A human rights-based approach to recovery: the role of NHRIs
To address the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, governments have developed national recovery and resilience plans. On International Human Rights Day 2021, ENNHRI emphasises the crucial role that NHRIs can play in putting human rights and the Agenda 2030 at the heart of these plans and efforts to “rebuild better, fairer and greener.”
With their broad human rights mandate and expertise, NHRIs can advise governments on policy and legislation stemming from national recovery plans. By doing so, they can make sure that they apply the principles of a human rights-based approach (HRBA). Utilising this approach in recovery and resilience plans offers a unique opportunity to enhance human rights protection, reduce inequality, and pave the way for a sustainable recovery that supports the Agenda 2030.
Some European NHRIs have already started work on assessing their national plans. The Slovak NHRI is looking at parts of the Slovak National Recovery and Resilience Plan to provide the government with advice on proposed reforms that address concerns regarding segregation in schools and promote inclusive education. In Albania, the NHRI’s staff are receiving training to be able to link their reporting on the state’s recovery efforts to the SDGs.
To help NHRIs engage in HRBA analysis, ENNHRI and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recently held two webinars. These explored relevant entry points, challenges and opportunities to apply a HRBA to recovery plans, and introduced tools including the United Nations Checklist for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Socio-Economic Country Responses to COVID-19.
As an outcome of the workshop, OHCHR agreed to update this tool to serve NHRIs better. ENNHRI and OHCHR will continue to collaborate to equip NHRIs in this area. This will include creating a set of short videos using the webinars, providing space for NHRIs to discuss a HRBA recovery via ENNHRI’s Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and presenting materials on the ENNHRI website.
Given the right support, NHRIs can contribute to the vast potential of the recovery plans to create a better, greener and more inclusive future, centred on human rights, where no one is left behind.
Original image © Syme de Leon, published under Creative Commons Licence CC-BY-NC-SA. Changes were made to the image.