Gender inequality, discrimination against minorities still rife, Comango reports

Source: The Malay Mail

(From left) Executive director of EMPOWER, Angela M. Kuga Thas, Advocacy and Capacity-building officer EMPOWER, Rizal Rozhan, executive director of Suaram, Sevan Doraisamy, and Migration Working Group (MWG) coordinator, Bina Ramanand, hold copies of the Comango UPR Stakeholder Report. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — In its report to the United Nations (UN) launched today, a coalition of local NGOs highlighted the continued rampancy of gender inequality and discriminations over religion, race, sexual orientation and gender identity, rights of the Orang Asli, and disabilities here.The report by Comango, which tracks progress in the field of human rights in Malaysia since the last UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), specifically highlighted the country’s dismal performance at the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) review earlier this year.

“The Cedaw Committee’s questions on matters that violate Muslim women’s rights were attacked by government-linked, Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations in the UPR Process (Macsa) and the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra), both of which adhere to the Islamic human rights framework of the Cairo Declaration and therefore, reject gender equality.

“They and government officials claimed that female genital mutilation or cutting, whipping, polygamy, and women’s and girls’ unequal inheritance are non-issues in Malaysia,” said the report launched today. Read more

Comango: Previous administration backed attacks against human rights defenders

Source: The Malay Mail

Advocacy and Capacity-building officer of EMPOWER, Rizal Rozhan, speaks at the launch of the Comango UPR Stakeholder Report in Kuala Lumpur June 7, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Human rights defenders (HRDs) had been attacked by state-sanctioned and private groups under the previous government, a coalition of Malaysian NGOs asserted in a report to the United Nations (UN) launched today.

The report by Comango, which tracks progress in the field of human rights in Malaysia since the last UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), pointed out that the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration’s stance on some issues had resulted in violence, harassment, and hate speech against HRDs.

“The government failed to uphold the principles and values of The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, and has tried to politicise the human rights situation on the ground and demonise HRDs,” it said.

“Comango’s involvement in Malaysia’s previous UPR resulted in the Home Ministry declaring Comango ‘illegal’, while Muslim-based groups in The Coalition of Muslim Organisations in the UPR Process (MuslimUPRo) organised hate and smear campaigns against Comango.” Read more

NHRAP falls short of addressing systemic inequalities in Malaysia — Comango

Source: The Malay Mail Online

MARCH 6 — The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (Comango) commends the government of Malaysia for finally launching the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP).

The NHRAP includes 294 action plans in 83 priority areas categorised under 5 pillars – civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, rights of the vulnerable people, rights of the indigenous peoples and Malaysia’s international human rights responsibilities. While Comango found many parts of the NHRAP comprehensive and well-explored, particularly the action plan items for the welfare of elderly persons, we found glaring reasons for concern in many others.

The NHRAP as a whole falls short in addressing systemic human rights issues, root causes of inequality and the enjoyment of human rights for all in the country, and lacks a gender perspective. Some of the actions points proposed also do not adequately address the issues at hand. For example, on the issues of underaged marriages, the action item offered is to update the standard operating procedure (SOP) for child marriages, which only serves to fortify the act instead of to safeguard the rights of the child. While it is commendable that the NHRAP highlighted misuse of racial and religious themes in politics, the corresponding action item to increase voter awareness does not reflect how this objective will be achieved as those who politicise racial and religious issues in Malaysia are often those connected to political power. Read more

Malaysia’s Cedaw review: Stem the regression of women’s rights — Comango

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY COMANGO

FEB 26 — The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (Comango) congratulates the government of Malaysia for participating in its second constructive dialogue with the Cedaw Committee at its 69th session in Geneva, Switzerland.

However, the government of Malaysia is yet to reply to some key questions and critical concerns raised by the Cedaw Committee. Comango echoes these concerns and urges the government to step up its commitment to stem the regression of women’s rights in Malaysia. Much more concerted efforts need to be done in order to promote and protect women’s rights and gender equality.

The Cedaw Committee was dismayed that overall, women’s human rights — especially those of Muslim women — has regressed. Malaysia has also maintained their reservations on Articles 9(2) (women and men should have equal rights with regard to the nationality of their children), and Articles 16 (1) (a) (c) (f) and (g) (rights of women on marriage, divorce and over their children). Read more

NGOs concerned over regressing human rights

Source: FMT News

Reporting a decline in freedoms such as freedom of expression and religion, Comango urges government to honour its commitment to the UN’s recommendations. Pic taken from FMT News.

Reporting a decline in freedoms such as freedom of expression and religion, Comango urges government to honour its commitment to the UN’s recommendations. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) is concerned with the regression of human rights in the nation.

At a press conference on its midterm Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process report, the group, made up of 54 NGOs, revealed its assessment of 60 measurable recommendations out of the 113 recommendations accepted by Malaysia in 2014.

The UPR report details United Nations member state’s performance in relation to the implementation of human rights recommendations it has accepted based on recommendations of other countries.

In its midterm report, Comango revealed that only 20% of the 60 recommendations had been fully implemented, while 57% of the recommendations have seen a regressing situation.

Areas which have seen a regression are freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of religion, elections and migrant workers among others. Read more