Ombudsman office to become National Human Rights Office

(source: http://oxfamblogs.org)

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Dec 27, CMC – Grenada is moving to establish a National Human Rights Office in compliance with the Paris Principles.

The 2017 work plan of the Office of the Ombudsman, which was recently laid in Parliament, did not provide an explanation or background for the transformation but the work plan matrix explained that the objective is to protect and promote human rights and “to ensure conformity with the fundamental principles of Human Rights”.

The Paris Principles, is a set of international standards which frame and guide the work of National Human Rights Institutions. Drafted at an international NHRIs workshop in Paris in 1991, the Principles were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993.

According to the Principles, National Human Rights Institutions are funded by the State but are independent of it: they are not non-governmental organizations but they act as “bridge” between civil societies and Governments. They are known by different names in different countries, for instance they may be called Human Rights Commission, Committee or Council, Ombudsman, Public Defender, Provedor or Defensor.

The internationally agreed Paris Principles define the role, composition, status and functions of national human rights institutions.

NHRIs must comply with the Principles which identify their human rights objectives and provide for their independence, broad human rights mandate, adequate funding, and an inclusive and transparent selection and appointment process. The Principles are broadly accepted as the test of an institution’s legitimacy and credibility.

National Human Rights Institutions receive and consider complaints of human rights violations, participate in accountability and transitional justice processes in countries affected by conflict or in transition after conflict, assist in the development of democratic institutions and organize capacity building especially in the areas of accountability, the rule of law and democracy.

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