22 Dec 2009

Renewed call for regional Pacific human rights body

2:36 pm on 22 December 2009

A human rights advisor, Imrana Jalal, says a Pacific human rights body is seen as necessary because most countries in the region are not in a position to set up their own independent national commissions.

The call for a regional body was renewed when MPs from around the Pacific met in Brisbane last week for a workshop run by the Regional Resources Response team of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

The workshop focussed on legislation to combat domestic violence, to protect people with HIV and other mechanisms to protect human rights.

Ms Jalal says it's the third occasion there's been a push for a regional human rights body which would operate with desks in each of the countries involved.

"To help countries meet their own human rights obligations, that are in their own constitutions and the treaties that they have ratified. So it is not about developing a new charter of human rights, well not at this stage anyway, but helping them to meet their own obligations because they are clearly struggling. They don't have the resources, financial or technical expertise in these countries."