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UPR – the role of National Human Rights Institutions Duncan Wilson, Head of Strategy and Legal Geneva, Inter-Parliamentary Union, 12 November 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "UPR – the role of National Human Rights Institutions Duncan Wilson, Head of Strategy and Legal Geneva, Inter-Parliamentary Union, 12 November 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 UPR – the role of National Human Rights Institutions Duncan Wilson, Head of Strategy and Legal Geneva, Inter-Parliamentary Union, 12 November 2012

2 The role of an NHRI A bridge: –Between international human rights system and domestic actors –Between the State and civil society –Between economic, social and cultural and civil and political rights –Between promotion and protection of human rights

3 About us…. The Scottish Human Rights Commission A Status NHRI with legal mandate to promote and protect all human rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural Chair of European Group of NHRIs Independent of Government and Parliament Promotion: –Education and awareness raising –Research –Information and events Protection powers to: –Undertake inquiries; –Recommend changes to law; –Intervene in civil court cases; –Enter some places of detention as part of an inquiry

4 About the Scottish Parliament and Government Scotland Act 1998 established Scottish Parliament with extensive powers in areas relevant to human rights including justice, policing, housing, education, health and all areas which are not explicitly reserved such as immigration, defence, foreign affairs Parliament has an obligation to legislate compatibly with ECHR and Scottish Government have obligation to act compatibly with ECHR

5 Preparation: Engaging key actors -All levels of Government: promoting accurate and complete reporting; high level and representative engagement; participatory process; follow up -Diverse civil society: promoting reporting; influencing; awareness raising. -With Parliament and other public bodies -With other states: bilateral and multilateral briefings

6 Preparation - Collating evidence Development of a stakeholder directory Three reviews of legal literature exploring specific Conventions/ Acts in relation to the law in Scotland An annotated bibliography of social research A review of individual enquiries & general intelligence on systemic issues All responses to the Commission’s national consultation Preliminary data from the “Human Rights Measurement Framework”

7 Reporting

8 UPR 2012 specific lessons Scotland Parliament – some good examples of human rights based laws (e.g. mental health, legal capacity), but need for clearer human rights consideration Strategy and policy– some good examples of rights based practice – e.g. a rights based Dementia Strategy Practice – good practice in social care through Care About Rights? And in mental health care and treatment at The State Hospital

9 Follow up Dissemination of recommendations through press, to parliamentarians, civil society. an effective implementation plan: SMART objectives, independently monitored, role for Parliament “The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that each State consider the desirability of drawing up a national action plan identifying steps whereby that State would improve the promotion and protection of human rights” –Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, 1993

10 Follow up: Scotland’s National Action Plan Based on global commitment at UN World Conference on Human Rights - Vienna, 1993 A road-map for the realization of rights in all areas of life Evidence based: mapping the state of human rights in Scotland through a major scoping project – high level overview Participatory: negotiated commitments Monitored: agreed indicators and an independent monitoring process – to check that agreed actions are done Examples from around the world including Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden); Commonwealth (Australia, New Zealand)

11 National action plans can bring clarity to States in identifying the steps they must take to improve the promotion and protection of human rights, especially for the most vulnerable people. I am pleased to welcome the initiative taken by the Scottish Human Rights Commission. Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights To develop an action plan openly presenting problems and a process of developing practical solutions is a signal of commitment to human rights. Scotland is joining an increasing number of countries across Europe that have developed and implemented National Action Plans to support the full realization of human rights in practice. Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights International recognition

12 Within the UK Ensuring inclusive report and participation (covering all jurisdictions) Avoiding passing the buck Working with other NHRIs Action Plan? Partial success: UK says no, Scotland says yes.

13 Reflections on Parliament’s role Opportunity to improve systems for human rights promotion and protection in Parliament Involvement in evidence gathering, awareness raising and accountability Involvement in developing implementation plan

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