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Building partnerships for sustained change

Graphic: Fasoha Aishath

Investing in partnerships can deliver powerful, long-term outcomes, says Fasoha Aishath, the APF’s new Human Rights Projects and Planning Manager.

Building partnerships for human rights is a vital investment that can deliver powerful, long-term outcomes, according to Fasoha Aishath.

It is a lesson that the APF's new Human Rights Projects and Planning Manager learned during her five years experience leading the advocacy and outreach efforts of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives.

"As a national human rights institution, you can only do so much by yourself. But when you build strong partnerships with others, you set a platform for more sustained progress to realise human rights," Faso said.

She highlighted the recent work of the Commission to establish relationships with five leading private companies in the Maldives, providing them with advice on steps they can take to promote and protect human rights in the way they do business.

As part of this engagement, the Commission's business partners have signed a human rights pledge that addresses issues related to fair work conditions, the environment and climate change.

"We have also worked extensively to promote respect for gender equality and the rights of women and girls, including through human rights clubs at schools across the Maldives," Faso said.

"However, we've found that it is very important to also involve the teachers and the parents in the work of our human rights clubs so that the messages we share about equality and respect for girls are consistent in the classrooms and at home."

Graphic: Human rights education programs for girls, Maldives

The Asia Pacific has such tremendous diversity. What excites me about this role is the opportunity to learn how different NHRIs in the region are working to tackle human rights issues that are common to all of us

Asia Pacific Forum Logo Fasoha Aishath

Faso joined the APF secretariat this month and will help implement a number of key projects over the coming 12 months.

An APF Master Trainer, she will be responsible for managing the APF-UNDP blending learning courses on sexual orientation, gender diversity and sex characteristics, which will begin in October for the NHRIs of South Asia and in November for the NHRIs of South East Asia.

She will also help coordinate a training course on women's and girls' human rights for the Philippines Commission on Human Rights, as well as a major regional conference in 2017 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Yogyakarta Principles.

"It will be an exciting time for me," Faso said. "I'm looking forward to learning a great deal and building relationships with all the APF members."

"We are absolutely delighted to welcome Faso to the APF secretariat," said APF Deputy Director Pip Dargan.

"Not only does she bring a wealth of training and advocacy experience from her time with the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives, Faso has also developed significant academic and professional expertise through two prestigious fellowships."

In 2013, Faso was the recipient of a three month NHRI Fellowship with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lund, Sweden, and in 2014 she took up a place in the year-long Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program in Minnesota, United States.

Date: 24 September 2016

Image credits

  1. Fasoha Aishath - APF/James Iliffe
  2. Human rights education programs for girls, Maldives - Human Rights Commission of the Maldives