International Human Rights Day on Tuesday 10 December is an occasion to underline that human rights are core components of democracy as a concept and as a practice, writes our senior human rights adviser Dina Melhem.
WFD congratulates Georgian Parliaments Human Rights Committee
Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) welcomes the adoption of rules of procedure by the Georgian Parliament’s Human Rights Committee (HRC) after MPs passed recommendations without amendment.
Mrs Eka Beselia, Chair of the HRC, received praise from George Kunnath, WFD’s Regional Director for Europe, following the passage of the relevant legislation earlier in June.
The changes mean the Parliament of Georgia will in future conduct hearings on a range of issues covering:
- recommendations produced by the UN human rights committee relating to Georgia;
- judgements made by the European Court of Human Rights; and
- recommendations provided as part of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review process.
“This is a major step which strengthens the Parliament of Georgia’s ability to scrutinise the Government’s implementation of its Human Rights Action Plan,” George Kunnath said.
WFD, in partnership with the University of Oxford, has developed an assessment tool for human rights committees to improve their effectiveness and help them comply with international standards and best practice.
Its outcomes in Macedonia, Serbia, Tunisia, Uganda and Ukraine, as well as Georgia, were summed up in a paper presented in the UK Parliament on 6 July.
Mrs Beselia, who spoke at the launch event, told the Westminster audience that the “institutional absence” of the scrutiny of human rights had been replaced by her committee’s work being viewed “as a normal and ordinary process”.
The successful reforms follow six months of engagement between MPs on the Committee with civil society organisations in Georgia.
On 8th of October 2019, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy launched the HUGEN project. HUGEN stands for human rights and gender network. The project aims to support Western Balkans parliaments in reaching international standards for human rights and gender equality.