New report highlights role of strong and effective National Human Rights Institutions as guardians of human rights around Europe

The Scottish Human Rights Commission welcomes a new report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) into the challenges and opportunities for National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) around Europe. The Commission has been Scotland’s A-Status NHRI since 2010.

The report compares the mandate and powers of NHRIs in 30 countries around Europe, including the Commission. It makes a series of recommendations for strengthening NHRIs including clear mandates and adequate financial and human resources.

The report also identifies examples of promising practice by NHRIs, including the Scottish Human Rights Commission’s work on human rights budgeting.

Read the full report.

FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty said:

“National human rights institutions are guardians of human rights. But too often, they cannot deliver on their true potential. Governments and Parliaments should free NHRIs from unnecessary constraints and grant them the power and resources they need to do their job properly. As the Coronavirus pandemic affected or limited many rights, it is especially important that we have strong and independent NHRIs to champion people’s fundamental rights during and after COVID-19.”

Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Judith Robertson, said:

“This is a detailed and fascinating report into the development of the NHRI community around Europe, a community which the Commission is proud to be an active and respected member of. There is much for Scotland to learn from here and the Commission will draw heavily on this learning as we look to secure ever-stronger protections for people’s rights in Scotland.”