Günter Nooke, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, left today (4 February) for a 13-day trip to Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. The focus of the trip will be on human rights and humanitarian issues.
In Thailand the Commissioner will meet representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Council for National Security, the National Human Rights Commission, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and civil society. He will also visit the Mae La refugee camp on the border between Thailand and Myanmar to see at first hand the humanitarian situation of the refugees from Myanmar. Last year the Federal Foreign Office made available to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 320,000 euro for initiatives to improve the legal protection for refugees from Myanmar and hygiene in the camps.
From 10 to 12 February the Commissioner will attend a conference on the changing challenges facing churches worldwide on the Indonesian island of Batam. During this time he will also meet the Chairman of Indonesia's National Human Rights Commission.
The final stage of his trip will take the Commissioner to the Philippines, where he will meet the Foreign Minister, the Justice Minister and high-ranking parliamentary, judicial, police and military representatives as well as members of civil society. The talks will focus on the reform of the justice system. The Commissioner will also travel to the island of Mindanao, the scene of recurrent fighting between the army and rebel groups which is also having a negative impact on the civilian population.