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Commonwealth Model National Plan of Action on Human Rights

image of Commonwealth Model National Plan of Action on Human Rights

While many countries seek to improve their capacity to protect and promote human rights in accordance with constitutional imperatives and Commonwealth values, they often lack a clear roadmap on how to do so. Currently, there is no single and easy-to-use model which Commonwealth countries can use as a basis for planning the process. This guide will particularly useful for those in smaller countries who wish to develop a human rights plan. The action plan makes three key points: first that full public participation in the development of a national action plan is key to a successful outcome, secondly that putting the plan into operation need not mean adding another bureaucratic layer to government, and thirdly that the model is a model only, and not intended to be prescriptive.

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Commonwealth values

Commonwealth countries are all committed to the fundamental principles, including human rights, outlined in the Harare Commonwealth Declaration of 1991. The Harare Declaration reaffirms the Declaration of Commonwealth Principles agreed in Singapore in 1971. This Commonwealth commitment to human rights has been shaped by the organisation's historical origins, including colonial independence struggles, and the united positions the Commonwealth has adopted on issues of human rights, for example, its leading and principled opposition to racism and apartheid.

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