NHRIs in conflict and post-conflict

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), as mechanisms that are independent from the government, can play a key role in preventing conflicts and ensuring respect for human rights and their protection in conflict and post-conflict situations. 

In particular, NHRIs can 

  • Conduct investigations into the situation of particular groups, to identify their needs measures for prevention;
  • Handle complaints from rights-holders and affected groups;
  • Monitor and document discrimination and violations of conflict-affected groups and victims, and report to national and international protection mechanisms;
  • Function as early warning mechanisms;
  • Serve a unique independent bridging role, especially between the state, rights-holders and affected communities;
  • Encourage ratification of international human rights instruments and the development of national legislation and policies;
  • Promote human rights education and training with all sectors of society, which supports the development of a vibrant civil society and the respect for human rights and the rule of law; and
  • Give a voice to the voiceless and provide assistance to victims in access to justice and reparations.

During conflict and post-conflict situations NHRIs face particular difficulties and challenges. The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, its four regional networks and our global partners – the United Nations Development Programme and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – work together to support NHRIs in conflict and post conflict situation through:

  • strengthening their capacities,
  • serving as knowledge broker and providing platforms for exchanges with and among NHRIs across all regions, and
  • protecting NHRIs from reprisals or providing a coordinated response to such acts.

​NHRIs operating in conflict and post conflict situations will be a thematic strategic priority for GANHRI in its 2017-2019 strategic plan and will be part of the joint UNDP-OHCHR-GANHRI programme in support to NHRIs.