THE Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), together with the National Commission on Human Rights of Indonesia (Komnas HAM) and the Commission of Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to find a long-term solution to the stateless issue in Sabah.
SUHAKAM in a statement said the MOU was renewed for another five years, showing the commitment of all parties to enhance cooperation through collaboration with the government and stakeholders to find a definite solution to the rights of the stateless people who are at risk due to their position and status without citizenship in Sabah.
“As an extension to the efforts taken in the past, all three commissions agreed to focus on raising awareness and misperception among the public towards stateless people in Sabah.
“Whatever status they are in—people without documents, people without citizenship and people with a high risk of ending up stateless—they go through the same experience.
“This includes the denial of basic rights like education, health care, and source of income, thus exposing people to the risks of exploitation, forced labour, human trafficking and other related risks,” said the commission in a statement yesterday (Sept 7).
The MOU was first signed between SUHAKAM and Komnas HAM in April 2019, with CHRP acting as an observer and it was later renewed twice and extended until December 2022 with the official involvement of all three parties. – Sept 8, 2023