Press release

Commonwealth on Human Rights capacity building visit in Seychelles

June 6, 2014

Acting head of the Human Rights Division of the Commonwealth, Karen McKenzie and her team are effectuating a two pronged capacity building  mission between the  3rd to 6th of June.

The working session objective is to share best practices with regards to the Paris Principles compliant national human rights institutions, and to hold constructive discussions with members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles.

Mr John Walters, Ombudsman of Namibia and Mr Seetulsingh, Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Mauritius guided the discussions in this session. Both Mauritius and Namibia have institutions accredited at ‘A’ under the Paris Principles.

Discussions centered on the practicality and workability of hybrid National Human Rights Institution with a dual mandate namely, the Ombudsman and NHRC as well as one with a sole mandate in the context of Small Island Developing States.

In addition, the stakeholders focused on platforms to enable current legislation in Seychelles Paris Principles compliant. Seychelles duly expressed its will to facilitate the development of such legislation which would be beneficial to its overall Human Rights Agenda.

During the work sessions, Seychelles Human Rights Treaty Committee was tasked with  determining the roles and responsibilities to finalise the National Human Rights Action Plan A Validation workshop to that effect was accomplished in March 2013.

The Commonwealth delegation also comprised Ms Cynthia Gervais, Human Rights Advisor to the Commonwealth Small States Office and Dr. Justin Pettit, Project Assistant at the Human Rights Division of the Commonwealth.