The Parliament Watch project studies draft legislation at Parliament and provides commentary on these drafts from a human rights perspective. MDN works closely with local NGO partners, international partners, resource personnel and state institutions to propose amendments and generate comments which are in line with human rights principles, international best-practice and the Maldivian context. We also hold public forums on certain bills to gather public opinion on draft legislation.
MDN lobbies Parliament to incorporate the comments and amendments generated. Our lobbying includes meeting with political parties, individual MPs, various state institutions as well as media campaigns. A comprehensive report on the activities conducted under this project and the responses from Parliamentarians will be released in early 2011.
Parliament Watch has proven to be a high impact project with 24 out of 26 amendments proposed by MDN to the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill incorporated into the Act; amendments to Judicial immunity reflected in the Judges Act; and amendments proposed to the local council elections bill also reflected in the Act.
In order to improve communication between the public and Parliament, MDN provides bi-weekly updates on all human rights related issues and happenings at Parliament. These updates are available on our website.
Parliament Watch was established in March 2010 and is funded by the United Nations Development Programme.