Ban Ki-Moon reveals OHCHR’s
efforts in Support of Bahrain

The United Nations, through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), has rendered an important service to Bahrain that was noteworthy for reference in the UN Secretary-General’s report to the Human Rights Council at its Twenty-Seventh session in September 2014. The report included information on the activities undertaken by the OHCHR for the establishment and enhancement of the national human rights institutions and cooperation between these institutions and the international human rights system.

With respect to legal advice, the Secretary-General stated that the OHCHR has “provided legal advice on the draft law to amend the decree establishing a national human rights institution in Bahrain, to ensure its compliance with the Paris Principles”. The amendment was actually adopted by the Bahraini parliament and a law was issued in this regard.

In the area of ​​capacity-building activities, the Secretary-General said that “In cooperation with the national human rights commission of Bahrain, OHCHR organized a series of national consultations on various human rights issues, including a round table in April 2014 on the role of national human rights institutions in promoting and protecting human rights”.

In his above-mentioned report, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, encouraged states “to ensure that national human rights institutions are provided with a broad mandate to protect and promote all human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, and are granted adequate powers of investigation into allegations of human rights violations, including an authorization to visit detention centres”. He also encouraged countries to “ ensure that national human rights institutions are provided with adequate human and financial resources and enjoy the necessary autonomy to propose and manage their own budgets and recruit their own staff members”, as well as implementation of the recommendations of national human rights institutions by the states concerned.

The Secretary-General encouraged national human rights institutions “to continue to develop, and advocate for the development of, protective measures and mechanisms for human rights defenders, and to disseminate information thereon”, as well as “to continue to engage with the international human rights system”.