Suhakam disappointed Malaysia failed to properly answer UN committee on women's rights

Published date27 February 2018
Publication titleMalay Mail Online

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) expressed disappointment today that the Malaysian government could not answer many questions posed by a United Nations (UN) committee on women's rights, indicating a lack of progress on ending gender discrimination.

Suhakam said the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (Cedaw) that Malaysia has ratified, observed that Malaysia had yet to implement many concluding recommendations by the UN women's rights committee since 2006.

'The government delegation was firmly reminded by the committee to take more seriously Malaysia's responsibilities with respect to reporting to the treaty body, and that reporting to the committee after 12 years was not in the best interest of progress,' Suhakam said in a statement.

'Suhakam is disappointed that the Malaysian government delegation appeared uncoordinated in their efforts and responses to the committee. There was evidence of the government Mission in Geneva being at a loss to respond, which Suhakam believes may be due to insufficient coordination,' the national human rights body added.

Suhakam, which had presented information together with the Malaysian government during the Cedaw committee's 69th session in Geneva last week, stressed that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, had human rights.

'Regrettably, human rights and sexual violations of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) persons continue regarding education, employment, healthcare and insurance. LGBT persons have been denied their right to housing due to their identity and have suffered violations of their right to dignity upon arrest or detention by enforcement agencies,' it said.

Suhakam said the Malaysian government delegation was asked on the steps taken to ratify other UN treaties - the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) - as well as the steps taken to withdraw reservations to Articles 9(2) and 16(1)(a), (c), (f) and (g) of the Cedaw treaty that deal with women's equal rights with men on the nationality of their children and...

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