A review of Malawi’s human rights record is expected to be conducted in November.
The Universal Periodic Preview (UPR) is a state-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each United Nations member state to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.
The UPR is based on the national human rights report submitted by the member state and also include reports from a country’s human rights institution, civil society organisations and other actors.
The member state can either accept the recommendations or note them.
The UPR for Malawi was initially slated for May but failed due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking with reporters after a media training on UPR reporting, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Acting Executive Director Michael Kaiyatsa said government’s report has excluded issues like freedom of association where it shows that not much has been done to promote freedom of association.
He added that the report has not included the promotion and protection of media practitioners’ rights in places such as demonstrations.
“The process allows Civil Society Organisations to produce a report. As CHRR we have come up with our own report looking at what issue they have covered and what have not been covered, challenges that Human Rights Defenders encounter when mobilising demonstrations and attacks on journalists,” he said.
Kaiyatsa noted that government is supposed to consult civil society organisation and other groups when formulating the recommendations to ensure that the report is representing the nation’s views which has been difficult for long time now.
He then asked media practitioners who attended the training to raise awareness to the general public at large about UPR.
He also encouraged the media to be engaging with government and Civil Society Organizations during, before and after presentation of the report and mainstreaming UPR recommendations into media work.