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The National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP), which is set to increase the applicability of human and democratic rights in the constitutions, was launched on Friday, October 25.
The action plan, which took over two years of preparation as it engaged different stakeholders in several consultative and discussion forums, will bring together all government institutions to consolidate their efforts in a bid to ensure the protection of human rights and the promotion of human and democratic rights activities.
Tiruneh Zena (Amb) Commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said that although there are some gaps, human rights protections in the country have significantly increased. “We are not saying that a policeman or an investigator doesn’t slap people,” he said. “But there’s no jurisdiction that allows that policeman to do so and they will be caught and held responsible for what they have done,” he said.
The commissioner mentioned that human and democratic rights protection is new for the country and has yet to develop. “Even those who boast as the mother of democracy lack certain issues,” he said.
The commissioner said that the applicability of the action plan, which was drafted by a task force of the steering committee composed of high government officials and professional associations, among others, makes Ethiopia one of the 30 countries globally and five in Africa that have implemented the same measures-.
“This shows the commitment of the government to the promotion of human rights,” said the commissioner.
Tiruneh, at the launching ceremony and consultative forum held at the UNECA, appreciated the role of the government in the economic growth of the country and hopes it can be repeated in the protection and promotion of the human and democratic rights of citizens.
The commissioner further said that the commission cannot execute its duty-ensuring the protection of human rights of citizens-alone. He further appreciated the government’s efforts to bring together other governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as academia to contribute their part. “This will not only enable the effective and efficient carrying out [of human rights protection] but will also save financial and human resources as it cuts down on redundancy,” said the commissioner.
Prime Minister Hailemariam, Abadula Gemeda, Speaker of the House, Getachew Ambaye, Minister of Justice and Chairperson of the NHRAP Steering Committee, Muktar Kedir, Minister of Civil Service, and other high officials attended the event