8 Sep 2014

Detailed human rights plan urged for Fiji

8:05 pm on 8 September 2014

An international human rights watchdog says Fiji's political parties should be making detailed plans for protecting human rights clear to voters as they campaign for election.

Human Rights Watch says the parties should be going beyond broad principles of respect for human rights and coming up with specific policies to address the country's human rights record after eight years of military rule.

The group's deputy Asia director, Phil Robertson, says a one hundred day plan of action to address core human rights problems would be a good way to go.

"Taking on issues of draconian laws, committing to a time-bound plan of action on various key issues. They could take on for instance media reform right at the beginning. As a newly democratic state returning to democracy, Fiji should set a new example by unshackling the newspapers, TV and the radio.

Mr Robertson says the September 17 election is an important opportunity to change the way Fiji addresses human rights.