President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu to inaugurate the Conference of National Human Rights Institutions of Asia Pacific
The President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu will inaugurate the Biennial Conference of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) of Asia Pacific on 20th September, 2023, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. It is being organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), India, in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Forum (APF), on September 20 – 21, 2023. The Asia Pacific Forum will also hold its 28th Annual General Meeting on 20th September, 2023 to discuss issues of common interest to member countries. In the conference, more than 1,300 plus delegates from India and abroad are likely to participate.
The conference will be attended by Heads, members, and senior officials of the NHRIs of the Asia Pacific region, 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 international organizations, academic institutions, etc. Earlier, in 2002 and 2014, such an AGM of Asia Pacific Forum and conference was held in India.
The Biennial Conference will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) and 30 years of National Human Rights Institutions and the Paris Principles, with a sub-theme on the environment and climate change.
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 will be held. The Biennial Conference will hold discussions on the role of the NHRIs in protecting and promoting human rights, their achievements across the Asia Pacific region, and the importance of partnerships and collaboration with stakeholders such as CSOs and UN agencies.
A parallel session on ‘Business and Human Rights’ will also be held in partnership with UNDP, which will be attended by representatives of business and industry, workers organizations and associations, various ministries, departments, statutory organizations, UN agencies, human rights defenders, NGOs, etc. In this session, issues related to the human rights of workers in various businesses and professions will be discussed.
NHRC is one of the founding members of the Asia Pacific Forum of the NHRIs, which was founded in 1996 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.
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, India.
NHRC during its journey of 30 years, disposed of more than 22 lakh cases and payment of more than one billion rupees to the victims of human rights violations on its recommendations indicate the respect given by various government institutions and agencies to the decisions of the Commission. Several spot enquiries, open hearings and camp sittings covering the length and breadth of the country, reviews and comments on many bills and legislations, conduct of several seminars, conferences and workshops, advisories, internships, research projects, more than 100 publications, including monthly Newsletters, hundreds of media reports, engagements in the international arena, etc. bear the testimony of the multi-dimensional work of NHRC. The work done in India to promote human rights and the role of the NHRC, India to protect and promote human rights, placing it uniquely in the comity of the NHRIs in the world.