State commended on accession to ICCPR and ICESCR
November 22, 2018 2:03 am
The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission has commended the state on Fiji’s accession to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which came into force last Friday.
Director Ashwin Raj says this demonstrates Fiji’s sustained commitment towards strengthening legal safeguards in the interests of protecting and promoting fundamental human rights and freedoms and opening itself to international scrutiny.
Raj says the covenants place a positive obligation on the state to not only protect individuals against violations committed by the state but also against acts committed by private persons or entities that would impair the enjoyment of covenant rights.
The accession of these covenants will further strengthen the interpretation provisions of the Bill of Rights of the Fijian Constitution through the application of international law in the interests of promoting values underpinning a democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom.
The accession of the ICCPR can be a catalyst for a much needed national discussion on justifiable limitations on civil and political rights in international law and how to interpret those rights.
The accession of the ICESCR will also enable the realisation of our commitment to sustainable development goals.
The inclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Fijian Constitution renders our Bill of Rights as far more progressive than ICCPR.