Are national human rights institutions always the answer? The Asia Pacific...
In the absence of a regional human rights system, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) have played unique roles in the Asia Pacific region. They have been far more central to human rights promotion and protection than in other regions. However, are they always the answer to human rights violations? When is it better not to have an NHRI than to have one? Chris Sidoti will discuss the experience of NHRIs in the Asia Pacific region, examining why they have been so important, how they have approached their responsibilities, what compromises have been made, what they have achieved, what challenges they face and the prospects for future development. He will also discuss the role of the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions as a uniquely Asia Pacific way of advancing human rights at a regional level.
Chris Sidoti is a human rights lawyer, activist and teacher. He currently works from Sydney, Australia, as an international human rights consultant, specialising in the international human rights system and in national human rights institutions. He was director of the International Service for Human Rights, based in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2003 to 2007, and is now a member of the board of ISHR. He has been Australian Human Rights Commissioner (1995-2000), Australian Law Reform Commissioner (1992-1995) and Foundation Director of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1987-1992). He has also worked in non-government organisations, including for the Human Rights Council of Australia and the Australian Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace. In 2007-08 he was the independent chair of the United Kingdom Government’s Northern Ireland Bill of Rights Forum. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Western Sydney, Griffith University (Queensland), University of the Sunshine Coast (Queensland) and the Australian Catholic University and an Affiliate at the Sydney Centre for International Law at the University of Sydney.