Provedor for Human Rights and Justice Presents Eight Years of Progress in Timor-Leste
Dili – In a clear recognition of the importance of its impact on human rights in Timor-Leste, Dr. Sebastiao Dias Ximenes, the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice, presented the Parliament today with a detailed report on the institution’s activities and achievements since its establishment in 2006. It was the first time in the national human rights institution’s eight year history that the National Parliament had requested such a report before the Plenary.
“Engaging with the Parliament allows the Provedoria for Human Rights and Justice (PDHJ) to relate the work it has recently undertaken and represents a means to advocate for State institutions to respect and follow-up on the Provedor’s recommendations” said Dr. Ximenes. “I hope, through the presentation I have made today, that the ministries and other public institutions will be reminded of their obligations to report on the improvements that they have made as a response to our recommendations to prevent further human rights and good governance violations.”
In his speech, Dr. Ximenes noted achievements in a number of important areas including capacity building, knowledge management, improved managerial processes and international engagement. Highlights included:
· Clearance rates on complaints submitted by members of the public have increased from 34% in 2010 to 163% in 2012.
· PDHJ has undertaken preventative educational and monitoring work in a number of areas including human trafficking, the role of community leaders, torture and ill treatment and human rights election monitoring.
· PDHJ has increased access to its services by decentralising through the establishment of 4 regional offices with clearly delegated functions.
On an international level, the Provedor also reported on the PDHJ’s compliance with the Paris Principles, the standards which frame and guide the work of National Human Rights Institutions around the world. The importance PDHJ places on developing and engaging in international relationships, particularly on South-South, regional and a shared language basis, was also noted.
“The effort made by the 96 PDHJ staff and PDHJ leadership in further developing their capacities are clearly allowing this institution to blossom”, said Barbara Oliveira, UNDP’s PDHJ Project Manager. “We are extremely proud to see the PDHJ showing publicly the impressive progress which they have made.”
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About the Human Rights Capacity Building of the PDHJ: The UNDP-OHCHR Capacity Building Project for the PDHJ functions within the Provedoria and is designed to build upon the existing human rights knowledge and skills of the PDHJ staff in order to further develop and broaden staff member’s knowledge, analytic ability and ability to apply new knowledge and skills within their roles. The Project also aims at holistically supporting the development of the PDHJ through working with divisions interlinked with the human rights mandate including public relations, human resources, IT and administration and finance. The current project was launched in 2010 and will conclude in 2014. The first project cycle was from 2006-2010. The project is funded by Irish Aid, New Zealand Aid, the Swedish Development Agency, the UNDP and OHCHR.