SACCORD has called on stakeholders in Zambia to get involved in the improvement of human rights.
SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Chembe said in an interview that stakeholders such as the Media, the Church, Traditional leaders, CSOs and Government as the biggest stakeholder should get involved in the process of enhancing and improving human rights in the country.
He said his organisation with the help of Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa-OSISA is working on a project that would bring stakeholders together with the purpose of having a well formulated and coordinated fight for the improvement of human rights in the country.
Cheembe explained that the project will seek to create a Human Rights Defenders Network for Zambia which will bring together human rights defenders in the country.
“As SACCORD we believe that Zambia needs to continue improving her Human Rights and this process of improving human rights has to involve various stakeholders, CSOs, The Church, the Citizenry, Traditional leaders, the Media and of course a very big stakeholder the Government.
“We are greatful with the support that we have received from the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa-OSISA that has supported SACCORD on a project that seeks to put in place a Human Rights Defenders Network bringing together CSOs, quasi government organisations among others to participate in this human rights Human Rights Defenders Network for Zambia.
“The idea is that working with strategic partners and stakeholders we have a very well formulated and coordinated manner on following up human rights related issues and this is ultimately suppose to feed into the hope of improving human rights in the country whether it be from the point of view of reform of the public order act or improving the extent to which there is freedom of expression in the country so this is something that we shell continue to work towards and continue our sensitisation and awareness creation activities,” he said.
And Cheembe observed the need for a proper mechanisms for following Universal Periodic Review on human rights so as to track recommendations that the Zambian government takes on board.
“….It is for this reason as an organisation we have been very proactive in matters pertaining to the Universal Periodic Review UPR especially were Zambia is concerned and in particular were the review of Zambia is concerned.
“it is important that recommendations that the Zambian government takes on board to implement from the UPR are followed up in
a methodical manner so that the implementation of those recommendations form part of the improvement regime in the country’s human rights record even other issues that need to be followed up as regards the UPR has to be taken into consideration,” he said.