Seychelles Human Rights Commission Trains More Civil Servants About Human Rights in Everyday Work

Officers from the Department of Employment learned more about the right to work in a training session organised by the Seychelles Human Rights Commission on Tuesday.

The officers learned about the 25 basic human rights found in the island nation’s constitution, the context, and interpretation, among others, in the last series of training for government officials.

“What we find is that there is a difference between reading a constitution and interpreting it,” the legal director of the Commission, George Robert, told SNA.

He said that with the government bodies that attend, “they often know that these rights exist, but when they leave they have a better understanding of how to interpret those rights, especially when it comes to their specific obligations.”

The Seychelles Human Rights Commission is a self-governing, neutral, and independent body that is not subject to the direction or control of any person or authority. Its role is to investigate alleged violations of human rights and to assist victims of such violations to seek redress.

The training sessions it conducts are part of the Seychelles Human Rights Promotion Project that the European Union has been funding since 2021.

Among others who also attended the training sessions were secondary and post-secondary students, non-governmental organisations as well as employees from several governmental entities such as the immigration department.

“We have seen an improvement in the knowledge that people have about human rights, the more we held the sessions,” said Sophie Lagrenade, the senior education and training officer of the Commission.

Lagrenade added that the sessions were usually tailored to each group attending them.

“For the students, we make it in a way for them to understand and we also have more activities for them so that they better understand the rights,” she added.

The last group attending the human rights training was also able to carry out group work to bring what they have learned into their everyday jobs context.

In the Commission’s 2022 report, the largest number of enquiries were related to the right to work, followed by the right to property, the right to liberty, and the right to a fair and public hearing.

The highest number of alleged violations recorded was against one entity – the Seychelles Police Force. A total of 10 registered complaints were logged to the Commission against the police.

Of the total of 117 lodged inquiries in 2022, 18 contained complaints of possible human rights violations and were registered to be investigated.

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, with a population of 100,000 inhabitants, is ranked second in the Overall Governance category of the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance for 2022.

The Index is the most comprehensive assessment of governance performance in 54 African countries incorporating an expanded governance scope, including environment and equality; strengthened indicators, and a section fully dedicated to Africa’s Citizens’ Voices.

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