Malawi’s Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has urged government and other stakeholders to ensure that human rights remain central in all recovery efforts from Covid-19 as Malawi joins the rest of the world tomorrow in commemoration of International Human Rights Day.
MHRC held a news onference on Tuesday in Mzuzu with the objective of updating the public on the preparations of 10th December international Human Rights Day and also share their reflections on the country’s performance on human rights in 2020 in relation to this year’s international Human Rights Day theme: “Recover better-stand up for human rights”.
This year’s commemoration of international Human Rights Day shall be held in Rumphi (Bumba Primary School) at an event that shall be graced by the Vice President of Republic of Malawi Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima.
MHRC is leading the people of Malawi in commemorating this day, and has partnered with both state and non-state actors on all activities leading to the commemoration of this day.
Speaking to journalists in Mzuzu, the Chairperson of MHRC Rev. Patrick Semphere said that the international Human Rights Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders in the country to take stock on the gains, losses and opportunities so far registered in the respect, promotion and protection of human rights for all.
“This evening, we have this press briefing to assure the nation that Malawi will this year commemorate the international Human Rights Day on 10 December, and to provide more information about the theme of the Commemoration. This year’s theme relates to Covid-19 pandemic by focusing on the need to build back better by ensuring human rights are central to recovery efforts.
“As Malawi, just like many other countries, are now trying to recover from the impact of Covid-19, it is important to make sure that human rights considerations remain a critical component of any recovery efforts by government, civil society, private sector and the general public”, said Semphere.
According to Semphere, this year’s commemoration also provided an opportunity for government and other stakeholders to seriously discuss on how Malawians were recovering from the shock of Covid-19 and “whether various stakeholders including Government were doing enough to ensure that rights based approach was an integral part of any recovery effort -that is towards the progressive realisation of economic, social and cultural rights and other human rights especially for vulnerable groups such as women, children, youth and persons with disabilities”.
Besides Semphere, the other MHRC officials such as Commissioner Boniface Massa, Commissioner Scader Louis, Habiba Osman (Executive Secretary), Makhumbo Munthali (Director of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Grace Mtawali (Principal for Gender and Women’s Rights) took turns to present’s the Commission’s reflections on Malawi’s performance in human rights in 2020 amidst Covid-19
MHRC is an independent national human rights institution established by the Constitution of Republic of Malawi under Section 129 with the primary function of protecting and investigating human rights violations accorded by the Constitution or any other law.