NHRCK Chairperson Elected as Deputy Chair of NHRI network of Asia Pacific Region
-NHRCK to help set the direction for NHRIs in the region and elevate its status in the process-
Chairperson Young-ae Choi of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea was elected as Deputy Chair of the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions(APF) at its 25th Annual General Meeting(AGM) which was held on September 9. The Chairperson will also serve on the APF Governance Committee, which performs critical functions including making recommendations to the AGM about the APF Strategic Plan, adopting annual operational plans and monitoring the implementation of the strategic plan.
The APF AGM, which brings together representatives from national human rights institutions of 25 Asian-Pacific countries, UN agencies and Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions(GANHRI), is the biggest international human rights conference held in the Asian-Pacific region. The APF is a union of 25 national human rights institutions in the region and has its secretariat in Australia. Since its foundation in 1996, the APF has been organizing an annual general meeting which is rotated around the subregions of the Asia Pacific. This year, the conference was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the APF Governance Committee are elected directly by secret ballot by member institutions. The Committee is composed of five persons, including Chair and Deputy Chair. Only A status NHRIs are eligible to apply for the position. In the recent election, the chairperson or the equivalent of NHRIs of Australia, India, Malaysia, Qatar and Korea were elected to serve a two-year term on the Governance Committee. Rosalind Croucher, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission and Chairperson Young-ae Choi will take the role of Chair and Deputy Chair of the Committee, respectively.
With the election of Chairperson Choi as Deputy Chair of the Committee, the NHRCK will likely play a greater role in the key activities of the regional NHRI network, including policymaking processes, and improve its standing in the region.
Chairperson Choi said after the election that the APF has proven invaluable to the NHRCK over the past 20 years of its history as it seeks to establish itself as a leading human rights institution and expressed her hopes to give back what the NHRCK has received from the APF to other APF members.
In addition to the positions of APF Deputy Chair and Governance Committee Member, the NHRCK has been serving as APF representative at the GANHRI Bureau(term of office: 2020-2023) and was re-elected for a two-year term as Chair of the GANHRI Working Group on Ageing at the 24th APF AGM in 2019(term of office: June 2020-June 2022). As such, the NHRCK is actively involved in international exchanges and cooperation on human rights issues.
The APF AGM this year discussed the organization's annual performance report(July 2019-June 2020) and audit report, progress made and additional measures required in the area of gender mainstreaming and the host for the next APF AGM and Biennial Conference.
Chairperson Choi shared with other members the efforts and progress made in terms of gender representation at the NHRCK. Since the Chairperson began her term in office in 2018, the percentage of executive-level female employees (Grade 4 and above) climbed steadily from 8.8 percent(3 persons) in 2016 to 30.0 percent(12 persons) in August 2020.