ENNHRI Statement on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons

ENNHRI members adopted a Statement on the Role of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in Promoting and Protecting the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in (Post) Conflict following a series of meetings taking place in Kyiv during 23-27 April 2018.

Over the last decade, conflicts and related violence in the wider Europe have led to large-scale internal displacement, often involving massive human rights violations. Given their unique mandate, NHRIs play a key role in promoting and protecting the human rights of IDPs.

NHRIs as crucial actors in this field

The Statement was formulated through collecting the experiences of ENNHRI members working on human rights of IDPs at ENNHRI’s Capacity Building Workshop and Meeting on the role of NHRIs in this area (23-27 April). All participants agreed that their role should be versatile and extensive, making use of the breadth of their multi-faceted and mutually reinforcing functions.

In particular, their role includes advising government and parliament through expert recommendations, advocating for and reporting on the integration in national law of international standards and the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, monitoring possible violations of IDPs’ human rights in law and practice. In addition, NHRIs provide legal assistance and act upon IDPs’ complaints, raise public awareness, and cooperate with a wide range of actors to help ensure the fulfilment of IDPs’ human rights.

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ENNHRI’s Members during the Capacity Building Workshop and Meeting.

UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs

Ms. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, present at the meeting, welcomed the Statement Statement, along with other representatives from OHCHR, UNHRC, UNDP, CoE, EU and OSCE/ODIHR.

The statement will support, for instance, the effective implementation of the multi-stakeholder Plan of Action for Advancing Prevention, Protection and Solutions for Internally Displaced People 2018-2020, launched by the UN Special Rapporteur on IDPs for the 20th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

As a next step, ENNHRI calls all relevant stakeholders to consider the opportunities for working with NHRIs to help to make the fulfilment of IDPs’ human rights possible across Europe, and consider the Statement during their daily work.

Contact: Zoé Vautard and Valentina Purcel