NHRI Academy 2016: strengthening the capacity of NHRIs

Participants at the NHRI Academy 2016

Representatives of 24 NHRIs are attending between 30 May and 3 June 2016, in Tbilisi, Georgia, the third edition of the NHRI Academy.

Strengthening the capacity of NHRIs

The event is co-organised by ENNHRI (European Network of Human Rights Institutions) and OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), in association with the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia and the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA). By providing practical training on how to address particular challenges that NHRIs face in their work, the NHRI Academy reinforces NHRIs in their role of promoting and protecting human rights. The Academy also fosters the development of professional networks for NHRIs in the OSCE region

In the opening of the event, Lora Vidović, Ombudswoman of Croatia and ENNHRI Chair, said that “The NHRI Academy is an important capacity building event, featuring well-chosen and timely topics. I am sure participants will use this experience for further strengthening the knowledge-based authority and independence of their NHRIs.”

Debbie Kohner, ENNHRI Secretary General, highlighted the special role the Academy has in strengthening the capacity of NHRIs: “The NHRI Academy differs from existing human rights schools and short-term courses in that it focuses exclusively on the unique role of NHRIs and gives the attendees the opportunity share experiences of NHRI work in the diverse national contexts represented.”

Topics discussed include human rights measurement framework, gender mainstreaming and Paris Principles

During the first days, participants discussed the human rights measurement framework as well as tools and methods for mainstreaming gender in the work of their institutions. Other topics to be tackled during the week-long capacity building event include: the independence of NHRIs under the Paris Principles, effective co-operation with civil society organizations, torture prevention and human rights protection in countering terrorism.

Mykhailo Chaplyga, from Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, shared his impressions of the event: "This school is the most exciting event for this year in my life. It gives the opportunity see that your troubles are not only your troubles, but others have the same challenges, and together we can find solutions that are applicable in my country. I was expecting professional knowledge, but I have also had the opportunity to find solutions to challenges our institution faces."