COVID-19 and National Human Rights Institutions

© United Nations Development Programme, 2021. All rights reserved
Nora Löhr • 12 July 2021
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This new study by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) analyses the role and activities of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in addressing the human rights dimensions of COVID-19. It aims to provide an overview of good practices, experiences and lessons learned during a time of immense challenges for human rights.
 
The study finds that NHRIs have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to put people first. They have supported the most vulnerable and marginalised. They have received and acted on complaints. They have supported outreach, advocacy, and communications to populations – outlining their rights and their means of redress. They have monitored places of detention. And they have provided vital advice to Governments to help ensure that human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled while combating the pandemic. Yet, NHRIs have also been severely impacted by the pandemic. In some cases, it has curtailed their operations, methods of working and day-to-day functionality. Despite these challenges, this study of 75 per cent of NHRIs globally finds that the institutions have been remarkably resilient. They have rapidly adapted to COVID-19, finding a range of innovative ways to fulfil their vital mission – to promote and protect human rights. 

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