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  4. March 2003 - Volume 31
  5. National Human Rights Protection System

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FOCUS March 2003 Volume 31

National Human Rights Protection System


UN specialized agencies have activities in most countries in the Asia-Pacific that relate to human rights. Projects on improving the delivery of justice, protection of children, developing systems for protecting overseas workers, and legislative reform on non-discrimination of women are examples. These projects have produced significant amount of results that are hardly known around the region.

It is in this context that the UN Secretary-General’s promotion of the national human rights protection system by strengthening UN Country Teams (composed of the UN specialized agencies’ country offices) finds significance.

A national human rights protection system provides an avenue for greater collaboration among institutions involved in the human rights field - governments, national human rights institutions, local non-governmental organizations, and the country offices of the UN specialized agencies. The local human rights research centers can be considered another category of institutions which should be involved in this system.

The mainstreaming of human rights within the UN system will be helped by the national human rights protection system. The need for training and information on human rights for UN field personnel will increase as their involvement in the system increases.

Finally, the national human rights protection system will challenge all the local institutions involved to perform well and make greater impact on the lives of their own people.