Support to Ombudsperson and anti-discrimination institutions (National Human Rights Institutions)
The role attributed to the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) is vital to secure human rights protection in the member states. These independent institutions are an important non-judicial remedy to protect human rights in a country. They do so through a wide range of activities, from academic and research activities to handling individual complaints and awareness raising. They are usually considered as a first point of contact for victims of discrimination. Different types of NHRIs exist - most common types are ombudsperson institutions or human rights commissions, equality bodies, hybrid institutions, advisory bodies, human rights institutes and centers. NHRIs are often faced with challenges such as lack of financial support or lack of human resources, which could undermine their effectiveness and independence.
The prohibition of discrimination is considered as one of the fundamental freedoms that needs protection. It is guaranteed by Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which pledges equal treatment in the enjoyment of the other rights set down in the Convention without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status. Protocol No. 12 to the Convention expands the scope of the prohibition of discrimination by guaranteeing equal treatment in the enjoyment of any right (including rights under national law). The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance in its General Policy Recommendation No. 74 urges countries to provide for a prohibition of discrimination in all areas.
The Human Rights National Implementation Division provide support to these institutions, on the basis of needs precisely identified. It includes the improvement of legislative and regulatory framework; the training of human rights defenders, NHRIs, their staff and other legal professionals on thematic issues, such as anti-discrimination or data protection and on procedures, such as the drafting of reports, the handling of complaints or how to conduct visits in places of deprivation of liberty; the improvement of communication and cooperation between different NHRIs and building of institutional frameworks for such cooperation and awareness raising activities to ensure that the general public knows the NHRIs and their role. The Division also supports Equality bodies to fulfill their role efficiently.
- Enhancing the effectiveness of the Albanian system of human rights protection and anti-discrimination
- Supporting the criminal justice reform and combating ill-treatment and impunity
- Strengthening the Application of European Human Rights standards in the Armed forces
Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Supporting national efforts of prevention and combatting discrimination
- Support to criminal justice reforms in the Republic of Moldova
* "All reference to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nation’s Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo."