Advocating for a National Human Rights Institution in Singapore

  • James GomezEmail author
  • Michelle D’cruz


This chapter introduces Singapore into the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) literature by first contextualising the discourse on NHRIs in the city-state in the run up to its engagement with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The chapter then examines the calls arising from submissions over the two UPR cycles to establish a National Human Rights Institution in Singapore. Finally, it assesses stakeholder opinion on the feasibility of proposing and advocating for the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution in the city-state. The final assessment is that Singapore’s current one-party-dominated political structure continues to act as a hindrance for the establishment of independent institutions such as those related to human rights. However, the discourse for establishing a National Human Rights Institution in Singapore is no longer only domestically situated, but has also entered into the international arena through the United Nations’ UPR process. But there is a danger that Singapore might end up establishing a mechanism to deal with civil service lapses that falls shorts of a NHRI that can tackle broader human rights abuses in the city-state.


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© Asia Centre 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asia CentreBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Oxfam InternationalNairobiKenya

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