Early this year, the BAC Amnesty Club collaborated with SUHKAM, to host an ICERD event. This event was held on the 20th of March 2021, from 10am to 11:30am.
The purpose of this event was to give students a better understanding of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination i.e. ICERD. This convention has been a very controversial topic in Malaysia in recent years, as there have been many misunderstandings about it amongst the general public. The situation only escalated following the Malaysian parliaments’ refusal to ratify the convention in late 2018.
The representatives from the Human Rights Commission Malaysia i.e SUHAKAM, were brought on to quell these misconceptions, to answer any questions the public may have had and to promote discourse on ICERD and the topic of racial discrimination amongst the younger generation.
A short quiz was given at the very end of the session to help students internalize the information they received. The long term goal of the event, was to bring light to the general public about racial discrimination in Malaysia and to encourage people, especially youngsters, to be future changemakers in this area.
The demographic of the event included those from all age groups, mainly those above the age of 16, targeting a more mature audience given the sensitivity of the topic. Special guests for the event included: Ms Adlin, an Officer at the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and SUHAKAM. The External Affairs Department of the Amnesty Malaysia BAC Club, liaised with Ms Adlin of SUHAKAM to invite Mr Shahizad Sulaiman, the Principal Assistant Secretary Education and Training Division of SUHAKAM, as the speaker of our event.
SUHAKAM is the national human rights institution of Malaysia. Their functions are to promote awareness and to educate people on issues relating to human rights. Other roles include:
- Advising and assisting the Government in formulating legislation and procedures, and recommending necessary measures that need to be taken.
- Advising the Government on issues with regards to subscription or accession of treaties and other international instruments, in the field of human rights.
- Inquiring into complaints regarding infringements of human rights.
Feedback forms were sent out after the event to which we received positive responses. The attendees were satisfied and delighted to have learnt more about ICERD while gaining a better understanding of this area.
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