NIHR in brief
In response to the urgent need to deal responsibly with the issues of human rights and development of policies relating to the promotion, development and protection of human rights in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the importance of progress, advancement and preservation of human rights principles, Law No. 26 of 2014 has been issued on the Establishing of the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR), to be based in the city of Manama.
The tasks of the (NIHR) focus on the promotion, development and protection of human rights, in addition to striving to consolidate the relevant values and awareness of such values, and ensuring that these values are practiced freely and independently, in line with the Paris Principles - endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution No. (48/134) for the year 1993 – which form the legal reference in the establishment of the Institution, as a set of internationally recognized principles concerning the formation of national institutions for human rights, the powers entrusted to them and the procedures governing their work.
In order to achieve its goals and desired results for the protection and development of human rights, the scope of the work of the (NIHR) and its terms of reference can be summarized as follows:
- Receive, examine and research complaints related to human rights, refer such complaints as appropriate to the competent authorities, effectively follow-up such complaints, or guide stakeholders on the procedures to be followed and assist them in decision-making, or settlement of cases with the authorities concerned. Also, NIHR Specialized to monitor violation of human rights, conduct the necessary investigation, draw the attention of the competent authorities and provide them with proposals on initiatives to put an end to such violations and, where necessary, to express an opinion on the reactions and positions of the competent authorities. On other hand, NIHR conduct field visits in accordance with applicable practice, to monitor human rights situation in reform institutes, detention centers, labor gathering, health and education centres, or any other public place in which it is suspected that human rights violations are taking place.
- Study legislations and regulations that fall within the areas of human rights, recommend amendments as it deems appropriate in this regard, and ensure they are appropriate and consistent with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s international obligations in the field of human rights. In addition, to study the conformity of legislation and organization of regional and international treaties related to human right, submit proposals and recommendations to concerned authorities in any matter that re-enforces and protect human rights, support and develop to a better level including recommendations to join regional and international conventions and treaties concerned with human rights.
- To Issue newsletters, printed material, data and special reports, and upload them on the Institution website. It is entitled to directly approach the public opinion or through the any of the media. In addition, to host conferences and to organize training and educational events in the field of human rights and conducts related research and studies. Also, the NIHR is working to participate in national and international forums, as well as in meetings of regional and international bodies concerned with human rights issues.
- To cooperate with national bodies, regional, international organizations and authorities concerned with cultural, media, and educational affairs, as well as relevant institutions in other countries that work for the promotion and protection of human rights, and to submit proposals and recommendations in any matter in order to spread, propagate and strengthen a culture of awareness and respect for human rights.
- To participate in the production and implementation of a national plan for the promotion and protection of Human Rights in the Kingdom.
- To submit parallel reports, and participate in the drafting and discussion of the reports which the kingdom is obliged to periodically submit for the implementation of regional and international conventions concerning human rights together with notifying about such reports in the proper media means..
The (NIHR) is made up of eleven members, including the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and personalities reputed for their competence and integrity, selected from advisory bodies, academic and civil society organizations, trade unions, social, economic and professional organizations, and personalities interested in human rights issues, was also taking into account the representation of women in which minorities are appropriately.
His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued the Royal Order No. (20) for the year 2015 forming the eleven members of the Council of Commissioners. The Council of Commissioners held the first procedural meeting on April 5, 2015 under the chairmanship of the oldest member among those present. Elections were held to choose both the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. The following three standing committees namely: Complaints, Monitoring and Follow-up, Civil and Political Rights, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights were formed. Elections were also held for the heads of those committees in accordance with the Law on the establishing of the NIHR.