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Promoting human rights in Asia and the Pacific

Protecting and promoting human rights in Asia and the Pacific

Friday 10 December 2004

Protecting and promoting human rights in Asia and the Pacific

Today marks the 56th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Australia has a proud tradition of protecting and promoting human rights, and I am pleased to announce the provision of almost $600,000, through AusAID's Human Rights Small Grants Scheme, for new projects in 10 countries in Asia and the Pacific.

These practical initiatives assist grassroots organisations to support human rights in a direct and tangible way. The projects will see human rights work undertaken at the community level, helping to make a practical difference to the lives and futures of ordinary people.

I congratulate the recipients of these funds, commend them for the efforts they have made in formulating and gaining community support for these initiatives, and look forward to the success of their projects. The new activities to be funded are:

- Cambodia: The Peace and Development Institute will provide multi-media human rights education and develop human rights curricula for schools.

- East Timor: Forum Tau Matan will monitor and educate community groups and legal officials about prison conditions.

- Federated States of Micronesia: The Ministry of Justice will build on a record of legal reform to improve juvenile justice programs.

- Fiji: The Fiji Disabled People's Association will train and provide resource material to community advocates for disability rights.

- Laos: The Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs will target children, teachers and school officials in community education campaigns on human rights and obligations.

- Pakistan: The Researchers Organisation will address issues relating to violence against women.

- Solomon Islands: The Solomon Islands National Council of Women will provide non-partisan support for women candidates in the country's next election.

- Sri Lanka: The Institute of Human Rights will provide human rights training to Sri Lankan police, especially those involved in criminal investigations.

- Tonga: The Tonga Women's Association will provide non-partisan support for women candidates in the 2005 election and provide training for new parliamentarians.

- Vietnam: The Centre for Education, Promotion and Empowerment will provide community based activities aimed at preventing trafficking in women and children.

ENDS

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