GANHRI and NHRIs have participated at a special event to discuss experiences in promoting implementation of international human rights norms
Geneva, 15 April 2016 - National human rights institutions (NHRIs) have described a broad suite of initiatives they have undertaken to advance implementation and compliance by the State of international human rights norms and standards.
The Geneva-based event – hosted by Morocco's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in cooperation with the Universal Rights Group (URG) – sought to provide a “bottom up” approach to reflect and exchange on experiences of Sates in implementing international human rights treaties and recommendations resulting from UN mechanisms.
A dedicated panel during the event looked into the unique roles and experiences of NHRIs in promoting and monitoring implementation by the State.
“NHRIs are critical actors in the human rights framework and within the UN system, given their state mandate to promote and protect human rights at the national level, in line with international human rights norms and standards” said President Driss El Yazami of Morocco's National Human Rights Council, speaking on behalf of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
President El Yazami outlined essential provisions to ensure NHRIs can undertake this role effectively including
- Ensuring that NHRIs are provided with broad mandates, powers and adequate resources in line with the United Nations Paris Principles;
- Fully implementing the General Assembly resolution 70/163 adopted in December 2015 calling on all relevant UN mechanisms and processes to enhance their cooperation with NHRIs; and
- Promoting efforts to build capacities of NHRIs in monitoring and reporting on States' compliance with international human rights norms and standards, including at an international level through engagement with UN human rights mechanisms and processes.
Chairperson Dr Ali bin Samikk Al Marri of the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar and GANHRI Geneva Representative Katharina Rose also participated in the event.
Engagement with the United Nations
The ICC facilitates and supports NHRI engagement with international human rights mechanisms, in order to strengthen human rights domestically.
NHRIs are key domestic counterparts of the United Nations Human Rights system. Based on their mandates under the United Nations Paris Principles, NHRIs' can provide international mechanisms with independent and authoritative information on national situations, and promote and monitor follow up to recommendations resulting from the UN system.
NHRIs can interact with the international human rights mechanisms through various means, which include making input to, participating in, and following up the recommendations of the Human Rights Council, its Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
Moreover, the ICC works closely with the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section (NIRMS) of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights towards the establishment and strengthening of NHRIs. NIRMS is actively involved in the organisation of the ICC Annual Meeting, the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) meeting, and the ICC International Conference.
Another key function of the ICC is to assist NHRIs engage with the UN treaty bodies. The ICC trough the ICC Geneva Representative assists NHRIs in submitting information to treaty bodies prior to sessions; sets up meetings between NHRI representatives and treaty body experts; reports back on proceedings of treaty body meetings; and encourages NHRIs to follow up on the Concluding Observations and recommendations of treaty bodies.
In April 2012, the ICC Chair submitted a letter and an advocacy paper to the GA President calling for the active involvement of NHRIs in the treaty body strengthening process.