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 requires 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.”