The Role of Parliamentarians
Over 50% of UPR recommendations require parliamentary action in order to be implemented. Within their mandates and capacity, parliaments are ideally placed to contribute to the implementation of UPR recommendations and their follow up.
Parliamentary work covers the entire spectrum of political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights. As a result, the following actions of parliamentarians have a direct impact on the implementation of human rights, including UPR recommendations:
- Enactment of laws: introducing/amending bills to implement the State's human rights obligations;
- Ratification of international human rights treaties;
- Parliamentary oversight over the executive through committee hearings, plenary hearings, parliamentary inquiries, question sessions, public policy evaluation missions, etc;
- Voting, budget approval and analysis to ensure that NHRIs, other statutory human rights bodies, and the human rights implementation process receive sufficient funding.
Establishing a Human Rights Parliamentary Committee would constitute a strong political signal aimed at coordinating and leading the efforts of parliaments in the area of human rights promotion and protection.
Cooperation between parliaments, NHRIs, CSOs, UN Agencies and mandate-holders is essential to the efficient functioning of the UPR, in particular due to the legislative, budgetary, and oversight roles of parliaments.
Example of a UPR recommendation that require parliamentary action to be implemented:
“Amend provisions in the Criminal Code and the law on the press to provide the right to freedom of expression without fear of reprisals, arrest or detention.”