Commonwealth Conference of National Human Rights Institutions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Commonwealth Conference of National Human Rights Institutions

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  1. Commonwealth Conference of National Human Rights Institutions February 26-28, 2007 Marlborough House, London

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Sharing Experiences in fulfilling mandates (cont’d) • Appointment process and tenure (independence) • Public inquiries • Resource challenge • Media relations • Mediation • Prison/Detention Centre Visits - Project

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Proposed Commonwealth Forum (cont’d) • Unanimously resolved: Establish Commonwealth Forum • Unanimously resolved: Establish Steering Committee