On 14 October 2021, the UN General Assembly elected Malaysia to join the Human Rights Council for a term that will last from 2022 to 2024. In line with pledges made in its efforts to win the seat, the Malaysian government must strengthen human rights protections in Malaysia. The government must do more than its predecessors to reform laws and policies in line with international human rights standards and reverse patterns of human rights violations.
On 17 September 2021, ARTICLE 19 and CIVICUS sent a letter to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob providing recommendations for actions the Malaysian government should take to demonstrate its commitment to human rights as a member of the Council.
Nalini Elumalai, ARTICLE 19’s Senior Malaysia Programme Officer said:
“The government must reverse systematic abuses and restrictive policies at home in order to be a credible and effective champion of human rights at the Human Rights Council. A comprehensive program of reform to expand civic space in Malaysia must include signing and ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and repealing or amending laws that impede the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.”
“The new administration has a unique opportunity to shift to a rights-respecting approach. Malaysia should use its new platform to defend and enhance international human rights standards and ensure accountability for human rights violations and abuses both at home and abroad.”
For more information
Nalini Elumalai, Senior Malaysia Programme Officer at ARTICLE 19, [email protected], +601136535927.