Network of African National Human Rights Institutions launches landmark Report

Oct 21, 2016

Banjul, Gambia - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) will on Friday 21 October, 2016 launch a report titled “State of African National Human Rights Institutions”, which is the first of its kind in Africa.

The report will be launched in Banjul, Gambia, in a ceremony attended by the Gambia UN Resident Representative/UNDP Resident Coordinator, Professor Bem Angwe (National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria) and Dr. Khabele Matlosa (Director, Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission) and will bring together national human rights organizations, African Union Commission’s representatives, NGO’s and selected donors with an interest in the region.

The report is a study on the State of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in Africa and seeks to analyse the state of African NHRIs in relation to their role and capacity to promote and protect human rights. The study highlights best practices, constraints and recommendations which are intended to shape and guide policy options for NHRIs, government as well as regional networks and development partners.

The study, commissioned in 2015, is guided by the internationally agreed principles relating to the status of national institutions (the Paris Principles) which are broadly accepted as the benchmark against which an NHRI’s legitimacy and credibility is assessed. It also responds to the work of the African Union Commission on the Human Rights Strategy for Africa, which prioritizes the strengthening of institutions that support democracy and human rights.

NANHRI’s Executive Director Mr. Gilbert Sebihogo said; “The study is part of our efforts for improving human rights protection on the continent . This report will go a long way in the strengthening and development of national human rights institutions in order to enable them to more effectively undertake their mandate of human rights monitoring, promotion, protection and advocacy.”

Promoting the establishment and strengthening National Human Rights Institutions in accordance with the Paris Principles is one of UNDP’s most important strategies for improving human rights protection in the region. The recognition of the need for effective NHRIs as well as the general changes in the African political and social landscape and growing international advocacy have greatly increased the profile of human rights issues in Africa.

NHRIs play an essential role in a country towards the advancement of the human rights agenda, good governance and sustainable development. This report therefore, responds to the work of the African Union Commission (AUC) on the Human Rights Strategy for Africa, which includes the state of institutions that support democracy and human rights and in particular Member States’ readiness to implement the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance (ACDEG).

About the NANHRI

 

The Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) is a regional umbrella body that brings together 44 African National Human Rights Institutions.

The Network seeks to support and strengthen National Human Rights Institutions in Africa as well as to facilitate coordination and cooperation among themselves and between them and other key human rights actors at the regional and international level.

For more information please contact:

Mr. Tomi Lounio, Policy Analyst on Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities

UNDP Regional Service Center for Africa at tomi.lounio@undp.org

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