The government and civil society organisations on Monday began a two-day training workshop in Lilongwe to build capacity in state party reporting before the United Nations.
The training focused on best practices in state reporting and shadow reporting before United Nations bodies and litigation before International Human Rights Tribunals.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) commissioner Marshal Chilenga described the training as timely, coming at a time when Malawi was now working on reporting to the UN on International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
"It is important for stakeholders to deliberate on state party reporting because when the government fails to report on human rights instruments, there is need to give shadow reports from MHRC and Non State Actors," Chilenga said.
MHRC Executive Secretary Grace Malera said Malawi was doing poorly on state party reporting, saying the problem lies on all stakeholders.
"This is not the problem of the government alone; it is a problem of us all. When government fails to report, we as MHRC and non state actors need to come up with our own reports," said Malera.
She said the training will build capacity in participants to report on ICCPR, Convention of the Rights of the Child and other international instruments.
The workshop has drawn representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, MHRC, members of the Law School at Chancellor College and civil society organisations.
High on the agenda are discussions on ICCPR, guide to state party reporting, guide to shadow reporting before UN treaty bodies, guide to litigation before human rights tribunals and the Malawi National Report submitted to the Human Rights Council on October 21, 2010.
Professor Sandra Babcock from the Northwestern University Centre for International Human Rights in United States led a team of facilitators for the training.