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Engaging with the international human rights system

Graphic: Participants at the workshop

NHRIs from West Asia have taken part in practical exercises to strengthen their reporting to UN human rights treaty bodies.

As part of their role to drive change at the national level, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) are increasingly turning to the international human rights system to share information, draw attention to pressing issues and to advocate for recommendations that can be made to their States.

To support our members in their work, the APF's sub-regional office, OHCHR (UN Centre for Training and Documentation) and the National Hunan Rights Committee of Qatar hosted a three-day workshop on the UN human rights treaty bodies, held in Doha from 9-11 October 2017.

Bringing together participants from the NHRIs of Jordan, Qatar, Palestine, Oman and Iraq, as well as representatives from Lebanon, the workshop featured a series of hands on exercises to demonstrate how NHRIs can engage with the different functions of the treaty bodies, including:

  • Contributing parallel reports when the State party is being reviewed
  • Following up on recommendations made to the State
  • Assisting individuals who have lodged a complaint with the treaty body
  • Submitting information on proposed general comments or general recommendations that help interpret the treaty
  • Promoting ratification of the treaty.

Graphic: Woman walking past flags at UN in Geneva

International Human Rights and the International Human Rights System: A Manual for NHRIs

This manual outlines the practical ways that NHRIs can engage with the international human rights system to highlight issues and advocate for change.

APF Legal Counsel Jenni Whelan said the human rights treaty bodies valued the credible information and analysis that NHRIs provided in their parallel reports.

"The workshop provided our members with additional ideas to consider when preparing their reports in order to have the greatest impact for vulnerable groups in their countries," she said.

"They can also use these approaches when they engage with other parts of the international human rights system, like the Universal Periodic Review."

Date: 16 October 2017

Image credits

  1. Participants at the workshop - APF