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HREOC commends assistance package to Indonesian Human Rights Commission

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NEWS RELEASE Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

18 May 1998

HREOC commends assistance package to Indonesian Human Rights Commission X

Professor Alice Tay, President of TheJItiman Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission . (HREOC) has welcomed the announcement by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer that $2 million in development assistance will be provided to Komnas HAM, the Indonesian Human Rights Commission.

Background Komnas HAM is a small organisation under enormous pressure. HREOC’s relationship with Komnas HAM goes back a long way. Komnas HAM was founding member of the Asia Pacific

Forum of National Human Rights Institutions whose members include New Zealand, India, the Philippines, Australia and Sri Lanka. The Forum, established at a meeting in Darwin in July 1996 provides technical and other assistance to new human rights institutions in the region. The Forum Secretariat is hosted within HREOC.

In the time since it was established nearly five years ago Komnas HAM has investigated alleged human rights abuses in East Timor, Irian Jaya and elsewhere in Indonesia earning national and international respect for its independence

In September 1997 a needs assessment was conducted by HREOC/Forum staff for Komnas HAM which set assistance priorities as announced by the Minister including human rights and governance training and development of a complaints procedures manual.

“The $2 million will ensure that these priorities are met in a timely way” Professor Tay said today.

“HREOC looks forward to a continuing association with our Indonesian counterpart. Although a visit by senior Indonesian Commission staff has been postponed due to the current crisis, HREOC was grateful to Komnas HAM for its support to the first regional media training workshop conducted in Jakarta in February for national institutions throughout the region,” Professor Tay


Funding for the capacity strengthening program will be provided by AusAID.

For more information please contact Margie Cook on 02 9284 9677, 0418 637 230. For details on the technical assistance program contact Kieren Fitzpatrick on 0419 242 372.

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