NIHR participates in a Seminar on Human Rights Dimensions and Experiences of Institutions during Coronavirus Pandemic

29 Sep 2020

Ms. Maria Khoury, Chairperson of the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR), participated with a number of members of the NIHR’s Council of Commissioners and NIHR’s Secretary-General in a videoconference seminar titled, “Human Rights Dimensions during the Coronavirus Pandemic (Covid-19):  The Role and Experiences of National Human Rights Institutions”, which was organized by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Permanent Missions of Norway and Australia to the UN Office in Geneva, where they discussed the roles and experiences of national human rights institutions in addressing the implications on human rights as well as the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), and compared them to the preliminary results of examination conducted by the GANHRI with the OHCHR.

The seminar was opened by Ambassador Tina Marookh Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway to Geneva.  Then Ambassador Sally Mansfield, Permanent Representative of Australia to Geneva, and Dr. Freddy Carrion, Acting Chairperson of GANHRI, spoke at the seminar, and Chairman of the National Institution in Ecuador, presented a brief on the GANHRI’s role in providing support and assistance to national human rights institutions. Then Mrs. Asako Okai, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP Crisis Response Office, explained the Organization’s in supporting countries during the Covid-19 pandemic.  In addition, Mrs. Georgette Gagnon, Director of the OHCHR Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Department explained the OHCHR’s role in providing technical support to national human rights institutions to perform their duties and carry out their competencies.

A number of representatives of national human rights institutions also gave a brief on the role of their institutions during this pandemic, where Ms. Maria Khoury explained the role played by the NIHR in educating citizens and residents through its statements and tweets, its follow-up of the precautionary measures taken by the concerned bodies and authorities in the Kingdom of Bahrain to limit the spread of Coronavirus without prejudice to the exercise of human rights and its field visits to a number of correction and rehabilitation centres and expatriate workers housing of some major companies to ensure their application of the precautionary measures.

The attendants also made a presentation on the preliminary results of the joint researches between the GANHRI, OHCHR and UNDP on the role and expertise of national institutions in addressing human rights and supporting thereof during the global health emergency.