The 10th in a series of annual human rights conferences sponsored by the Norwegian and Swiss Governments, this conference drew on experience and good human rights practice across Europe to improve human rights implementation across the region.
While ratifications of international human rights instruments continue to increase, closing the implementation gap remains a major challenge for the realisation of human rights. Governments are primarily responsible for implementing human rights at national level. Global and regional organisations with a human rights mandate play complementary roles in promoting, protecting and enhancing the universality of human rights, together with national human rights institutions and civil society organisations.
As requested by the Human Rights Council (HRC), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has in recent years instituted annual consultations between the UN and regional human rights systems to strengthen existing links and identify new approaches for cooperation between regional and international human rights mechanisms and procedures, and complement and support each other in promoting and protecting human rights. For example, a road map has been adopted for cooperation between the special procedures of the HRC and the special mechanisms of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Regional organisations in Europe also meet to discuss enhancing cooperation between international and European human rights mechanisms.
Drawing on the inspiration, experience and good practice of all regions, the conference aimed to improve implementation of human rights in Europe by:
- Taking stock of existing cooperation between global and regional human rights mechanisms
- Identifying best practice and lessons learned in how global, regional and local organisations work together, taking account of the particularity and complementarity of their roles, and the added value of the various human rights mechanisms
- Examining how global and regional human rights mechanisms interact with national human rights institutions and civil society organisations
- Exploring possible new approaches or forms of cooperation, with a view to securing improved implementation of human rights at the national level