Prez Murmu to inaugurate conference of national human rights institutions on Sept 20

NEW DELHI, Sep 7 : President Droupadi Murmu will inaugurate on September 20 the biennial conference of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) of Asia Pacific which will be hosted here, officials said here today.

It is being organised at Vigyan Bhawan by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) from September 20-21.

The APF will also hold its 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 20 to discuss the issues of common interest to member countries. In the conference, more than 1,300 delegates from India and abroad are likely to participate, the NHRC said in a statement.

The conference will be attended by heads, members and senior officials of the NHRIs of 23 countries and five observer countries along with representatives from the Union and state governments, state human rights commissions, special rapporteurs, monitors, various institutions involved in the protection and promotion of human rights in the country, members of civil society and NGOs, human right defenders, lawyers, jurists, academicians, diplomats, representatives of UN agencies, and academic institutions, among others.

Earlier, in 2002 and 2014, such an AGM of Asia Pacific Forum and conference was held in India.

On September 21, the biennial conference will mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UNDHR). It will also celebrate 30 years of national human rights institutions and the Paris Principles, with a sub-theme on the environment and climate change, the statement added.

During the conference, three plenary sessions on the themes ‘Setting the Scene – 30 Years of Promoting and Protecting Human Rights across Asia and the Pacific’; ‘Advancing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its Promise of Freedom, Equality, and Justice for All’; and ‘The role of NHRIs in responding to and mitigating the human rights impacts of climate change-national, regional, and international actions’, will be held.

The biennial conference also aims to provide an opportunity for sharing good practices to support communities to respond to human rights impacted by climate change.

A separate session on ‘Business and Human Rights’ will also be held in partnership with UNDP, which will be attended by the representatives of business and industry, workers organisations and associations, various ministries, departments, statutory organisations, UN agencies, human rights defenders, NGOs, etc. In this session, issues related with the human rights of workers in various businesses and professions will be discussed, the officials said.

The Asia Pacific Forum was founded in 1996 with the support of five NHRIs, including the NHRC, India, to promote the establishment of independent NHRIs in the Asia Pacific region and to support them in their work to promote and protect human rights as effectively as possible. From five founding members, the APF membership has expanded to 26 NHRIs, the statement said.

The APF is one of the four regional NHRI networks, including Africa, NANHRI; Americas, RINDHCA; and Europe, ENNHRI, part of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).

The NHRC, India, has been a valued partner of the APF as an independent and autonomous ‘A’ status NHRI, fully compliant with the Paris Principles. The year also marks 30 years of the existence of NHRC.

The NHRC, during its journey of 30 years, disposed of more than 22 lakh cases and payment of more than Rs 1 billion to the victims of human rights violations on its recommendations indicates the respect given by various government institutions and agencies to the decisions of the Commission, the statement added.(PTI)


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