Monitoring Mechanisms for the Protection of Human Rights
Prof. Yousef El Beheiry
Professor of International Law & Dean of the School of Legal – Economic and Social Sciences – Marrakech – Kingdom of Morocco
This paper seeks to present the international human rights monitoring mechanisms, namely binding legal conventions, and the work of the structures and authorities established by these conventions to support and promote basic human rights, which have faced major challenges in recent years. These international conventions contain a set of mechanisms to activate the role of national institutions in the promotion of the rule of law, although States are showing some kind of extreme sensitivity to their national sovereignty, considering rule of law issues as part of their reserved domain which is linked to their internal authority.
In this context, national institutions can have the skills and capabilities to be an effective partner of the State in promoting the rule of law, good governance and the protection of human rights, where individuals often resort to submitting petitions against all forms of abuse of power, which enables it to provide the State with its annual reports, an analytical study of all forms of abuses in the administrative field, violations of human rights, imbalances and limitations in the cost-effectiveness of administration and public utilities, and using this cooperation to guide the efforts of the State to be more effective in the protection of citizens from all forms of abuse.
In this paper, the role of national institutions in promoting good governance and protecting human rights can be touched upon in two ways:
First: The role of the Ombudsman institutions in promoting good governance, where national institutions play a fundamental role in the context of institutional mediation (ombudsman) to promote the principles of good governance, transparency and the rule of law, to correct the imbalances of the administration and protect the rights of the addressees by receiving citizens.
This is done through receiving the citizens, petitions in this regard and conducting investigations, proposing measures and procedures to address such violations and publishing reports to promote management and protect the rights of the addressees. It should be noted that the institutions of the mediator came to light in the Scandinavian countries and are called Ombudsman, where it acts as a mediator between the State and the people, and therefore has the set of elements that qualify it to monitor the implementation of human rights, which are reflected in the independence and impartiality and broad powers to investigate the abuses of the administration and the issuance of reports within the country as well as guaranteeing the protection of its members from all forms of pressure or intimidation.
Second: The role of national institutions in the protection of human rights. The Paris Principles of 1991 are a fundamental reference to the definition of national institutions and their consultative role in the field of human rights. The Paris Principles have been considered as a body established by virtue of the Constitution or by law to perform certain functions in human rights. The Commission on Human Rights also decided to develop guidelines for the formation and identification of the functional area of national institutions in achieving the following objectives:
To help educate the public and to promote awareness and respect for human rights;
To provide advice on any human rights issue referred by the Government;
To study the development of legislation, judicial decisions and administrative arrangements for the promotion of human rights,
To operate regularly and to be accessible to any member of the public or any public authority;
The Principles also affirm that national institutions have a responsibility to receive individual complaints of human rights violations. The Principles provide that the functions of national institutions in this regard shall be based on the following principles:
To seek amicable settlement by conciliation, binding decisions or other means;
To notify the petitioner of his/her rights and remedies, and to facilitate access;
To publish information on human rights and education, as well as education on human rights;
To make recommendations to the competent authorities, including proposals for amending laws or administrative practices that impede the freedom to establish rights;
The paper concluded that human rights constitute a single and indivisible body, and that the division between personal and civil rights and freedoms, on the one hand, and economic and social rights and freedoms on the other, is false and is no longer in position.