Round-up of GANHRI’s engagement at the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council

Geneva, 12 July 2019 – The impact of migration on migrant women and girls was the topic of the report of the Special Rapporteur (SR) on Migrants, an issue also discussed by NHRIs at the GANHRI Annual Conference last March. In a statement delivred on 24 June in response to the SR report, GANHRI underlined the commitment of NHRIs in providing human rights-based and gender-responsive advice to States in the development of laws, policies, action plans and indicators relating to migration to ensure compliance with international Human Rights standards.

Challenges and success stories of establishing NHRIs within small island states was the topic of a side-event that GANHRI co-sponsored on 25 June entitled “Overcoming Global Implementation Challenges”. The discussion highlighted the important role that NHRIs in the Pacific region play with regard to a ‘contextualised approach’ to Human Rights, communicating norms and values using language and stories of culture and faith to ensure that human rights are owned by the people. NHRIs bridge the gap between international human rights obligations and domestic implementation, and are therefore ideally placed to communicate rights and responsibilities within the cultural context and in terms that are well understood by all communities.

The results of a long-term collaboration between the UN Special Rapporteur (SR) on Internally Displaced Persons, GANHRI and NHRIs across all regions were summarized in the report presented at the HRC on internal displacement and the role of national human rights institutions, where the SR highlighted the critical role of NHRIs in preventing internal displacement, and protecting and supporting IDPs.

In the concluding remarks, the Special Rapporteur thanked GANHRI for the strong support to the mandate and encouraged all States to fully support NHRIs and their work in protecting IDPs. GANHRI replied with a statement that highlighted NHRIs are ideally placed to advise on the application of rights-based approaches which offers strong pathways for protection and solutions for IDPs across a variety of issues. For more information, see our press release here.

The renewal of the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity was the topic of a joint cross-regional NHRI statement delivered by GANHRI Geneva Representative, Ms. Katharina Rose on behalf of 24 A-Status institutions. This joint call to renew the mandate recognizes the invaluable orientation and guidance provided by the mandate holder to national human rights institutions in their work to design and implement effective action to promote and protect the human rights of LGBTI people.

In response to the OHCHR report on the consultation “Experiences and practices of NHRIs in working to support the establishment and maintenance of inclusive societies and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” GANHRI delivered a statement on 8 July, which highlighted that the existence of independent NHRIs is a global indicator of success for the implementation of Goal16. NHRIs shall be considered as accelerators for the full realisation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. “SDGs implementation at national level cannot be achieved without NHRIs’ contribution” said a GANHRI delegate deliverying the statement.