Fiji presents its report to the UN Human Rights council in Geneva

Fiji presents its report to the UN Human Rights council in Geneva

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 30/10/2014
Fiji Delegation to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Fiji has presented its report on its human rights development to the Human Rights Council in Geneva at which a number of countries congratulated Fiji on the receptive and apolitical manner in which the delegation presented and responded to the dialogue.

In his opening statement, the Head of the Fijian Delegation - Attorney General and Minister for Justice Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum outlined Fiji’s significant achievement in the promulgation of the Constitution in September 2013.

He said the constitution has a Bill of Rights which includes civil and political rights, and unprecedented social and economic rights.

The Attorney General also informed the Council that the Constitution has created substantive equality complemented by legal and policy implementation.   

Chief Justice, Anthony Gates spoke about the barriers experienced by the Judiciary in its functioning after the events of 2009, the effects of the travel ban imposed on judges and the important judicial reforms implemented by him to promote an open and equal justice system.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde also explained the basis of prosecution in Fiji, the non-political nature of the decision to prosecute and the number of assault cases committed by police officers who are currently before the Courts.

The Council then broke into interactive dialogue between individual countries and the Fijian delegation.

The dialogue included a discussion on violence against women, on media freedom, on the way in which limitations in the Constitution will be read and the important inclusion of social and economic rights in the Fijian Constitution.

All countries which spoke in this dialogue congratulated Fiji on its recent elections and on its strong and progressive Constitution.

In relation to questions about the participatory process of Constitution building, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice told the Human Rights Council Working Group about the numbers of submissions received and the process of consultation which was adopted before the drafting of the Constitution.

In response to the questions about the independence of the Judiciary, the Chief Justice explained how the UN basic principles on the independence of the Judiciary had been incorporated into the Constitution.

He said that there was no evidence of any interference with Fiji’s judiciary by Government and that the Judiciary was committed to reforms.

Some countries asked about the way in which media freedom was protected under the Media Development Decree 2010 and the Constitution.

The Chair of the Media Industry Development Authority Ashwin Raj explained that the code of ethics in the Media Decree 2010 and the limitations to freedom of expression in the Bill of Rights aligns with the jurisprudence on European Court of Human Rights and that media laws in Fiji are not an exception to those practised in other jurisdictions.

Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem addressed the issue of the under reported dark figure of gender based violence and ways in which Fiji had addressed the need for victims of gender based violence to report these offences.

Fiji’s report together with a list of recommendations made by countries will be tabled at the Human Rights Council later this week.

That will be followed by a concluding speech by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
IN DEPTH
Fiji continues to be affected by COVID-19
Contact tracing continues for most parts of Suva and Nausori. Mon 19th Apr Tue 20th Apr Wed 21st Apr Thu 22nd Apr Sat 24th Apr Sun ...
2 days ago

258,000 people lived under the Basic Needs Poverty Line according to the 2019-20 Household Income and Expenditure Survey
Survey says almost one in five school aged children in Fiji are educationally deprived
2 days ago

Debate on the Bill to Amend the iTaukei Land Trust Act
Debate on the Bill to Amend the iTaukei Land Trust ...
48 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
FULL STORY: Viti Levu borders to be lifted from tomorrow, curfew hours for Viti Levu will be from 9pm until 4am and social gatherings of up to 20 people permitted indoors in people’s homes and up to 30 people outside
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has announced that from 4am tomorrow, 17th September 2021, the containment area borders will lift everywhere on Viti...
3 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Children between 15 to 17 years will be vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine
Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong says they will be vaccinating children between 15 to 17 years with the Moderna vaccine and this exercise ...
1 hour ago

Once we vaccinate at least 80% of adults in Fiji, we will be in an excellent position to open quarantine-free travel with other countries that have deployed the same vaccines we are using in Fiji - PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says once we vaccinate at least 80% of adults in Fiji, we will be in an excellent position to open quarantine-free ...
1 hour ago

All workplaces, houses of worship, hotels, restaurants, cafés, cinemas, gyms, pools and tattoo parlours will be able to open at 70% capacity from Oct 4th but only to fully vaccinated persons
From October 4th, all workplaces, tertiary institutions, houses of worship, hotels, restaurants, cafés, cinemas, gyms, pools, tattoo parlours will ...
2 hours ago

NGO Coalition on Human Rights shocked at the instant termination of Kemueli Naiqama
The NGO Coalition on Human Rights says they were shocked to hear about the unfair dismissal, instant termination and the reported ‘escorting' of ...
4 hours ago

Voting and counting processes for the 2022 General Elections will be done manually – Saneem
Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem says voting and counting processes for the 2022 General Elections will be done manually. Saneem says there ...
5 hours ago

TOP