APF Community Contact us
News : Article

Supporting NHRI leaders during COVID-19

Graphic: APF members at the 2019 Annual Meeting

The APF will schedule a series of calls with leaders of member institutions to discuss their work and priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asia Pacific Forum LogoAsia Pacific Forum

The APF secretariat will hold a regular series of calls with leaders of APF member institutions to discuss their work and priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Leadership Solidarity Outreach program is also an opportunity for member institutions to identify areas where the APF can provide practical support and assist them in their efforts to uphold human rights during a public health emergency.

"Since the start of the pandemic, APF members have been playing a vital role to monitor and report on human rights issues in their communities, especially issues affecting marginalised and vulnerable groups," said Pip Dargan, Principal Adviser, Capacity Assessments and International Engagement.

"A number have been monitoring states of emergency decreed by their governments, some have been supporting public education efforts and others have even been distributing food supplies to families and individuals in need," she said.

"However, all NHRIs have had to adapt to a radically different environment and our aim is to identify what additional support our members might need in order to be as effective as possible."

We want to continue to build on the strong relationships we have with our members, especially during this unprecedented time when we can’t meet face-to-face.

Asia Pacific Forum Logo Pip Dargan, APF secretariat

As part of the Leadership Solidarity Outreach program, the APF secretariat will schedule regular calls with the Chairperson – or another high-level representative – of every member institution that wishes to take part.

The agenda for the calls can be general or specific, depending on the preference of the NHRI. It might, for example, include issues relating to the operation of NHRIs during the pandemic or requests for specific APF support or advice.

Earlier this month, the APF had a Skype call with Maria Khoury, Chairperson, and Yasser Shaheen, Secretary-General, of Bahrain's National Institution for Human Rights, who described the institution's work to monitor isolation and quarantine centres in the Kingdom.

The conversation also addressed issues related to the safety and welfare of migrant workers and people in places of detention.

Ms Dargan said the Leadership Solidarity Outreach program would continue while COVID-19 travel restrictions remained in place, at which time the APF's regular face-to-face capacity development activities could resume.

Date: 17 May 2020

Image credits

  1. APF members at the 2019 Annual Meeting - National Human Rights Commission of Korea