In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

A major thematic focus of the Group in its second biennium is domestic implementation of universal norms

Strengthening the on-the-ground domestic implementation and impact of international human rights obligations, commitments and recommendations is a key priority for URG’s second biennium. The URG will seek to strengthen universal human rights norms, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of international human rights institutions, and translate universal norms into the local human rights reality through better implementation.

Our projects

National Mechanisms for Implementation Reporting and Follow-up (NMIRFs)

How do States transpose international human rights recommendations into local reality, and how to measure progress?

This project will adopt a ‘bottom-up’ approach to understanding how, and to what extent, States implement international human rights obligations and recommendations at domestic level, and will seek to replicate good practice and provide counsel to UN mechanisms and processes designed to support domestic implementation (e.g. follow-up and capacity-building processes).

The role of international development partners

This is the first in a new series of policy reports exploring how universal human rights standards are translated, through the actions of governments, parliaments, national human rights institutions and NGOs, in some cases with the support of development partners, into on-the-ground improvements in the enjoyment of human rights.

This first report explores the role of multilateral and bilateral development partners in supporting States, in particular developing States, implement the recommendations of the UN’s human rights mechanisms (Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures, and the Universal Periodic Review); thereby strengthening State compliance with their international human rights obligations and commitments, and (by extension) making a major contribution to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), leaving no one behind.

The role of national parliaments

Over recent years, a clear focus of discussions around the evolving position of parliaments in the universal human rights system has been their role in the implementation, by States, of international human rights obligations and commitments. As part of a wider global ‘human rights implementation agenda,’ the IPU, the UN and the Commonwealth have each taken important steps to assert the role of parliaments, especially parliamentary human rights committees, in a systemic manner throughout the international human rights ‘implementation-reporting cycle.’ This means leveraging parliaments’ legislative, oversight and budgetary roles to support the effective domestic implementation of the recommendations of the UN’s human rights mechanisms, the transparent monitoring of progress, and objective and balanced international reporting.




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