By utilising and referring to relevant international and regional legal and policy frameworks, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) can better promote and protect the rights of human rights defenders.
They can monitor and report on the national implementation of these frameworks, and advise state authorities on how to best do so within their legal and policy context.
The following international and regional frameworks are particularly relevant. Click on a tile to learn more:
This list is not exhaustive. Specific provisions of UN human rights treaties, the European Convention of Human Rights, and case law of the European Court of Human Rights are equally applicable and legally binding.
Have a look at the example from the OSCE Guidelines below.
Has your NHRI monitored whether this has been respected in your country? If so, what recommendation(s) were made to the State? If it has not yet been done, can you think of cases where this analysis could be made in your country? What would the sources be and which actors would you consult?
There is no set answer to this question, but elements to look at include: analysing defamation laws and their impact on HRDs; consulting HRDs to gather their experiences; writing a report on the situation faced by HRDs in these areas; looking at whether public declarations on a specific case or a general situation have been or should be made; providing legal/administrative support to HRD cases going to court or actors experiencing harassment, threats or other abuses; carrying out judicial reviews of cases; training the police or other security apparatus on HRDs; supporting the threatened HRD taking the person to court; campaigning in support of HRDs and their legitimacy; looking at whether the country is correctly implementing the Convention against Torture and its protocols; and taking cases to or alerting international mechanisms, up to preparation for interventions on possible elements of civil society restrictions (funding laws or administrative requirements, criminalisation…).