Mon, 04 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], September 20 (ANI): President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday inaugurated the two-day conference of the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) of Asia Pacific organized by the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India, in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Forum at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

President Murmu said, "India and other nations of the Asia Pacific are civilizational protectors of human rights and can play a role in evolving an international consensus on related issues," Drawing attention to the issue of climate change impacting human rights, she exhorted to conserve and enrich nature before it is too late.

The President said "India has a long historical experience of practising and cherishing democratic values and individual rights. It adopted universal adult franchise rights since the inception of the republic. We ensured a minimum 33% reservation for women in local bodies and a proposal is taking shape to have the same in assemblies and parliament."Earlier in his key note address, the NHRC, India, Chairperson Justice Arun Mishra said that the NHRIs of the Asia Pacific need a joint strategy for the emerging challenges to Human Rights protection in areas of climate change, child trafficking, Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) and other crimes in cyberspace, the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence, among others.

Arun Mishra said that the concentration of wealth in a few hands globally is causing a brooding sense of injustice. We must ensure that workers involved in various economic activities are provided humane working conditions. Hesaid that business houses must be responsible for processing waste and removing debris from their premises. He said that in the matter of essential health issues, the intellectual property right, must adopt a right-based approach in essential health services in public interest.

He also strongly pitched in for ensuring gender justice for women and the LGBTQI community besides liberalising the concept of reasonable opportunity for the specially-abled.

On the occasion, Amina Bouayach, Secretary, Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institution (GANHRI) said "The world community recognizes the critical role of the NHRIs in promoting and protecting human rights. Their role has gained more significance in the contemporary times facing challenges of poverty, discrimination, shrinking civic space among other challenges,"Doo-Hwan Song, Chairperson, Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions also addressed the gathering.

Prior to this, welcoming the dignitaries, Bharat Lal, Secretary General, NHRC, gave an outline of the scheduled discussions in various sessions of the two-day conference of the NHRIs of the Asia Pacific.

Bharat Lal said that the conference will provide an opportunity to deliberate upon various emerging challenges and find ways to promote and protect human rights.

"The conference including the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 20th September, 2023 followed by 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. It is being 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, and academic institutions," read the NHRC press release.

NHRC is also hosting an international seminar on'Business and Human rights' for the development of strategies to ensure that businesses prioritize human rights and environmental sustainability in their operations.(ANI)

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