NGO Coalition calls for stronger accountability but Commission says Fiji should face the same level of scrutiny as all other countries

NGO Coalition calls for stronger accountability but Commission says Fiji should face the same level of scrutiny as all other countries

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 21/01/2021
NGO Coalition on Human Rights Chair, Nalini Singh (left) and Director of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Ashwin Raj (right)

The NGO Coalition on Human Rights Chair, Nalini Singh is calling for stronger accountability and commitment to human rights in Fiji however the Director of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Ashwin Raj says Fiji should face the same level of scrutiny as all other countries in terms of it’s human rights record.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has elected Fiji's ambassador Nazhat Shameem as its 2021 President.

Nalini Singh says as the President of the UN Human Rights Council, Fiji now faces global scrutiny on our human rights obligations.

Singh says this is a welcome opportunity for Fiji to reflect on our progress and the existing human rights concerns that need to be addressed.

She says it is encouraging to witness a small Pacific island nation like Fiji take the lead at a global forum and represent key regional human rights issues.

Singh says a recent concern has been the cases of alleged police brutality that have been raised by the NGO Coalition.

She reiterates that there must be no rollback of human rights under the guise of response measures and continues to raise concerns on the arrests of Fiji citizens during the nation-wide curfew.

Singh says we are at the world stage taking a strong stance on human rights but we must walk the talk here at home and set the example.

The NGO Coalition says Fiji’s selection as the President of the UNHCR is a step forward in the right direction and we must keep this momentum to foster a culture that promotes and protects human rights, justice and democracy.

Raj says extraneous of whether Fiji would have assumed the Presidency of the Human Rights Council or not, the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission will continue to work towards strengthening the human rights landscape in Fiji.

He says Fiji’s leadership of the Human Rights Council will no doubt strengthen the fabric of the Council. Raj says this has also created the conditions of possibility for Pacific Small Island Developing States to amplify global consciousness about two global emergencies: climate and health that confronts us today.

The Director says Fiji has in Ambassador Khan an able human rights champion who can seamlessly translate between these global and national imperatives.

Raj also says there should be no undue curtailment of civil liberties but we should have a right balance and periodic reviews on the restrictions. He says it should be a collective effort.

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
IN DEPTH
Fiji continues to be affected by COVID-19
Contact tracing continues for most parts of Suva and Nausori. Mon 19th Apr Tue 20th Apr Wed 21st Apr Thu 22nd Apr Sat 24th Apr Sun ...
19 days ago

Parliament passes proposed electoral law requiring people to use their birth certificate name to be registered as a voter
Bill also passed where any agency which receives applications or submissions will only be required to accept the name of an applicant as it appears on their birth certificate
30 days ago

258,000 people lived under the Basic Needs Poverty Line according to the 2019-20 Household Income and Expenditure Survey
Survey says almost one in five school aged children in Fiji are educationally deprived
38 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
Opposition using the word dictatorship like they are buying Chinese lollies from the shop – AG
Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum today tabled the Fiji Institute of Accountants Bill under Parliamentary Standing Order 51 which he says seeks to ...
2 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
I voted for Ratu Wiliame Katonivere to be the next President to represent the wishes of those that had sent me to Parliament both in 2014 and 2018 - Bulitavu
SODELPA MP, Mosese Bulitavu has confirmed that he cast his vote as the Macuata MP for the Turaga Na Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere to represent ...
10 minutes ago

Govt should look at other options than to increase guarantee for Fiji Airways – Ratu Naiqama
Opposition Leader, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu says the Government should consider other practical options than to increase the Government guarantee for ...
2 hours ago

If we did not have a national carrier, the changes for tourists to come to Fiji from December 1st would have been hugely undermined – AG
Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says with the recent issue of new shares, the Fijian Government is the majority shareholder of Fiji Airways ...
2 hours ago

FICAC to make application to expedite hearing in the case where 6 SODELPA MPs and a former FijiFirst MP allegedly claimed parliamentary allowances dishonestly
FICAC is expected to make an application in court this afternoon to expedite the hearing in the case where 6 SODELPA Members of Parliament and a ...
3 hours ago

Degree in teacher training will no longer guarantee a student a teaching job
Minister for Education Premila Kumar says the quality of teachers from all teacher training institutions in the country has not been up to standard ...
3 hours ago

TOP