The Ministry of Justice and Community Services Director General, Dorosday Kenneth this week invited and welcomed the MSG Secretariat, SPC RRRT and the Asia Pacific Forum for National Human Rights Institution (APF) to conduct a scoping study on the feasibility, desirability and options for establishing a Paris Principle compliant national human rights institution.
The Scoping Team comprises Dr Jayshree Mangubhai and Ms. Donna Pune-Narai, SPC’s Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT), Ms. Rosslyn Noonan, former Chief Commissioner of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and consultant with the Asia Pacific Forum for National Human Rights Institution and Mr. Romulo Nayacalevu, Program Manager Governance and Legal Affairs of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat.
In welcoming the participation and involvement of the MSG Secretariat, the Director General Ambassador Amena Yauvoli said that the MSG was delighted to be part of this undertaking.
“The steps taken by the Vanuatu Government to consider the options and benefits of establishing its own home-grown institution on human rights is a commendable and progressive achievement of which the Secretariat is pleased to support through our participation in the Scoping Team.”
“Human Rights is a pillar of good governance as encapsulated in our Leaders vision in the MSG 2038 Prosperity for All Plan. Strengthening good governance through stronger structures and institutions including on human rights contributes to solidary and unity within the sub-region” Ambassador Yauvoli adds.
The Consultation which continues this week has seen the team receive positive feedback and support for the establishment of such an institution.
MSG Secretariat’s Romulo Nayacalevu said the consultation this week is about speaking to a range of stakeholders including government ministers, departments, civil society groups, the Malvatumauri and the Council of Churches among others on their views of whether the government should establish a human rights institution. “It is important to note that the Study is not for us to tell the government on what it should do as it concerns a National Human Rights Institution.
“That decision rests solely and is a prerogative of the Government. Our study is merely to inform the Government on feasibilities, options and desirability of such an institution. The Scoping report will be presented back to the Ministry of Justice and Community Services of which will then be guided by Government’s internal processes.”
“Subject to being compliant with international standards in the Paris Principles, there are various kinds of human rights institutions. This includes stand-alone commissions as in Fiji and hybrid models which includes the Ombudsman’s offices being given a dual and broader mandate to deal with both maladministration and human rights as in the case of Samoa and Tuvalu. Each country decides their own institutional structure depending on resources, expertise and other practicalities.” Romulo adds.
In the Pacific, Fiji, Samoa and Tuvalu now have national human rights institutions while similar scoping studies have been requested by Governments and carried out in Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Nauru, Cook Islands and Tuvalu.
The Scoping Study concludes today.
Source: Vanuatu Daily Post