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Commonwealth Conference of National Human Rights Institutions February 26-28, 2007 Marlborough House, London Commonwealth Conference of NHRIs Summary of Proceedings Meeting opened by Rabab Fatima, Head of Human Rights in the Commonwealth Secretariat

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commonwealth conference of national human rights institutions

Commonwealth Conference of National Human Rights Institutions

February 26-28, 2007

Marlborough House, London

commonwealth conference of nhris summary of proceedings
Commonwealth Conference of NHRIsSummary of Proceedings
  • Meeting opened by Rabab Fatima, Head of Human Rights in the Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon provided keynote address
  • All papers, including opening address, to be posted on website
organization of work
Organization of Work
  • Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya, Uganda Human Rights Commission, elected Chair
  • Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao, India National Human Rights Commission, Vice Chair
  • Dr. Judy McGregor, New Zealand Human Rights Commission, Vice Chair
  • David Langtry, Canadian Human Rights Commission, Rapporteur
review of the commonwealth best practices guidelines professor brian burdekin
Review of the Commonwealth Best Practices GuidelinesProfessor Brian Burdekin
  • Paris Principles are minimum standard to be achieved
  • Governments unanimously endorsed in General Assembly
  • Best Practices Guidelines build on Paris Principles
  • Did not deal with number of significant issues (situations of conflict, IDPs, HIV/AIDS, etc
issues discussed
Issues Discussed
  • Differing mandates – Secretariat Project
  • Accountability & Independence
  • Enforcement & implementation of decisions & recommendations
  • Resources
  • Multi-mandate commissions
  • Education
  • Models
  • Human Rights vs custom or culture
gianni magazzeni coordinator of national institutions unit unohchr
Gianni Magazzeni, Coordinator of National Institutions Unit, UNOHCHR
  • Role of OHCHR re: NHRIs
  • 6 key criteria in Paris Principles
  • NIs as strategic partners
  • Countries coming out of conflict
  • Monitor State follow up to recommendations of Treaty Bodies
  • Country Team System
pip dargan deputy director asia pacific forum of nhris
Pip Dargan, Deputy Director, Asia Pacific Forum of NHRIs
  • Paris Principles constitute normative framework for setting standards and assessing independence
  • Achieved international consensus and endorsement as minimum standards
  • Work of APF
  • Review processes on compliance with Paris Principles
dr said adejumobi political governance adviser ecowas
Dr. Said Adejumobi, Political Governance Adviser, ECOWAS
  • ECOWAS’s vision
  • ECOWAS’s Constitutional Convergence Principles
  • ECOWAS’s Objectives for human rights
  • Objectives of Network of NHRIs in West Africa
sharing experiences in fulfilling mandates
Sharing Experiences in fulfilling mandates
  • Asian, African, Pacific & Canadian experience
  • Mandates varied, can be from focus on equality and discrimination redress, to including anti-corruption – Project
  • Complaints process
  • Age – 3 months to 30 years
sharing experiences in fulfilling mandates cont d
Sharing Experiences in fulfilling mandates (cont’d)
  • Appointment process and tenure (independence)
  • Public inquiries
  • Resource challenge
  • Media relations
  • Mediation
  • Prison/Detention Centre Visits - Project
different national institutions with human rights mandates the ombudsman model
Different national institutions with human rights mandates: the Ombudsman Model
  • Small island states preparedness to accede to international conventions (capacity, resources, constitution, domestic legislature)
  • Different mandates of Ombudsmen/Public Defender/Hybrid functions
  • Different interpretations of functions
  • Place in NHRI landscape
proposed commonwealth forum
Proposed Commonwealth Forum
  • Presentations by Rabab Fatima, Neena Jacob, Jolyon Ford and Matthew Neuhaus
  • Consensus emerged on concept of establishing Forum
  • Issues or concerns not regarding concept, rather on objectives, structure, mandate, relationship with other Forums and Networks
proposed commonwealth forum cont d
Proposed Commonwealth Forum (cont’d)
  • Suggested that start small, take a first step, and build from there, with initial focus on strategic engagement with CHOGM
  • Be a Forum for exchanging ideas, be a reservoir of information, expertise
  • Forum could help strengthen regional networks
  • Commonwealth Secretariat would provide support to Steering Committee, facilitate CHOGM meeting
proposed commonwealth forum cont d14
Proposed Commonwealth Forum (cont’d)
  • Unanimously resolved: Establish Commonwealth Forum
  • Unanimously resolved: Establish Steering Committee