Stakeholders meet to discuss drafting of National Human Rights Action Plan


24-January-2013

The committee, which is composed of stakeholders from governmental departments, NGOs and CSOs, was set up in October 2012 and is co-chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Attorney General.

The drafting process of the action plan started in September 2012 by local consultant Mahrook Pardiwalla and a consultant from the Commonwealth Emile Short.

The action plan is being drafted through the collaboration of the 10th European Development Fund, the Commonwealth, the UNDP and the Seychelles Human Rights Treaty Committee.

A National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) is an action plan that seeks to improve the state of human rights of a country within a certain timeframe. The concept was developed as part of the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993, where it was recommended that “each State consider the desirability of drawing up a national action plan identifying steps whereby that State would improve the promotion and protection of human rights”.

The fundamental purpose of a national human rights action plan is to improve the observance of human rights by placing human rights improvements in the context of public policy, so that governments and communities can endorse human rights improvements as practical goals and allocate sufficient resources to their achievement. The action plan allows states to consider its strengths and effectively address its shortcomings in human rights protection.

The expected outcomes from National Human Rights Action Plans include a stronger legal framework, more effective incorporation of human rights standards in domestic law, enhanced independence of the judiciary, more effective rule of law, and stronger national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights. These results lead to an overall stronger culture of human rights and improved national harmony.

Several meetings have been held over the past months for the drafting of the action plan, including workshops and focus group discussions with relevant stakeholders.

Tuesday’s meeting focused on the prioritisation of human rights issues in Seychelles and the challenges faced in securing comprehensive human rights protections for all citizens. A validation workshop for the action plan is expected to be held in the second week of March.

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