THE accession of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) could be a catalyst for a much-needed national discussion on justifiable limitations on civil and political rights in international law and how to interpret those rights.
These were the comments of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (HRADC) director Ashwin Raj while welcoming Fiji’s accession to the ICCPR and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) which came into force on November 16, 2018.
Mr Raj said the accession of the ICESCR would also enable the realisation of Fiji’s commitment to sustainable development goals.
“The accession of both covenants is significant given that human rights are interrelated, interdependent, and indivisible and discrimination is intersectional. Furthermore, Fiji’s history instructs us that civil and political rights and economic and social and cultural rights are mutually constitutive.
“Therefore, it is equally important that one set of covenant rights are not preferentially framed and privileged to the exclusion of another where the tendency is to privilege civil and political rights over social and economic and cultural rights.”
He also stated the Fijian Constitution, through its Bill of Rights provisions, already included the most salient features of the ICCPR and ICESCR.