NHRIs gather in Copenhagen to set global plan to counter torture

Representatives from more than 90 national human rights institutions (NHRIs) will meet next week in Copenhagen from 6-8 November, to develop a roadmap to counter the growing incidence of torture and ill-treatment in countries across all regions. 

More than 300 participants will take part in the three-day event, including representatives from NHRIs, UN experts, UN agencies and civil society organisations, as well as international experts and leading jurists. 

The 14th International Conference of National Human Rights Institutions, is co-hosted by GANHRI, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (UPCHR), the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), and UN Human Rights (OHCHR). 

The co-hosts are grateful for the support from the EU, the Association for the Prevention of Torture and UNDP through UN City.  

The Conference will consider challenges, opportunities and good practices for NHRIs in their work to:

  • Prevent torture, through monitoring places of deprivation of liberty and advocating for change 
  • Protect against torture, through handling complaints, conducting investigations, and promoting access to justice and redress 
  • Uphold the rights of persons at risk of torture or facing situations of heightened vulnerability when deprived of liberty 
  • Educate public officials and build community support for ending torture and other ill-treatment 
  • Engaging with the international human rights system and sharing independent information, reports and recommendations. 

“Not only is torture an appalling violation of an individual’s rights and dignity, but its ongoing practice also corrodes justice systems, sows fear and contributes to shrinking civic space,” GANHRI Chairperson Maryam Al Attiyah said. 

As human rights defenders, NHRIs will do all in our power to end this horrendous violation of human rights,” Ms Al Attiyah said. 

The outcome Declaration to be adopted at the conclusion of the conference will set out practical ways that NHRIs will use their independent mandates to prevent and protect against torture and other ill-treatment at the national level, as well as partnerships they can build to promote change at the regional and international levels. 

“The outcome document we develop will be a powerful statement of our commitment to the communities we serve around the world, especially as we mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 30th anniversary of the Paris Principles.”