… in the administration of justice
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27 October 2008 – Over 150 representatives of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) worldwide gathered at the 9th International Conference of NHRIs in Nairobi, Kenya, from 22 to 24 October, to strengthen cooperation and discuss their important role in advancing the rule of law, especially in relation to the administration of justice.
NHRIs, statutory bodies set up to promote and protect human rights, are increasingly recognized by the international community as essential mechanisms to ensure the effective implementation of international human rights standards at the national level. By virtue of their central position within society – especially because many work with the Government, Parliament, the judiciary, police and prison administrations, academic community, NGOs and the media – NHRIs are strategic partners in the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
One of OHCHR’s strategic objectives is to monitor NHRI’s compliance with the Paris Principles, a set of internationally accepted standards to evaluate the capacity of NHRIs to work effectively and independently.
The Nairobi conference focuses on the roles of NHRIs nationally and regionally – especially lessons learned and best practices developed so far – with regard to the judiciary, and law enforcement as well as detention centers. In addition, NHRIs are to report on activities that they have undertaken as part of an initiative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights focusing on the dignity and justice of detainees, in the framework of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
When launching the initiative, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations, the media and other partners worldwide to pay special attention to the rights of people who are deprived of their liberty in prisons and other places of detention. She also invited national partners to undertake concrete activities that demonstrate a commitment to human rights.
Hosted by the Government of Kenya, the conference is organized by OHCHR in cooperation with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency and United Nations Development Programme.