Malawi: Mutharika Urges Stock-Taking On Human Rights

10 December 2019

President Peter Mutharika has urged the country to take stock of the strides taken in the promotion and protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights of its citizens and people in Malawi.

In his message on Human Rights Day which falls on December 10 and this year is being commemorated under the theme 'Youth standing up for human rights', the President said the theme is well fitting on the need for Malawi to take stock of its progress.

He pointed out that the youth form the fabric of the nation.

"The future and property of this nation lay in the potential of the youth to participate in the sustainable development of this nation," said Mutharika.

President Mutharika, in his message on the day made available to Nyasa Times by the State House Press Office, he recognises that there is a positive correlation between good governance and sustainable development.

He also dwelt on positives that the country has achieved over the years in human rights, saying Malawi has made "tremendous progress" in creating sufficient civic space for participation of all people in the affairs of the nation and fundamentally in the protection and promotion of human rights.

"Mutharika said the people of Malawi are proud because the country has a strong framework for the protection of human rights with an independent Judiciary, strong national human rights institutions such as the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), and a vibrant civil society

He further called on Malawians to embrace responsibility towards human rights.

However, Mutharika expressed concern that while government is making every effort to develop the lives of the youth, political and civil society leaders are using the young generation in perpetrating violence.

"These people are exploiting the poverty and vulnerability of the youth to engage in violence and politically engineered political activities.

"Some organisations are hiding behind defending human rights when they are actually engaging in violence, criminal activities and blatantly violating everybody's human rights. These people and organisations are in fact teaching the youth of this country to be violent society," said Mutharika,

Mutharika noted that youth are being radicalised to be vandalising their own education infrastructure and committing serious crimes over petty issues.

"This is wrong and a serious crime against an entire generation of the youths whom we must teach to resolve their disputes by using dialogue and rule of law," said Mutharika.

The Malawi leader said the youth must be taught to be responsible citizens instead of mobilising them into violence and criminal activities in the name of democracy and freedom of expression.

He also specifically urges Malawians to protect the rights of women and girls and encourage them to finish their education.

In protecting the rights of all Malawians and the youth, President Mutharika urges all citizens to "rise up and protect the peace" of the nation.

"Wherever there is no peace, there are no human rights. Wherever there is no peace, women, children and everyone suffer. Therefore, let us rise to our human obligation; let us stand up to reject violence. Let us rise to defend peace. This is the way to stand up for human rights," said Mutharika.

December 10 every year is the International Human Rights Day which is commemorated in all the 193 member States of the United Nations (UN) to remind people of their human rights, duties, responsibilities and obligations.

The day was set by the UN to honour the UN General Assembly's (UNGA's) adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December in 1948.

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