Second Day on strong and effective NHRI Conference by FRA

The Parliamentary Ombudsman, Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon, participated in the second day of the conference on “Enhancing the Implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: Strong and Effective NHRIs in the EU,” organised by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

During the second day, two important themes were discussed. The first panel explored ways forward for stronger and more effective NHRIs in the EU. In an intervention during the debate, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Judge Zammit McKeon, welcomed the proposed conclusions of the Belgian Presidency of the European Council, encouraging member states to strengthen institutions like the Ombudsman that have a remit to protect the rule of law and human rights and give due recognition as valued actors.

The second theme discussed the different human rights structures and the role of strong NHRIs in wider Europe. It was encouraged that nations without NHRIs should establish independent institutions dealing with human rights and strengthen already existing structures in the promotion and protection of fundamental rights.

At the end of the conference, a declaration was approved: a conference statement on the role of National Human Rights Institutions, which recommended, among other things, establishing a strong and independent NHRI where it does not yet exist, and strengthening NHRIs in line with international standards and recommendations, including those from the international accreditation committee and the European Commission.

The full statement can be read here.

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