Landmark declaration sets out joint priorities for GANHRI and CRPD Committee cooperation

GANHRI Conference 2018

NHRIs from around the world gathered on 23 February in Geneva on the occasion of GANHRI’s Annual Conference. This year’s event focused on the role of the NHRIs in “monitoring the rights of persons with disabilities and ensuring their participation”

The conference was co-organised by GANHRI and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee), with the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Disability Alliance.

Increased engagement of NHRIs with Treaty bodies processes

It is the first time when GANHRI’s conference is organised in cooperation with a Treaty body, reflecting the increased engagement of NHRIs with Treaty bodies processes.

“I believe the committee’s decision reflects the trust the Committee has placed in NHRIs, for a long time now, as reliable partners. (…) Treaty bodies and NHRIs assist each other when it comes to monitoring the international obligations in the area of human rights, they work together the promote and protect human rights on the ground” said GANHRI Chair, Beate Rudolf, in the opening of the conference.

“More and more international human rights instruments, such as OPCAT and the CRPD, refer to the work of NHRIs which are fully compliant with the Paris Principles” highlighted the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid.

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NHRIs, whether designated as independent monitoring mechanisms under article 33 (2); based on their broad mandate under the Paris Principles; or as part of a national monitoring framework, have a unique and critical role in promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. They are also essential for creating linkages with other monitoring mechanisms at both national and international level, with human rights treaties or other mechanisms, such as the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council or the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Joint Declaration sets out priorities for GANHRI and CRPD Committee cooperation

GANHRI and the CRPD Committee adopted a Joint Declaration committing to strengthen collaboration and co-operation and recognizing unique and critical role in promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.
“The Committee welcomes and further encourages the engagement of NHRIs and their contributions to its work, in line with the Guidelines. (….) “NHRIs, whether designated as independent monitoring mechanisms under article 33 (2); based on their broad mandate under the Paris Principles; or as part of a national monitoring framework, intend to live up to the maximum of their potential in promoting the implementation of the Convention and its monitoring at the national level.”

The parties also decided to develop a common framework for monitoring of the CRPD Convention, Article 19 (living independently and being included in the community). They will join forces to strengthen data collection and disaggregation efforts, in line with the CRPD Convention, Article 31 (Statistics and data collection).

In the declaration, GANHRI and the CRPD Committee recommend that the OHCHR creates a depository of good practices in monitoring the CRPD Convention and strengthens the capacity of the organisations representing persons with disabilities to ensure their active involvement throughout internal monitoring process or independent monitoring frameworks.

GANHRI and CRPD Committee also request the development programmes to enhance and promote role of NHRIs and independent monitoring frameworks when monitoring the CRPD Convention.

Lastly, the two bodies underlined their intention to continue the dialogue between CRPD Committee and NHRIs as a standard item on the CRPD Committee agenda.