UN Human Rights Office Launches Toolkit for Parliaments to Protect Human Rights
One of its key features is a series of questions and checklists that allow parliaments to select their priorities and areas for improvement.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the UN Human Rights Office launched a toolkit today (October 11) to help Parliaments better integrate human rights into their work. Parliaments and Human Rights: A self-assessment toolkit provides a practical introduction to assessing how human rights can be better mainstreamed into Parliamentary processes and structures. The toolkit is designed to empower Parliamentarians as champions of human rights for their constituents.
“With human rights under terrible strain in many parts of the world due to war, humanitarian crises, rising authoritarianism and climate change, this toolkit could not be timelier. Parliaments are key to translating global human rights commitments into concrete improvements to the lives of the people that they represent. I call on Parliaments to make full use of the toolkit with the support of the IPU,” said IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong.
“At a time when democracy is under constant threat, supporting the role of Parliaments in the promotion and protection of human rights is of great importance. This toolkit supports Parliaments’ efforts to embody universal, core values of equality, justice, human dignity, and human rights – values that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, specifically upholds,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk.
The toolkit is designed to be relevant to Parliaments across all political systems, regardless of their particular structure, size or location. It introduces the main international norms, treaties and mechanisms which underpin human rights and explains how Parliaments can make use of them in their work and implement them at the national level.
The toolkit, drafted with direct input from a cross-regional panel of parliamentarians, draws on the extensive experience of the IPU and the UN Human Rights Office in strengthening the human rights capacities of parliaments. It also complements the joint 2016 publication by the IPU and the UN Human Rights Office: Human Rights: Handbook for Parliamentarians.
One of its key features is a series of questions and checklists that allow parliaments to select their priorities and areas for improvement. The self-assessment questionnaire includes questions to help parliaments assess how aware they are of human rights, as well as guiding them on making laws in support of human rights and enhancing their involvement with UN human rights mechanisms.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) is the leading UN entity on human rights. The IPU is the global organization of national parliaments. It was founded more than 130 years ago as the first multilateral political organization in the world, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations.
Today, the IPU comprises 179 national Member Parliaments and 14 regional parliamentary bodies. It promotes democracy and helps parliaments become stronger, younger, gender-balanced, and more innovative. It also defends the human rights of parliamentarians through a dedicated committee made up of MPs from around the world.
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