High-Level Meeting

Council of Europe ‘Recommendation on the development and strengthening of effective, pluralist and independent national human rights institutions’

26-27 April 2021 — Virtual Event

The adoption by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers of the ‘Recommendation on the development and strengthening of effective, pluralist and independent national human rights institutions (NHRIs)’ represents a milestone for further embedding NHRIs’ central role in the promotion and protection of human rights in Europe, including through effective cooperation with the Council of Europe.

This Public High-Level Meeting on 26 April will bring together heads of European NHRIs with Council of Europe key actors, including civil society organisations. It aims to explore avenues for further strengthening cooperation and support between the Council of Europe and NHRIs at national level, and for meaningful participation of NHRIs and ENNHRI in the Council of Europe, in follow-up of the adopted Recommendation.

NHRI heads will reconvene for an internal meeting on 27 April, to identify strategic priorities for NHRIs and ENNHRI in follow-up of the Recommendation, and to forge closer cooperation with the Council of Europe, for better promotion and protection of human rights across the region.

This event is co-organised by the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and the German Presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. The protection of human rights by the Council of Europe, including in cooperation with its member states’ NHRIs, is a priority of the German Presidency.

Speakers and moderators

Caroline Fennell

ENNHRI Chair; Commissioner at Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

Krista Oinonen

Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland; Chair of CDDH Drafting Group on Civil Society and National Human Rights Institutions

© photothek/Thomas Köhler

Bärbel Kofler

Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance, German Presidency of the CoE Committee of Ministers

Lord Richard Balfe

Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; Former rapporteur on PACE Resolution 2301 (2019), TBC

Christophe Poirel

Director of Human Rights, Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law, Council of Europe

Antoine Buyse

Director of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM); Member of the Conference of INGOs, Council of Europe

Dunja Mijatović

Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe

Robert Spano

President of the European Court of Human Rights

Karin Lukas

President of the European Committee of Social Rights, Council of Europe

Veronika Bílková

Member of the Bureau of the Venice Commission, Council of Europe

Sigrid Jacoby

Representative of the German Federal Government for Matters Relating to Human Rights

Debbie Kohner

ENNHRI Secretary-General

(c) GIHR/A. Iling

Beate Rudolf

Director of the German Institute for Human Rights (GIHR)

Nino Lomjaria

Public Defender of Georgia

Programme

26 April 2021 – Public High-Level Meeting

Speakers subject to confirmation

Time refers to CET

10.00 – 10.05

Welcome

Caroline Fennell, ENNHRI Chair; Commissioner at Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

10.05 – 10.15

NHRI Recommendation’s Added Value and Potential

Krista Oinonen, Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland; Chair of CDDH Drafting Group on Civil Society and National Human Rights Institutions

10.15 – 11.30

From the Council of Europe’s Intergovernmental Processes to national implementation: cooperation with & support for NHRIs

Keynote Speech: Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance, German Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

Moderated Roundtable:

Lord Richard Balfe, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; Former rapporteur on PACE Resolution 2301 (2019) (TBC)

Christophe Poirel, Director of Human Rights, Council of Europe

Antoine Buyse, Director of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM); member of the Conference of INGOs, Council of Europe

Moderator: Beate Rudolf, Director, German Institute for Human Rights

11.45 – 13.00

From the Council of Europe’s Independent Oversight to national implementation: cooperation with & support for NHRIs

Robert Spano, President of the European Court of Human Rights (video message)

Moderated Roundtable:

Dunja Mijatović, Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe

Karin Lukas, President of the European Committee of Social Rights

Veronika Bílková, Member of the Bureau of the Venice Commission, Council of Europe

Moderator: Nino Lomjaria, Public Defender of Georgia

13.00 – 13.10

Closing remarks

Sigrid Jacoby, Representative of the German Federal Government for Matters Relating to Human Rights

Debbie Kohner, Secretary-General of ENNHRI

27 April 2021 – Internal Meeting

Time refers to CET

9.30 – 9.35

Welcome

Prof Caroline Fennell, ENNHRI Chair

9.35 – 10.15

Strategic opportunities at Council of Europe mechanisms for NHRIs

NHRI heads/Secretariat

10.30 – 11.15

Strategic opportunities at national level for NHRIs

NHRI heads/Secretariat

11.15 – 11.30

Wrap-Up and Closing remarks

Debbie Kohner, Secretary-General of ENNHRI

Resources

Council of Europe flags

Recommendation CM/Rec(2021)1 of the Committee of Ministers on the development and strengthening of effective, pluralist and independent national human rights institutions

The text proposes strong Council of Europe recommendations to be addressed to Member States on the establishment and strengthening of European NHRIs, as well as cooperation with NHRIs. The recommendation text is a pivotal step for further recognition of NHRIs, helping to realise human rights across the region.

Council of Europe’s CDDH Drafting Group on Civil Society and National Human Rights Institutions meeting report (4-6 March 2020)

The CDDH-INST 6th Meeting Report includes the draft Recommendation on the development and strengthening of effective, pluralistic and independent NHRIs, and a presentation by ENNHRI Secretary-General, Debbie Kohner (page 10).

Webinar Series: Effective Implementation of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights

In 2020, we delivered a series of webinars on the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, aimed to inform and train NHRI representatives about the importance of implementation work and the ways to mainstream it across their organisations, to help improve the overall human rights situation in Europe.

European Court of Human Rights books

Guidelines for NHRIs to support implementation of judgments from the European Court of Human Rights

This guidance sets out how National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) can work towards state parties’ implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. It suggests a range of actions that NHRIs can take if a state fails to comply with a judgment of the Court, in order to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights throughout Europe.

Related articles

Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopts Recommendation on developing and strengthening NHRIs

On 31 March 2021, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted the Recommendation on developing and strengthening NHRIs. The Recommendation acknowledges the role of NHRIs as pillars of the rule of law, human rights and democracy in Europe and recommends each Council of Europe Member State to establish, maintain and strengthen an independent NHRI in compliance with the Paris Principles.

Council of Europe drafting group proposes text for updated Recommendation on the development and strengthening of effective, pluralistic and independent NHRIs

On 4-6 March 2020, the Council of Europe’s CDDH Drafting Group on Civil Society and National Human Rights Institutions (CDDH-INST) met to consider the update of the Committee of Ministers Recommendation on National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).

European NHRIs submit input for review of Council of Europe Recommendation on NHRIs

High-level consultation on the review of CoE CoM Recommendation on NHRIs

On 6 February 2020, ENNHRI held a high-level consultation in Brussels on the Council of Europe’s review of its Committee of Ministers Recommendation on NHRIs. The consultation gathered representatives of 19 European NHRIs, Council of Europe actors and other stakeholders to explore how the Recommendation could enhance NHRIs’ promotion and protection of human rights. As an outcome, key recommendations were submitted to the Council of Europe.

Council of Europe adopts Recommendation on the need to protect and promote civil society space, recognising role of NHRIs

Council of Europe flags

The Council of Europe (CoE) Committee of Ministers has adopted a Recommendation on the need to strengthen the protection and promotion of civil society space in Europe, making reference to the role of civil society organisations and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) as promoters and protectors of civil society space.