FIDH and SUARAM urge the Malaysian government to make concrete commitments to human rights, following Malaysia’s move to candidate for the new UN Human Rights Council.

24/04/2006
Press release

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) have addressed today an open letter to Malaysian government on its candidature to the new UN Human rights Council.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) have addressed today an open letter to Malaysian government on its candidature to the new UN Human rights Council.

In accordance with General Assembly resolution A/RES/60/251, UN Member States that are candidate to the Council shall make voluntary pledges and commitments to the promotion and protection of human rights, and uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights. Yet, the two organisations note that the Malaysian government has not yet issued pledges, supporting its candidature, nor made any public commitment related to the promotion and protection of Human rights.

“Malaysia has so far ratified very little international human rights treaties, we thus cannot consider that the government upholds the highest standards when they simply disregard them..!”, said Yap Swee Seng of Suaram. “We are not trying to prevent Malaysia from sitting on the Council”, said Sidiki Kaba, President of FIDH, “ we simply consider that if Malaysia takes its candidature to the Council seriously, they need to do what is required, and use this opportunity to make important steps forward, and further commit to respecting Human rights”.

Thus, the two organisations called Malaysia to agree upon and publicize commitments to the promotion and protection on human rights, in order to improve is record.

Background information:

In their joint letter, the FIDH and SUARAM urged the Malaysian government to draft a declaration of commitments that would include, inter alia,
- the level of ratification, by Malaysia, of the principal human rights instruments and of their additional protocols, as well as the steps taken towards the ratification of the instruments which remain to be ratified, and towards the lifting of reservations that are considered by the Treaty bodies to be contrary to the objectives and principles of these conventions;
- the submission of periodic reports to the treaty monitoring bodies and the commitment to follow-up on their recommendations;
- the commitment to cooperate fully with the procedures and mechanisms of the Council, including through the extension of a standing invitation to the Special procedures, on the basis of their own terms of reference, to reply to all letters of allegation received from them, and to implement the recommendations that they will have addressed to Malaysia;
- the commitment to submit to the peer review procedure and, while operating on the Council within the peer review procedure, to act in line with UN human rights mechanisms’ recommendations;
- the commitment, while serving on the Council, to ensure that the Council provides an adequate response to human rights crises, when they occur, based on recommendations for action from UN human rights mechanisms, as well as not to oppose any procedural obstacle (such as no-action motions) to the due examination of these situations, to further ensure that the Council provides a sustainable investment of the international community in situations where human rights crises persist,
- the commitment, while serving on the Council, to promote the development of human rights norms where required and relevant, starting with the commitment to adopt the draft Convention on enforced disappearances.


In particular, the FIDH and SUARAM strongly encouraged the Malaysian government to:

- show its commitments to progressively ratify all remaining international human rights treaties as Malaysia has only ratified CRC and CEDAW.
- withdraw all reservations made to the CRC and the CEDAW
- fulfil the obligations of submitting reports to the CEDAW and CRC treaty bodies which Malaysia has ratified.
- implement all recommendations made by the special rapporteur on freedom of expression when he visited Malaysia in 1998.
- allow immediately visits requested by the Special Representative of Human Right Defenders, Special Rapporteur on Migrant Rights and SR indigenous peoples
- issue standing invitation to all other UN human rights special procedures.
- support the establishment of the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism.
- establish the Independent Police Complaint and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) which was recommended by the Special Commission to Enhance the Management and Operations of the Police Force.

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