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Corrections Reforms Praised at Rights Council

The Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) Commissioner Commander (Navy) Francis Kean said their institution has a commitment in meeting the Nelson Mandela Rules. “This is a journey that the Corrections Service
20 Sep 2018 13:07
Corrections Reforms Praised at Rights Council
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer UNODC Philipp Meissner with Fiji Corrections Service Commissioner Commander (Navy) Francis Kean. Photo: Philipp Meissner / Twitter

The Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) Commissioner Commander (Navy) Francis Kean said their institution has a commitment in meeting the Nelson Mandela Rules.

“This is a journey that the Corrections Service has already embarked upon,” Commander Kean said about the Nelson Mandela Rules, at a side event of the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

He highlighted the transformation journey of the FCS, including its reform and rehabilitation efforts.

“The call of duty for rehabilitation is a noble one, the business of saving and restoring lives is an honourable duty…a holistic approach to rehabilitation will require a whole of nation effort,” he said.

He also spoke on the various reform initiatives undertaken by the FCS and the importance of building strong partnerships with all relevant stakeholders.

Chief Justice Anthony Gates spoke on the judiciary’s application of the Nelson Mandela Rules and how this has helped shape and support prison reform.

Also speaking as panellists, the Legal Aid Commission and the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission highlighted the importance of having access to prisons in ensuring that the rights of all persons guaranteed under the Fijian Constitution is respected and protected.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime highlighted its work in promoting the practical application of the Nelson Mandela Rules in various jurisdictions. These include terms of assessing compliance and raising awareness.

It commended the FCS for the various initiatives that have been implemented in Fiji.

This side event, hosted by Fiji, gained lots of attraction and was attended by various ambassadors and members of the diplomatic community, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations and the general public. The delegation at the side event was led by Commander Kean and consisted of Fiji’s Chief Justice Anthony Gates, Director Legal Aid Commission, Shahin Ali, Director Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Ashwin Raj, and Philipp Meissner from the UN Office for Drugs and Crime.

The Human Rights Council will conclude its 39th session on September 28, 2018.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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