Representatives of German NHRI and Head of the Cabinet of the NHRI of Bosnia and Herzegovina posing for a group photo
05 Sep 2019

European NHRIs take part in ENNHRI’s peer-exchange visits, focusing on their role in (post-)conflict situations

In recent months, the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) of Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Germany, Northern Ireland, Portugal and Serbia have taken part in the peer-exchange visits programme, a feature of ENNHRI’s Project on the role of NHRIs in situations of (post-)conflict. The programme stems from a call by ENNHRI members for more opportunities for NHRIs to work closer together.

The peer-exchange visits serve to enhance the capacities of participating NHRIs working in (post-)conflict situations and strengthen their ties with other European NHRIs, encouraging solidarity within ENNHRI. They also help increase understanding of the roles and responsibilities of NHRIs working in (post-)conflict contexts, encourage exchanges of good practices, methodologies and practical tools, and allow for specific human rights concerns to be addressed.

The latest peer-exchange visit took place in August in Berlin, Germany, where the Head of the Cabinet of the NHRI of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Ombudsmen of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Haris Šahbaz, visited the German NHRI (German Institute for Human Rights). The visit addressed the work of the institutions on various fields, such as asylum and migration, business and human rights, and disability rights. Participants also exchanged methods and practices relating to human rights monitoring and reporting, communication, promotion and education.

In June, a peer-exchange visit took place in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Artyom Sedrakyan from the Armenian NHRI (Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia) and Meri Kochlamazashvili from the Georgian NHRI (Office of Public Defender of Georgia) jointly visited the Northern Ireland NHRI (Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission). During the visit, the host institution shared insights as an NHRI operating in a society emerging from conflict. Practices on transitional justice, engagement with victims and survivors, communication strategies, advice to government and reporting to international bodies were exchanged.

In May, the first peer-exchange visit took place in Lisbon, Portugal, where Vladimir Milošević from the Serbian NHRI (Public Defender of Serbia) visited the Portuguese NHRI (Provedor de Justiça). Participants exchanged about NHRI procedures and methodologies across various departments. This included exchanges of practices regarding the NHRIs’ mandates as National Preventive Mechanisms and their complaints handling functions.

To learn more about the peer-exchange programme, contact Zoé Vautard at the ENNHRI Secretariat.

» Learn more about ENNHRI’s Project on the role of NHRIs in situations of (post-)conflict

Photo: Peer-exchange visit in Berlin, Germany (27 August 2019)