Asia-Pacific: Brief to UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

On 3 September 2010, the Human Rights Law Resource Centre, together with the International Service for Human Rights and the Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team, provided a Brief on the Pacific Region to Ms Margaret Sekaggya, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, in advance of her visit to Fiji scheduled for 6 to 10 September 2010. The brief is based on desktop research and provides preliminary or background information on human rights structures, initiatives and issues in the Pacific region.  National and regional non-government organisations will fully brief the Special Rapporteur on the substantive issues facing human rights defenders prior to or during her visit to Fiji.

The brief contains the following parts:

  • An outline of regional initiatives in relation to the protection of human rights in the Pacific region.
  • A table of the status of international human rights treaty signature, ratification and accession for Pacific Island nations as at 31 August 2010.
  • A table providing the dates for consideration of Pacific Island nations under the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the Human Rights Council.
  • A table setting out the extent of constitutional protection of human rights in Pacific Island nations, with commentary from treaty monitoring bodies and from UPR reports on relevant gaps in human rights protection.  This table includes references to the situation of human rights defenders, women’s rights, freedom of association, rule of law and governance issues and independence of the judiciary that have been made by those bodies.
  • A summary of reports made by regional and international NGOs on the situation of human rights defenders in the Pacific, or on issues that relate to those concerns.