By Chito Chavez
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) expressed overwhelming support to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution in its 74th session that called for member states to recognize the importance of forming and enhancing the national human rights institutions (NHRIs).
Given the mutually reinforcing nature of human rights and sustainable development, CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said ‘’NHRIs across the globe play a unique role in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) through their mandate and actions to promote and protect human rights’’.
She noted that having fully independent A-status NHRI is an indicator for the realization of SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
‘’This emphasises the importance of NHRIs and their contribution to the 2030 Agenda,’’ de Guia said.
Since 1999, de Guia said the CHR of the Philippines has maintained its A-status accreditation as it fully complies with the United Nations Paris Principles or the standards that set out the minimum requirements for NHRIs to be considered credible and to operate effectively. Out of 193 UN member states, only 79 countries have established NHRIs that are Paris Principles compliant.
‘’States should safeguard the independence of NHRIs, ensure that they are not subjected to unreasonable budgetary limitations, and are protected from all forms of pressure or reprisal in connection with their mandates’’ de Guia noted.
The CHR vowed to continuously engage with international human rights mechanisms in promoting and monitoring the implementation of the country’s human rights obligations.
‘’Collaborations with these bodies can take many forms, including assistance in investigations and joint advocacy for reform of legislations, policy and practices. This is crucial especially when all local remedies have been exhausted to address human rights violations,’’ she added.
The CHR has asserted that strong international solidarity among NHRIs is necessary in pushing for significant progress on a broad range of human rights issues being confronted at both the regional and global level and in amplifying the pressure on UN member states to live up to their commitments on human rights and sustainable development.