Access to human rights in Zambia has suffered a major setback in the recent past because the custodians of information have kept it to themselves, says Positive Action on Human Rights Freedom and Development executive director Bright Jalila.
In an interview, Jalila said the Human Rights Commission (HRC) has not done its best in protecting the rights of people due to their failure to sensitise and disseminate the information they have on human rights.
He said the situation was making access to human rights very difficult.
"The human rights offices dotted across the country are not adequate to cover the respect of human rights; like here in Southern Province, we have an office in Livingstone which spreads to Namwala then back up to Siavonga. Surely how can they (HRC) follow up and monitor cases of human rights like that because they don't reach all the corners of the country?
They end up keeping information to themselves, and the institution has failed to incorporate other civil societies that are dealing with human rights to appreciate what they are doing because it is a mammoth task. We are supposed to complement each other," he explained.
And Jalila said there is need for serious political will for the people of Zambia to have access to human rights.
He said the government harbours the power of the people through human rights which are not absolute but obtainable within the prescribed confines.
"We have good pieces of law in Zambia and Zambia has signed quite a number of treaties which if domesticated can provide protection of human rights, there are a number of instruments that speak well in line with protecting human rights but the problem is that our country lacks political will," claimed Jalila.
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