UAE's federal council approves draft law to establish national human rights commission

Commission aims to promote and protect human rights and freedom

  
FNC council members attend the second ordinary session of the fifth Legislative Chapter of the Federal National Council (FNC) in Abu Dhabi, November 6, 2012.

FNC council members attend the second ordinary session of the fifth Legislative Chapter of the Federal National Council (FNC) in Abu Dhabi, November 6, 2012.

REUTERS/Ben Job

Members of the Federal National Council (FNC) have passed a federal draft law establishing a national human rights commission in the UAE.

 The commission aims to promote and protect human rights and freedom in accordance with the provisions of the UAE constitution, laws and legislation in force and the relevant international charters, covenants and agreements.

According to the draft law which was passed in the FNC meeting on Tuesday evening, an independent body called the ‘National Commission for Human Rights’ shall be established to work to strengthen the position of the UAE in regional and international forums in the field of human rights, and to enhance the UAE's communication with individuals and regional and international institutions concerned with human rights.

In order to achieve its goals, the commission will coordinate with competent authorities in developing a national action plan to promote and protect human rights in the country and suggest a mechanism for its implementation. It will work to spread the culture of human rights in the UAE and educate members of the society about it, submit proposals and recommendations and give advice to various authorities in everything that would promote and protect human rights.

The commission will also follow up on the suitability of legislation and laws to international charters, covenants and conventions on human rights to which the state is a party and follow-up thereof, and to contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.

The human rights commission will work on promoting equality and the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.

Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Minister of State said the the establishment of the commission is a milestone for the country in the human rights records. “The commission will help in the application of international standards, and will push the country to achieve advanced ranks in the global competitiveness record, which is the government’s goal in raising the reputation and stature of the UAE,” he said.

Al Marar stressed the government's keenness to develop and strengthen its legislative and normative system in the field of human rights, and to continue its efforts towards empowering women, and promoting the rights of children, senior citizens, people of determination, and labour rights.

“The National Commission for Human Rights will strengthen the role of national mechanisms concerned with the protection of human rights,” he said adding that establishing the commission aims at completing and strengthening the system of existing national mechanisms in a way that contributes to strengthening the legal and organizational structure for the protection of human rights.

According to the Minister, the resolutions of relevant international charters on human rights grant any country the right to choose the framework that suits its special needs at the national level, when establishing their commission.

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