Human rights defenders face massive challenges in Maldives: HRCM President Aminath Eenas

At an international conference of the national human rights institutions held on 9 – 11 April, President of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has said that due to the negligence of ‘dysfunctional’ state institutions, human rights defenders are facing massive challenges.

Speaking at the International conference on “Identifying Challenges, Assessing Progress, Moving Forward: Addressing Impunity and Realizing Human Rights in South Asia” hosted by the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal (NHRC) in Kathmandu concluded on Wednesday, HRCM President Aminath Eenas said that the challenges being faced in the process of protecting human rights in the Maldives are a direct result of the negligence of ‘dysfunctional’ state institution.

Eenas spoke on the hindrances in rectifying human rights situations faced in the country and added that this is a result of negligence from government-run institutions.

She stressed that the HRCM of ‘paramount importance’ to the Maldives.

The conference witnessed the participation of the representatives of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in the South Asian region including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The human rights institutions of Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines and Jordan, attended along with the leading human rights activists and civil society members from the region.

During the conference, the discussions were held on the issues of national security and human rights, migration and livelihood, rights of women and indigenous and marginalized communities. The discussion on the Rule of Law reiterated that all citizens (including women, children, minority groups and marginalized communities) are protected by the justice system equally and without discrimination.

At the end of the conference, the seven NHRIs representing South Asia reached to an understanding over a number of key issues, which is also included in the Kathmandu Declaration.

The Kathmandu Declaration called on all South Asian states to review national security and counter-terrorism laws relating to the issue of impunity to ensure that they meet international norms and standards.

It said: “While the declaration recognizes the inalienable right of the states to call a state of emergency when national security is genuinely in peril, but reiterates categorically that under no circumstances the use of torture or attacks on the right to life and the protection of civilians can be justified. All the signatories to the Kathmandu declaration committed to remaining vigilant to any attempts to improperly use national security as a justification for illegitimate restrictions of rights that in no circumstances can be suspended.”

The three-day conference was inaugurated by President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari on 9 April.

Dilip Chakma

Dilip Chakma

Dilip Chakma is a lawyer and alumni of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU).
Dilip Chakma
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