National Human Rights Institutions as unique partners for Field Protection Clusters
On 31 August, UNHCR hosted an event to launch the “Guidance for Field Protections Clusters on Engagement with National Human Rights Institutions”. The event saw the participation of GANHRI, NHRIs and members of Protection Clusters around the globe.
The Guidance has been launched by the Global Protection Cluster (GPC), a platform led by UNHCR which brings together partners to protect internally displaced persons and other populations affected by conflict and natural disaster.
GANHRI and NHRIs work strategically in partnership with UNHCR in many countries to enhance the protection of refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless persons. National human rights institutions (NHRIs) have been identified by UNHCR as strategic partners that can engage with Protections Clusters (PCs) to enhance the protection of crisis affected populations.
The Guidance emphasises how the broad mandate of NHRIs is a strong asset for PCs to leverage. Indeed, NHRIs’ unique position as independent State institutions, wider geographical reach, and broad expertise, make them a unique partner for PCs.
The Guidance recognises several areas of collaboration between NHRIs and PCs such as data collection and monitoring, facilitating access to justice for affected populations, and ensuring an age, gender and diversity approach.
Katharina Rose, GANHRI Geneva Representative, highlighted how “members and staff of NHRIs have demonstrated the contributions they can make in monitoring violations, challenging authorities, and offering protection to individuals.” But to continue doing so “NHRIs need full responsiveness from states, authorities and other actors, as well as strong mandates and efficient funding for them to fulfil their objectives effectively.”
The National Human Rights Commission of the Philippines (CHR) represented by Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit shared its extensive experience in monitoring activities in the field, including conducting investigations of alleged human rights violations against IDPs and displacement camp visits. The CHR sees the PC as a “venue to mainstream their advocacy” and an opportunity to strengthen their capacity to deliver their protection and promotion mandate.
GANHRI welcomes the Guide, which can lead to concrete positive impact for the protection of affected population. PCs can strengthen and mutually benefit from NHRIs’ distinctive role in mainstreaming the protection and promotion of human rights globally.
You can find the slides used during the event here.