New Handbook for National Human Rights Institutions on Internally Displaced Persons released by GANHRI and UN partners
9 February – 14:30-16:00 CET I Online event
9 February 2022, Geneva – Today, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions released a new Handbook for National Human Rights Institutions on the protection of the rights of internally displaced persons.
The Handbook has been developed jointly by GANHRI in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Handbook showcases how national human rights institutions from all regions are applying their unique mandates and functions under the Paris Principles in support of internally displaced persons. The Handbook also sets out how national human rights institutions are addressing root causes of displacement, thereby helping to contribute to prevent displacement in the first place.
NHRIs play a vital role at promoting the rights of everyone who has been forcibly displaced in their own countries. As independent bodies have a special role because they can advise government, they can advocate publicly and diplomatically behind the scenes for legislative policy change – UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Gillian Triggs
Developed also to promote experience sharing among NHRIs and partners, the Handbook identifies experiences, strategies and practices as well as challenges and needs of NHRIs. These have been identified in a participatory and consultative process led by the Special Rapporteur in partnership with GANHRI, UNDP and OHCHR, with NHRIs from around the world.
NHRIs are critical actors in protecting the human rights of the internally displaced. They work to ensure implementation of international and regional human rights standard at the national and local levels, and are an important bridge between international stakeholders, national authorities, civil society and people affected by internal displacement.
As highlighted in the Handbook, NHRIs’ leadership role in preventing, promoting and protecting the rights of internally displaced usefully includes:
- monitoring the human rights situation before and during displacement with a specific focus on groups of internally displaced which may be particularly at risk,
- reporting on the human rights situation at national, regional and international levels
- engaging with internally displaced persons to help raise awareness on their rights and ensure their voices are heard
- receiving and handling individual complaints affecting the rights of internally displaced
- conducting inquiries into violations of IDPs’ human rights
- advising the government including on the development of national laws and policies to ensure compliance with international human rights norms and standards
The Handbook was launched during an online event on the 9 February 2022, with the participation of Special Rapporteur on the human rights of Internally Displaced Persons Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Gillian Triggs and GANHRI Chairperson Carlos Ernesto Camargo Assis, also Ombudsman of Colombia, as well as NHRIs and UN colleagues from around the world.
GANHRI is grateful to all partners and former GANHRI Secretary and Chairperson of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, Florence Simbiri Jaoko, for her contributions and lead role in the development of the Handbook.
There is the need of a continuous independence of NHRIs in order to be able to undertake their mandate on the protection and promotion of human rights of IDPs and prevention of arbitrary displacement – Special Rapporteur on the human rights of Internally Displaced Persons Cecilia Jimenez-Damary