The United Nations (UN) says it will help the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Sri Lanka protect human rights in the country.
In confirming that support for the promotion and protection of human rights was central to the UN’s Development Assistance Framework for 2013-2017, Enrico Gaveglia, UNDP’s Deputy Country Director said that the UNDP was currently working with the HRC and other members of the UN Country Team to design a new project aimed at supporting the core functions of the HRC linked to monitoring, reporting, complaint handling, investigations, outreach and awareness raising, in line with the recommendations included in the HRC’s Strategic Plan, the recent capacity assessment of the HRC and the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
The UNDP and UNHCR handed over fifteen motorbikes to the Human Rights Commission to facilitate the work of their staff, at the central and regional level, to address human rights concerns including regular monitoring visits and investigation of complaints, the UNDP office in Colombo said.
“A key task of the HRC is to be able to reach people. Therefore, it is necessary that Regional Coordinating Officers are provided with better transport, enabling them to better understand the concerns of people,” Justice Priyantha R. P. Perera, Chairman of the HRC said at the handover ceremony.
He added that the HRC looks forward to ongoing collaboration with the UN Agencies in carrying out its activities.
Funding for the bikes was provided by UNHCR through the joint UNDP Project with the HRC.
UNHCR’s Deputy Representative Ms. Jennifer Pagonis said that she hoped the bikes would enable the Regional Offices of the HRC in the districts of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Matara, Ampara, Kalmunai, Badulla, Anuradhapura and the head office in Colombo to more effectively implement HRC’s mandate. (Colombo Gazette)