Almost two decades after the introduction of the operational constitution, Ethiopia is set to introduce the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) which it hopes will increase the applicability of the human and democratic rights enshrined in the supreme law of the land.
The NHRAP will be the first document of its kind in Ethiopia. Its applicability will bring together all the separate efforts being accomplished across different government bodies. This in turn will enable the nation to conduct human rights protection and promotion of human and democratic rights activities in a coordinated and efficient manner.
A steering committee headed by top government officials has been established. The steering committee is chaired by Berehane Hailu, Minister of Justice (MoJ) while the deputy chairmanship goes to one of the two state ministers of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). The secretary general position of the steering committee is held by Tiruneh Zenna commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. It also has a representative from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), Ministry of Federal Affairs (MoFeA) and the Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO).
According to information obtained from the MoJ, under the steering committee, a coordinating committee composed of top government officials, professional associations has created a task force which is responsible for the drafting of the action plan. A secretariat to implement the day to day routine of the plan has been designated and started operations.
After it is completed and adopted by the House of People Representatives, the document will serve as the nation’s main tool for an all rounded effort to protect and promote human and democratic rights of citizens.
The Ethiopian Constitution has been in existence since 1995. It has 106 articles of which 32 are related with the protection and promotion of human and democratic rights.