The Chairman House Committee on Human Rights Hon. John Dyegh has restated the importance of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in nation building saying that they act as an effective bridge between the rights holders and duty bearers considering their constitutional and legislative mandate to promote and protect human rights within their respective jurisdictions.
The Lawmaker who stated this at the retreat of Governing Council/Management of the National Human Rights Commission noted that National Human Rights Institutions all over the world work with stakeholders including the Parliaments to ensure effective human rights protection of citizens.
In his paper entitled, "National Human Rights Institutions/Parliament Relations", Dyegh said that there should be constant cooperation between Parliaments and NHRIs as it relates to International human rights mechanisms, while ensuring that International treaty bodies are provided with all relevant information about the state's compliance with those obligations.
On Parliaments and Parliamentarians role in supporting the work of the NHRIs, the human rights expert stated that Parliamentarians should have a sound knowledge of human rights and ensure that adequate resources and facilities are provided to a NHRI to enable it to perform its functions effectively.
The Legislator emphasized the need for the Parliamentarians to scrutinize carefully any government proposals that might adversely affect the work of a NHRI or infringe on the enjoyment of human rights in the country and seek the view of the Commission thereon.
According to Dyegh, "Annual report and other reports of NHRIs should be debated in Parliament promptly and the government's response to the report should also be tabled in Parliament without delay" saying that such practices will enable the relevant authorities to identify gaps in human rights protection and address them accordingly.
Lastly, he stated that it is the duty of the Parliaments to translate international commitments into national policies and laws in fulfillment of state obligations and commitments to strengthen the rule of law as a UN member state.
Other topics discussed by experts include the overview of the Standing Order and Rules of Procedure (STORP), Complainant treatment procedure, Thematic Areas of Focus as a Strategy for fulfilling the Mandate of the Commission and several others.