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Philippines and Nepal NHRIs collaborate on migrant rights

Graphic: Chito Gascon, CHR Chairperson, talks to the Nepali delegation

Commissioners from the two NHRIs have met to share strategies to better promote and protect human rights, especially in relation to migrant workers.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Philippines and the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal (NHRC Nepal) have met for three days in Manila to deepen their ties and share strategies to better protect people's rights.

At the opening of the meeting, both national human rights institutions (NHRIs) vowed to exchange ideas and approaches to bolster human rights, with a specific focus on the rights of migrant workers.

CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon said the CHR and NHRC Nepal had many things in common, including being 'A status' NHRIs and having both signed cooperation agreements with the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar (NHRC Qatar).

"With our common experiences and issues, we need to discuss strategies so our people are protected. Let's work together so we can demand and follow through with commitments and hold people to account," Chairperson Gascon said.

He added that among the common approaches to be explored included mechanisms for sharing information, quick response and urgent alerts, and building partnerships.

Graphic: Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana talks with the Nepal NHRC representatives

Commissioner Sudip Pathak of NHRC Nepal expressed his country's interest in strengthening cooperation, particularly in protecting migrant rights.

"We are very much sincere in protecting migrant rights. We hope that we will develop our relationship in these areas. We want to work with you in developing protection mechanisms in collaboration with government and civil society, he said.

Pathak also expressed their intent to share Nepal's experience and practices, particularly in implementing their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NHRC Qatar, as well as their eagerness to learn the best practices of the CHR in promoting and protecting human rights in its current challenging context.

The NHRC Nepal signed an MOU with NHRC Qatar in 2015 and an activation plan of the MOU in 2016, while the CHR signed a Cooperation Agreement with NHRC Qatar in January 2019.

Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, CHR focal commissioner for migrant rights, expressed her hope to have an MOU with NHRC Nepal and reiterated the CHR's interest to learn about Nepal's engagement with Qatar.

"We want to hear more about the implementation of your agreement with NHRC Qatar. We also hope that at the end your visit, we would be able to come up with an MOU to solidify our partnership," Pimentel-Gana said.

The NHRC Nepal delegates visited the Philippines from 18-20 June 2019.

"It is expected that the meeting will help strengthen bilateral cooperation between the CHR and NHRC Nepal, ensure coordination as regards migration and human rights, and forge stronger mechanisms for human rights protection in coordination with NHRI networks,'' the CHR said in a statement.

Date: 19 June 2019

Source: Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines

Image credits

  1. Chito Gascon, CHR Chairperson, talks to the Nepali delegation - Commission of Human Rights of the Philippines
  2. Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana talks with the Nepal NHRC representatives - Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines