As the world commemorates Human Rights Day on Sunday(Dec 10), the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) has embarked on multifaceted initiatives, aimed at safeguarding and promoting the inherent dignity and rights of individuals and marginalised communities.
Centhra’s immersive experience in fighting for human rights, profound dedication and notable achievements in advancing the fundamental principles of human rights remain unchanged and will be advanced for the betterment of all.
In empowering the refugee communities, our journey early this year begins with heartfelt visits to various refugee communities, including the Darul Eslah Academy, a non-governmental organisation- run institution for the Rohingyas and the Middle East refugees, both in Ampang, Selangor.
Our collaborative synergy with local human rights lawyers and compassionate volunteers in fighting for justice and equality will remain our priority. Together, we will navigate the intricate and multifaceted challenges faced by refugees, offering invaluable support in securing employment opportunities, facilitating access to education for children and delivering essential healthcare services.
Centhra’s global strategic litigation initiative aims to empower refugees with unfettered access to comprehensive information campaigns and essential legal assistance. This initiative serves as a catalyst to enable refugees to navigate legal avenues and seek justice in challenging circumstances.
In terms of advocacy, education and community outreach, Centhra continues to advocate for marginalised refugee children. Our persistent efforts revolve around amplifying our voices and advocating for their rights beyond mere rhetoric. These efforts encompass addressing critical issues such as meticulous case tracking and the persistent challenges faced in obtaining essential documents and protection.
Centhra's resolute commitment to empowering refugee communities is exemplified through educational initiatives and comprehensive outreach programs tailored to cater to their distinct needs.
A hallmark of our engagement is our active participation in Malaysia's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Consultation Sessions, orchestrated under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Centhra's commitment to upholding human rights within the legal frameworks of the constitution and Syariah law is aptly demonstrated through meaningful engagements. Collaborations with distinguished international bodies, including UPRinfo Geneva, further fortify Centhra's resolve and expertise in advocating for human rights at a global level.
In November this year, Centhra participated in a thought-provoking capacity-building initiative organised by CT PHARE in Jakarta. This strategic initiative is aimed at bolstering oversight and accountability mechanisms in counter-terrorism operations across Southeast Asia. Central to the discussions is the imperative to safeguard human rights within the context of counter-terrorism efforts.
Also in November, demonstrating a global outlook, I, on behalf of Centhra, assisted Malaysia MyAqsa Foundation’s team of lawyers, in submitting substantive evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague, Netherlands, highlighting Israel's genocidal attacks on the Palestinians.
This proactive stance underscored Centhra's unwavering commitment to shedding light on human rights and humanitarian abuses while advocating fervently for justice for affected individuals and communities.
Centhra's dedication to capacity-building is evidenced through our proactive participation in workshops, facilitated by the United Nations Human Rights Asia this month. These workshops are designed to equip Suhakam and civil society organisations (CSOs) with the requisite tools and skills essential for active and impactful participation in treaty body monitoring and reporting processes.
Human Rights Day serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In the face of multifaceted global challenges such as armed conflicts, pervasive inequalities, racial injustices, environmental crises and humanitarian emergencies, the foundational values embedded in the UDHR continue to serve as guiding beacons for collective action that ensures inclusivity and equality for all individuals.
Centhra stands resolute in its unwavering commitment to championing human rights within the Malaysian context.
The organisation's participation in contributing to the MACSA Universal Periodic Review 4th cycle Stakeholders Report for the UNHRC slated for review in January 2024, coupled with its relentless advocacy on various pressing human rights issues such as education for stateless children and prisoners’ rights stand as a testament to Centhra's enduring dedication.
As we chart our course into 2024, Centhra remains steadfast in our pursuit for justice, equality and empowerment of all individuals. We are committed to upholding the principles enshrined under the Federal Constitution and Syariah law, and will continue to strive towards uplifting the rights of the vulnerable and the marginalized to ensure their voices are heard and their rights protected.
Azril Mohd Amin
CENTHRA Founder and Chairman