CHRR dismisses Malawi govt rating on human rights

The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has dismissed a recent rating the Malawi government has given itself on the level of compliance to respect for human rights.

Kaiyatsa gives an interview to MIJ FM reporter Catherine Maulidi
The strategy workshop on implementation of Universal Periodic Review Recommendations for Malawi in progress

CHRR acting executive director, Michael Kaiyatsa, accused the government of exaggerating its level of compliance on respect for human rights.

Kaiyatsa was speaking exclusively with Nyasa Times on the sidelines of the strategy workshop on implementation of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Recommendations for Malawi  at Linde Motel at Mponela in Dowa on Thursday.

The UPR is a unique process that involves a review of the human rights records of all United Nations (UN) Member States.

“The government had given itself over 50 percent as a rating for its level of compliance to the respect for human rights. But if you notice the level of implementation of legal provisions and policies aimed to promote human rights, you will notice that we are very poor. We are doing very fine on paper and not in practice,” he said.

Recently, CHRR, the Centre for the Development of the People (CEDEP) and CIVICUS made a joint submission to the UN UPR for the 36th session of the UPR Working Group.

In their submission, the three organizations examined the Government of Malawi’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to create and maintain a safe and enabling environment for civil society, specifically on civic space and human rights themes.

Specifically, the organizations analyzed Malawi’s fulfilment of the rights to the freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression, and unwarranted restrictions on human rights defenders (HRDs) since its previous UPR examination in 5 May 2015.

To this end, the organizations assessed Malawi’s implementation of recommendations received during the 2nd UPR cycle relating to these issues and made a number of recommendations.

Kaiyatsa, therefore, said the workshop had been organized to provide Malawian CSOs and media players a platform to discuss their experiences with the UPR mechanism from 2010 to 2020, review the recommendations that Malawi received during the 2015 UPR and identify challenges in complying with previous PR Recommendations.

The other objectives were to acquire advocacy skills, write an implementation plan to propose solutions for how the recommendations should be implemented, outline an action strategy to identify advocacy activities to ensure UPR implementation and adopt an outcome charter in which they will define and agree on priorities for the implementation of the recommendations.

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