ENNHRI welcomes the Draft Bill for the establishment of the Icelandic Institute for Human Rights
ENNHRI welcomes the Draft Bill for the establishment of the Icelandic Institute for Human Rights (IIHR) and the steps taken by the Icelandic Government towards creating a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in the country.
NHRIs are recognised by the United Nations, the Council of Europe (CoE), and the European Union as fundamental actors for ensuring respect for the rule of law, democracy and human rights in a country. Moreover, the recent Reykjavik Declaration of the Council of Europe Fourth Summit, adopted under the Icelandic Presidency of the CoE, recognises NHRIs as key actors for the Council of Europe and for the legal framework of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Iceland is currently one of the few countries in Europe without an NHRI. Thus, ENNHRI expresses its firm support to the Icelandic legislative proposal to establish the Icelandic Institute for Human Rights. The creation of an NHRI will significantly contribute to the national framework for human rights promotion and protection in the country.
As part of the public consultation, ENNHRI welcomes the possibility to provide comments on the Draft Bill. The draft largely reflects the requirements under the UN Paris Principles and contains the main formal elements for the creation of an independent NHRI with a broad mandate to promote and protect human rights.
At the same time, ENNHRI points to certain aspects that could be improved for a stronger alignment with the UN Paris Principles. In this regard, ENNHRI encourages, among other aspects, an improved selection and appointment process for Board members, including requirements to publicly advertise vacancies and to have open and fair consultation with civil society. Moreover, further guarantees for the Institute’s adequate funding and clarifying the process for its budget allocation would be welcomed.
While incorporating the suggestions would contribute to further strengthening the compliance of the Icelandic Institute with NHRI standards, ENNHRI emphasizes its strong support to the Draft Bill and commends the Icelandic Government for this legislative initiative.
Read our full statement on the Draft Bill for the establishment of the Icelandic Institute for Human Rights here.