New Malawi human rights action plan under review

The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and the Malawi Human Rights Commission on Friday organised a validation workshop with the aim of bringing together different stakeholders to review the new National Human Rights Action Plan (N HRAP) (2016-2020).

Soliciter General Dr Janet Banda:  We are bringing everybody on board

Soliciter General Dr Janet Banda: We are bringing everybody on board

The daylong workshop mainly focused on the weaknesses of the NHRAP (2004-2011) and the inclusion of missing important aspects of human rights in the document.

Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice, Dr Janet Banda said the workshop was crucial as it was a roadmap to the enhancement, promotion and protection of human rights in the country once the Action Plan has been adopted into a Policy.

“The challenges that were in the previous ten year plan that expired in 2011, the process was not consultative, you can see that what we are doing now is we are bringing everybody on board, Human Rights Commission, Civil Society, Media, Traditional Leaders.

“We are doing all this to ensure that everybody has a buy in and owns this document and that it reflects the aspirations of people of Malawi in terms of their understanding of what human rights are,” she said.

Banda expresses optimism that the process to adopting the Policy by cabinet will be smooth so that human rights issues in the country go on the right track.

Executive Director of Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Grace Malera said the validation workshop is a follow up process to ensure that Malawi has a blue print that is going to guide human rights promotion and protection work for the next five years.

She said they wanted to make sure that there are standards and guidance that all the stakeholders in the sector can use but also to ensure that there is a lot of collaboration, coordination and coherence in the way thing are done in human rights promotion and protection work.

“The main point of departure is we realize that there is still a lot of gender gaps in terms of Human Rights promotion and protection work, so the design of this follow up NHRAP is that it should be gender responsive, design all the strategies that we are putting in place, the idea is that gender should come out and should be effectively mainstreamed”, said Malera.

She added that the New NHRAP is an all inclusive plan, where they have tried to make sure that all the thematic areas of Human Rights are streamlined.

In the New Plan Human Rights have been broken down in sub themes of Economic and Social Council, Disability, HIV/Aids and Human Rights-Based Approach.

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