Human rights chief urges improved talanoa

THERE are many issues in Fiji that need to be aired and the Government will need to open up the space for that to happen, says UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

At a press conference yesterday, Mr Hussein urged the Government to draw upon the wisdom and civil society organisations domestically as they did at international level.

He said there was clearly a need for an improved talanoa or a space for people to talk about the most difficult issues.

“Civil and political threats are not a threat to Government. On the contrary, opening up the space to argue and debate results in better laws and policies, and Fiji will be stronger and healthier for it,” he said.

“All rights need to progress together and be honoured as they are interlinked.

“Civil society groups also articulated their concerns about discrimination and violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transexuals and inter-sex communities in Fiji, in spite of the welcome constitutional ban on discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity,” Mr Hussein added.

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