New Delhi (ABC Live): As part of the largest human rights event of the Asia Pacific Region, the National Human Rights Commission of India is organizing the 19th Annual General Meeting of the representatives of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) of 21 countries in the Region under the auspices of the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) in New Delhi from the 3rd – 5th September, 2014. They will discuss their collective agenda focusing on the human rights of some vulnerable sections of the society during the next five years w.e.f. 2015 to 2020.
The points of discussion, among others, may include, fostering human rights peace and security by addressing the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights with priority accorded to children, women, people with disabilities, mass movement of people (asylum seekers, refugees, migrants, internally and externally displaced persons), older persons and business and human rights. The NHRIs will be expected to take up on priority the human rights of such vulnerable sections of the society with their respective Governments.
There will also be a dialogue of the representatives of the NHRIs with the Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI) to discuss practical and constructive ways in which they can engage and cooperate on the APF’s Strategic Plan (2015-2020).
This includes, five strategic objectives of:
” Building Capacity of Member NHRIs through training and dialogue;
” Advising Member Governments and Civil Society in the region on NHRIs’ functioning;
” Exchanging information and experiences by building cooperation and developing professional human rights networks to encourage peer to peer learning;
” Engaging regionally and internationally to promote Member NHRIs’ participation and views to share their expertise with others at different Forums including UN Bodies, ASEAN, Arab League, SAARC, Pacific Island Forum, ANNI, etc.; and
” Promoting gender equality and mainstreaming gender across all the works of the APF.
The APF was established in 1996 when four NHRIs of India, Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand met in Darwin, Australia. Today, the APF includes 15 Full Member NHRIs and six Associate Member NHRIs from across the breadth of the Asia Pacific Region. The Full Members include: Afghanistan, Australia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Korea, Thailand and Timor Leste. The Associate Members are: Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Samoa and Sri Lanka.
Together they promote effective international, regional and national cooperation and coordination on the issues of protection and promotion of human rights of the people of the Asia Pacific and to help establish and strengthen the NHRIs which, in full conformity with the Paris Principles, are financially and infrastructure-wise fully independent of the Governments.