Tri-lingual human rights action plan goes online

The government has made available the National Human Rights Action Plan in all three languages online, officials said today.

The action plan covers a wide area including Civil and Political Rights, Economic Social and Cultural Rights, Prevention of Torture, Rights of Women, Labour Rights, Migrant Workers, Children and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).

The action plan, available on, follows a commitment given to the UN Human Rights Council in 2008.

The Action Plan is in eight parts representing the eight thematic areas.  They are each in the form of a matrix consisting of Focus Area, Goal, Issue, Activities, Key Performance Indicators, Timeframe and Key Responsible Agencies.

The aim in general was to include priority areas and not all areas for action, as the Plan is time bound and could not realistically cover every issue which may need to be addressed.

Where national policies or plans of action exist in relation to a particular area, these have been taken into account and mentioned where appropriate.

As many of these policies and laws are however yet to be implemented, it was decided to include in the Human Rights Action Plan specific areas covered by these policies or proposed laws, in addition to mentioning the implementation of these policies and laws as a Goal/Issue/Activity.

“The commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka towards the full realization and guaranteeing of Human Rights was further manifested when in 2008, a Committee was appointed to give effect to proposals in Mahinda Chinthana, for the inclusion of a comprehensive Bill of the Rights into the Constitution. A Draft Bill of Rights was thereafter formulated which is being deliberated by stakeholders, with a view to its incorporation. The National Action Plan aims at giving teeth to these existing mechanisms and further strengthening the current regime, in order that they comply with modern trends of enforcing them, to achieve the efficacy of there full amplitude. The priority area on Civil and Political Rights amply sets out those objectives,” the National Action Plan says on the website. (Colombo Gazette)