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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

10 December 2018

Author

Fiji Women's Rights Movement

Themes

NGOCHR PR: Towards a Fiji that respects and protects human rights

NGOCHR PR: Towards a Fiji that respects and protects human rights

10/12/18

UDHR at 70: Equality, Justice and Human Dignity

Human Rights Day is observed worldwide on 10 December each year. This marks the anniversary of the day the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. In 2018, the world’s most translated document turns 70 and the global theme to mark this special day is: “Let’s Stand Up for Equality, Justice and Human Dignity.”

NGOCHR firmly believes that although the UDHR turns 70, the principles of the declaration are as relevant to us now, if not more, as they were in 1948.

Globally, we were at a greater risk as a human race given the effects of climate change, disasters, forced migration, conflicts, unbalanced trade and an unequal distribution of resources and economic mobility. We know that whenever human rights and fundamental freedoms are compromised or abandoned, we all are at greater risk.

“In the recent past, we have experienced instances where human rights were compromised. Some cases include the lock out of ATS workers; the murders of Iosefo Magnus and Akuila Salavuki, both members of the LGBTQI community; continued brutality of the security forces as experienced in the death of Josua Lalauvaki, implementing the archaic sedition laws on citizens, and ongoing harassment and intimidation of journalists as was experienced in investigation of Island Business journalists.” said the Chair of the NGO Coalition on Human Rights in Fiji, Ms. Nalini Singh.

Ms. Singh further stated that it was a welcomed opportunity to discuss human rights issues and developments with former High Commissioner on Human Rights, Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein when he visited Fiji. The former UN High Commissioner highlighted issues of protection of media freedom and recognising the need to promote women in leadership and maintaining truly independent and transparent public institutions. He had further recognized the high rates of violence against women as one of the biggest human rights problems in Fijian society and also condemned the hyper-masculinity as a form of cowardice that drives violence against women.

“Fiji recently has achieved milestones in relation to human rights when we secured a seat at the human rights council and most recently acceded to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. We would like to remind the State to remain committed to human rights and display the same vestige of championing human rights at home” said Ms. Singh

The Chair further stated that the NGO Coalition on Human Rights has marched on December 10 each year since 1997 and we will continue to raise our voice whenever we feel that any facet of human rights, fundamental freedoms and dignity is being compromised.

The Annual Human Rights Day March was held in Suva this morning at 10 am from Rodwell Road to Sukuna Park, which culminated with a rally. Members of the public, NGO and CSO representatives, partners, supporters and allies were part of the march and the rally.

END

 

For media queries of the event, please contact FWRM Communications Officer Maryann Lockington at 8677330/8683182 or email FWRM Gender and Transitional Justice Team Leader, Menka Goundan on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact her on 998 2283.