Geneva: (QNA: 23/3/2010): H.E. NHRC Chairman, Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marry has addressed the opening session of this year’s meeting of National Human Rights Institutions in Geneva in Which he pointed out that the meeting of Arab-EU human rights dialogue held in Doha on the eighth of March, focused on all forms of discrimination against women and raised awareness and understanding of women’s rights and the role that can be played by national institutions for human rights in the promotion and protection of the rights of women and mainstreaming gender equality in Member States, both on the regional and international scale.
The meeting is attended by some 150 participants representing over 60 National Human Rights Institutions from all across the world.
The three-day meeting will focus on the National Human Rights Institutions’ role in monitoring States’ compliance with international human rights obligations and their follow-up to international human rights bodies’ recommendations. It will also cover National Human Rights Institutions’ involvement in specific issues such as human rights and business, human rights education and training, the protection of women and children’s rights, and human rights in the context of HIV/AIDs.
A National Human Rights Institution is a key body that promotes and monitors protection of human rights in a given country. It is intended to play a unique role in human rights protection, and is neither an NGO nor a government-controlled organization.
More than 100 National Human Rights Institutions are now in existence, of which 65 have been granted “A Status” – meaning they conform to a set of internationally accepted performance standards known as the “Paris Principles.”
The 23rd session of the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, which is taking place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 23-25 March, will also be addressed by a range of human rights experts including the Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, Ms. Marta Santos Pais and the Vice Chairperson of the Sub Committee on Prevention of Torture, Mr. Hans Draminsky Peterson.
The International Coordinating Committee, currently chaired by Ms. Jennifer Lynch Q.C., is a representative body established for the purpose of creating and strengthening National Human Rights Institutions which are in conformity with the Paris Principles. A formal review of the legislation and performance of National Human Rights Institutions against the Paris Principles is periodically conducted by the ICC Sub-Committee on Accreditation, with the support of the UN human rights office (OHCHR).