Experts Discuss Strategies for more Effective National Human Rights Systems

During the course of two days, more than 60 participants – experts from Geneva-based human rights mechanisms and representatives from more than 20 different national human rights systems, ranging from Latin America, Northern Africa, Far East Asia and the Pacific – discussed in an online meeting the implementation of human rights standards through national human rights systems (NHRSs).

‘This topic is both timely and important. The international covenants and conventions do have intrinsic value in shaping the discourse around the globe but they can only unleash their full potential if implemented and adhered to domestically’ underlines Ambassador Hans-Peter Jugel, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations in Geneva.

Identifying Best Practices and Discussing Key Questions

NHRSs come in different forms and structures. This seminar presented a unique forum for different national human rights actors – governmental bodies, independent state institutions and civil society organizations – to exchange their latest strategies for human rights implementation and monitoring and helped to enhance interaction between two or more national actors. The seminar notably highlighted a number of tangible common features for a most effective NHRS, providing best practice examples in a peer-to-peer learning process.

The seminar also discussed specific issues including NHRSs’ information management capacity; the capacity of different domestic actors to mutually engage with each other and liaise with international human rights bodies in the context of reporting, visits by UN special procedures or other international expert bodies; and NHRSs’ capacity to foster participation and provide a platform for consultations among national actors.

‘The discussions notably allowed identifying obstacles and good practices that can guide the process towards a consolidated NHRS, including reducing the load on national actors, reducing duplication in reporting to UN human rights bodies and the possibility of a common monitoring methodology’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Manager of Policy Studies at the Geneva Academy and Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

Participants also suggested exploring the possibility of devising a list of general principles related to the functioning of effective NHRSs, which might include specific sections on broad characteristics like institutional design, effective interactions among national human rights actors, meaningful participation of all relevant stakeholders, transparency and accountability in the decision-making process, availability of resources, as well as accessibility and digitalization.

A Larger Research

This meeting forms part of our research project on the role of national human rights systems in implementing international human rights standards and recommendations.

‘This seminar will allow us to integrate the different experiences into our wider research, enriching our reflection on how to increase the effectiveness of national human rights monitoring and implementation strategies’ stresses Domenico Zipoli, Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.

‘One early finding of our research is the growing relevance of digital tracking tools for human rights monitoring, implementation and follow-up – such as the National Recommendations Tracking Database and the Human Rights Index developed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); SIMORE PLUS developed by Paraguay’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with OHCHR; IMPACT OSS, maintained by the Impact Open Source Software Trust and IWAZI, developed by HURIDOCS. This encourages us to strengthen our efforts in the field of human rights information management systems, including research and dedicated seminars, in order to define convergences, complementarities and best practices useful for all relevant stakeholders’ he adds.

Visit of the Defensor del Pueblo in the Casa de los Derechos in Tumaco, Colombia

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Sima Samar at the conference News

Sima Samar Will Deliver the Keynote Speech at the Geneva Human Rights Platform 2021 Annual Conference

21 September 2021

Sima Samar, former Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, will deliver the keynote speech at the 2021 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

Read more

Tegucigalpa, Central Park. Pedestrians are looking at portraits of missing persons, during the International Day of Missing Persons. News

New Publication Takes Stock of the Achievements and Jurisprudence of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances

14 September 2021

Ten years after the entry into force of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, The Work of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances takes stock of what the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances has achieved and details its jurisprudence as it stands today.

Read more

Logo of the Atlas Network Event

Women's Perspectives on a Career in International Law

14 December 2021, 15:00-16:15

In this online event co-organized with the ATLAS Network, prominent women in international law will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.

Read more

Event

Ending Coercive Interrogation: The New Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering

10 December 2021, 17:30-19:00

This event – co-organized with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) – will discuss the new Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering – also known as the Méndez Principles.

Read more

An aerial view of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have appeared following latest attacks by M23 rebels and other armed groups in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Short Course

International Refugee Law

9 March - 13 April 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Read more

Prison visit by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Haiti Short Course

The Implementation of International Human Rights Law

16 December - 14 January 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, aims at presenting the institutions and procedures in charge of the implementation of international human rights law.

Read more

Séléka rebels patrol in the town of Bria, Central African Republic (CAR). Project

Human Rights Responsibilities and Armed Non-State Actors

Completed in June 2018

This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.

Read more

Mine Project

Business, Human Rights and Conflict-Affected Regions

Started in July 2021

This project aims to further identify and clarify policies and practices for States and business, including public and private investors, across the full ‘conflict cycle’ and the ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Read more

cover of the publication Publication

Promoting Quality Independent and Diverse Treaty Body Membership

published on November 2021

Claire Callejon

Read more