GANHRI calls on States and UN to enhance efforts in protecting and supporting NHRIs to exercise their broad mandates
29th September 2023 – During the Interactive Dialogue on the Secretary General’s report on cooperation with the United Nations at the 54th Human Rights Council, Ameera Al-Hedfa, Director of International cooperation Department of the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar, delivered on behalf of GANHRI a statement expressing strong concern about reported acts of reprisals against those who engage or seek to engage with UN bodies and mechanisms.
The outcomes of a GANHRI global survey conducted to assess the extent of threats and act of reprisals against NHRIs and human rights defenders, showed that NHRIs continue to experience reprisals in different forms for undertaking human rights work in accordance with their mandate, including as a result of their cooperation with the United Nations. Women, environmental, and LGBTQI+ human rights defenders were identified as particularly at risk.
We highlighted how human rights defenders including NHRIs must be able to access and communicate with the UN freely and safely carry out the crucial work of monitoring states’ compliance with human rights obligations and protect victims from abuse.
We called on States and the UN to enhance efforts in protecting and supporting NHRIs to exercise their broad mandates freely and independently without fear of reprisals. We also called on all States to fully cooperate with the ASG and other UN human rights protection mechanisms and stressed the need to focus on both the protection and prevention of reprisals.
Finally, we reiterated our commitment to work closely with the four NHRI regional networks to protecting the independence of NHRIs facing threats or reprisals for undertaking their work according to their mandate.