National human rights institution
A national human rights institution (NHRI) is an independent institution bestowed with the responsibility to
NHRIs can be grouped together in two broad categories:
However, in general terms national human rights institution have an explicit and specific human rights mandate and a broader mandate, which could include research, documentation and training and
In most countries, a
Nations human rights institutions are also referred to by the
Special commissions have been established in many countries to ensure that laws and regulations concerning the protection of human rights are effectively applied. Commissions tend to be composed of members from diverse backgrounds, often with a particular interest, expertise or experience in the field of human rights.
Human rights commissions are concerned primarily with the protection of those within the jurisdiction of the state against
One of the most important functions vested in many human rights commissions is to receive and investigate complaints from individuals (and occasionally, from groups) alleging human rights abuses committed in violation of existing national law. While there are considerable differences in the procedures followed by various human rights commissions in the investigation and resolution of complaints, many rely on
NHRIs are usually able to deal with any human rights issue directly involving a public authority. In relation to non-state entities, some national human rights institutions have at least one of the following functions:
Additionally they may promote and protect the responsibilities of the state and the rights of the individual by:
Promoting and educating human rights may involve informing the public about the commission's own functions and purposes; provoking discussion about various important questions in the field of human rights; organizing seminars; holding counselling services and meetings; as well as producing and disseminating human rights publications. Another important function of a human rights commission is systematically reviewing a government's human rights policy in order to detect shortcomings in human rights observance and to suggest ways of improving. This often includes human rights proofing of draft legislation, or policies. The degree to which the recommendations or rulings produced by a human rights institution can be enforced varies based on the human rights climate surrounding the institution.
According to the