Bridging the Human Rights Implementation Gap: A Commonwealth Survey
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In January 2022, the Commonwealth Secretariat launched a survey of national frameworks for the implementation of international human rights obligations in Commonwealth member states. The primary objectives of the survey were to:
a. Contribute to the body of knowledge, such as studies conducted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and other organisations, on the role and effectiveness of National Mechanisms for Implementation, Reporting and Follow-up (NMIRFs). Recent OHCHR studies have shown that NMIRFs are vital for improved implementation and reporting on human rights. They have identified several essential ‘capacities’ for enhanced performance, including engagement, co-ordination, consultation and information management.
b. Map existing national systems for implementation, reporting and follow-up to understand how they implement their mandates, and thereby facilitate an exchange of good practice and lessons learnt.
c. Understand specific needs for further technical assistance for Commonwealth member states to establish and/or strengthen NMIRFs.
d. Provide information to be used in advocacy for formulating common guiding principles on NMIRFs.
The following 17 Commonwealth member states responded to the survey: Australia, Eswatini, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Rwanda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, The Gambia, the United Kingdom, and Vanuatu. The survey relied on administering a standard questionnaire to member states. The qualitative and quantitative information received facilitated the analysis of, and comparisons between, different national systems and mechanisms.
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