Historic rights reports on S’pore sent to UN

0
36

A historic first Universal Periodic Review of Singapore is scheduled for May 2011 at the United Nations, reports Kong Soon Tan.

Singapore anti-ISA activists singing 'Blowing in the wind' - Photo credit: jacob60.wordpress.com

Think Centre, the lead political non-governmental group (NGO) in the island state of Singapore, submitted its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) reports on Singapore on 1 November 2010. In all, Think Centre submitted two independent reports – the first being a singular stakeholder submission, and the second being a joint submission incorporating national consultation input (with fellow civil society stakeholders). Both reports were written under challenging circumstances and aims to enhance the protection and enjoyment of human rights and democracy.

Think Centre coordinated civil society consultations and provided space for concerned individuals and NGOs to share their views on human rights problems and recommendations. Besides Think Centre’s records of socio-political developments in Singapore over the last decade, its report observations drew upon publicly accessible sources such as news articles, court rulings, parliamentary proceedings, relevant socio-political blogs, as well as official websites of political parties, the Singapore government and international bodies such as the United Nations.

The Think Centre (independent civil society) report seeks to highlight glaring areas where the Singapore government needs to do more work to remedy well-documented human rights problems and ensure compliance with international human rights standards. The reports call for the full recognition and fulfilment of Singapore’s obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) especially since Singapore has ratified few UN Conventions.

READ MORE:  Singapore urged to abort plan to execute Malaysian citizen

Both reports broadly provide a scenario of Singapore’s current human rights reality focusing on human rights problems that require urgent remedies. It is an attempt to explore opportunities to move forward in promoting fundamental human rights and to open more democratic space. These historic reports submitted by Think Centre were written without fear or favour and aimed to enhance the protection and maintenance of human rights and democracy in Singapore.

Key recommendations include calling upon the government to:

· Review and repeal outdated legislations and clauses contained within legislations that curtail fundamental freedoms,
· Stop and abolish the practice of cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment such as mandatory caning and death penalty,
· Convene an independent National Human Rights Institution that includes independent thematic experts and commissioners,
· Ratify and ensure international core human rights conventions and optional protocols are enforceable,
· Reform domestic law to ensure full compliance with treaty obligations and in line with international human rights standards,
· Ensure all workers including migrant workers are entitled to workplace rights and other fundamental rights without discrimination

Established since 2001, Think Centre is an independent, multi-partisan, non-governmental organisation (NGO) gazetted as the first political association in Singapore. Think Centre aims to critically examine, advocate and build societal awareness on civil society issues related to political development, democracy, rule of law and human rights. In the last decade, Think Centre has been instrumental in initiating and facilitating local civil society’s involvement in human rights awareness and promotion. Regionally, TC has been active on key NGO platforms and mechanisms committed to instituting fundamental human rights mechanisms and related processes.

READ MORE:  Book review: Reflections on Heaven Has Eyes

Download Full Report Joint UPR submission

Kong Soon Tan is president of Think Centre

Thanks for dropping by! Apart from the views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed, the opinions in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation of whatever amount you can afford to sustain Aliran. Please make payments to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.

And why not become an Aliran member or subscribe to our FREE newsletters.

Join the conversation

avatar
750
  Subscribe  
Notify of