The Seychelles Human Rights Commission is ready to investigate alleged violations of human rights, and to assist victims of such violations to seek redress, now that four out of its five members were sworn in on Friday.
The swearing-in ceremony took place before President Danny Faure, at State House. The Vice‑Chairperson and three other Commissioners took their oaths of allegiance and the official oath.
The fifth, the Chair, Justice Bernadin Renaud, will be sworn in May after his retirement from the Court of Appeal. Michelle Lacoudraye-Harter is the Vice Chair whilst Roger Toussaint, Barbara Carolus-André and Michelle Marguerite are other members of the human rights commission.
Renaud, a former ombudsman, said that the human rights commission is for all Seychellois.
“I bring with me a wealth of experience I gained as an ombudsman for 10 years, whilst drafting the first constitution, experience as a judge, knowledge of the laws, this is what I will bring to the commission. Besides, I know my country very well and have good public relations. I love the interactions with people and look forward to bring all this to the commission.”
The appointment of the commissioners follows the recommendations made to the President by the Constitutional Appointments Authority, and after the President had consulted with the Speaker of the National Assembly on the recommendations.
The members of the Seychelles Human Rights Commission are appointed for a 5-year period and will be eligible for re-appointment. (Joena Meme) Photo License: CC-BY
The Commission was established by the Seychelles Human Rights Commission Act in 2018. It is a self-governing, neutral and independent body that is not subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.
The Seychelles Human Rights Commission will advise the Government on matters related to the protection of human rights, in administrative practice as well as in proposed legislation. It will undertake research and sensitisation programmes for the furtherance of human rights and also monitor Seychelles’ compliance with the terms of international conventions and charters relevant to the functions of the Commission.
“All members of the United Nations have a human rights commission which is a necessity of various charters, there are the international ones, AU and European charters, so Seychelles has an obligation to do the necessary and report accordingly,” said Renaud.
According to Renaud the commission will have to come up with a plan of action in the context of Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
“We cannot take an international approach as what happens in each country varies, the issue people have there is different from ours. So this is the approach that we would want to take,” said the judge.
The commission is expected to have its first meeting next week and the chair said that they will be getting the public views on how the public would want the commission to work.
The members of the Seychelles Human Rights Commission are appointed for a 5-year period and will be eligible for re-appointment.
Source: Seychelles News Agency