from 28-30 January 2019, as part of their membership of the APF Senior Executive Officers (SEO) Network.

Discussions during the three-day meeting – which was generously hosted by the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar – focused on a range of practical topics, including:

  • Strengthening the capacity of NHRIs
  • Dealing with staffing challenges
  • Working with the private sector and business
  • Monitoring and evaluating NHRI performance
  • Working with civil society organisations.

Representatives from different APF members shared their experiences to strengthen the organisational culture and performance of their NHRIs.

For example, Palestine's Independent Commission for Human Rights gave a presentation on a gender audit that had been conducted across the organisation as a means to strengthen the way gender considerations are incorporated into all aspects of the NHRI's operations.

In addition, the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar described their recent efforts to better protect the rights of migrant workers in the country.


Jackie de Duia, from the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, addresses the SEO Network

"It was a very fruitful meeting and I am thankful to have met so many amazing colleagues."

Comment from the 2019 SEO Network Meeting evaluation


"NHRIs are unique institutions and leading an organisation of this nature requires specialised skills and knowledge," APF secretariat Director Kieren Fitzpatrick said.

"So it is vital that senior executives are able to stay in touch with each other, ask questions and share experiences that help them address the challenges they will inevitably face."

Some of the suggestions offered by participants included:

  • Developing an online community – through WhatsApp or the FUSE learning platform – to promote ongoing collaboration and information exchange
  • Holding a meeting of the SEO Network in parallel with the APF Annual Meeting to provide additional opportunities to discuss and exchange
  • Linking senior executive officers of newly established NHRIs with those from more established NHRIs – "twinning" – to support professional exchange and development.

Date: 15 February 2019


Image credits

  1. Discussions at the 2019 SEO Network meeting - APF/Kate Turner-Mann
  2. Jackie de Duia, from the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, addresses the SEO Network - APF/Kate Turner-Mann