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Parliamentary committees on human rights

Background Information

For the purpose of this survey, we only consider as parliamentary human rights committees:
  • Committees which have “human rights” or other words with a similar meaning in their title. Examples include: “Human Rights Committee”, “Committee on Fundamental Freedoms”, “Committee on Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights”, Committee on Human Rights and National Minorities”, “Committee on Civil Liberties and Justice” etc.
  • Committees which do not have “human rights” or other words with a similar meaning in their title, but which are competent, as explicitly mentioned in their mandate, to address human rights.
Note: In a bicameral Parliament where both houses have a parliamentary committee on human rights, the present questionnaire should filled twice, once for each Committee.
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7. Nature: *This question is required.
8. Date of Creation:
9. Related to chambers:
10. Members
 
Number of members of the Committee:

Note: at the time of the most recent parliamentary elections
 
Space Cell All MembersBelow 45 years of age
Total
Men
Women
Other
11. Political affiliation of members:
 
Space Cell All Members
Majority parties
Opposition parties
Independent
12. Chairperson

Sex:

 
13. Age: below 45 years of age
14. Political affiliation:
Functions, powers and working methods
 
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16. Committee functions
 
The Committee has the following functions:
 
Space Cell YesNo
Mainstream human rights into the work of (other) parliamentary committees and of Parliament as a whole
Scrutinise all Bills for their compatibility with human rights
Scrutinise the Executive’s policy for compatibility with human rights
Obtain information from the Executive about the justification for actions or inaction which affect human rights
Scrutinise State’s compliance with existing UN human rights treaties. (The list of core UN human rights treaties are listed in the annex)
Initiate inquiries of its own choosing
Scrutinise proposed human rights treaties, and other international treaties with implications for human rights, and report to Parliament thereon, prior to ratification
Ascertain and review the Executive’s reasons for not acceding to or ratifying existing international human rights treaties
Scrutinise the Executive’s response to judgments of national, regional and international courts with implications for human rights
Monitor the adequacy of the existing national system for the protection of human rights
Review the allocation and expenditure of funds in the State budget to support measures to promote and protect human rights
17. Committee involvement in the most recent review of the national human rights situation by the UN Human Rights Council under its Universal Periodic Review (under which it monitors the human rights situation in each UN Member State every four years or so).

The Committee:
Space Cell YesNo
Was consulted in the preparation of the most recent national report to the UN Human Rights Council
Was included in the official delegation which orally presented the most recent national report to the Council
Discussed the conclusions and recommendations which the Council adopted as a result
Conducted hearings with the Executive about its plans to implement these conclusions and recommendations
18. Committee powers
 
The Committee has the power to:
 
Space Cell YesNo
Propose amendments to legislation
Introduce bills into Parliament
Initiate parliamentary debates on its reports or on subjects of its choosing
Carry out inquiries
Hold oral evidence hearings
Compel witnesses to attend
Compel the production of documents and papers
Make recommendations to the Executive
Conduct visits, including visits abroad
Access places of detention without notice
19. Committee working methods
 
The Committee:
 
Space Cell YesNo
Adopts an annual or longer-term work plan
Publishes reports on its work on the parliamentary website
Usually reaches consensus on the issues on which it reports
Systematically follows up its reports and recommendations
Reports regularly to Parliament on its activities
20. Cooperation and coordination
 
The Committee regularly cooperates and coordinates (e.g. through sharing of reports; meetings; joint follow-up action) with:
 
Space Cell AlwaysOftenSometimesNever
Other parliamentary committees
Civil society organisations
National Human Rights Institution(s) (often called “Commissions” and/or “Ombudspersons” in the area of human rights)
Academic institutions, including research institutes on human rights
The media
Contact information for the Committee
 
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This question requires a valid date format of DD/MM/YYYY.
calendar
Annex: The main core UN human rights treaties
 
 
The main core UN human rights treaties:
 
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (adoption in 1966; entry into force in 1976);
 
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (adoption in 1966; entry into force in 1976);
 
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD; adoption in 1965; entry into force in 1969);
 
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW; adoption in 1979; entry into force in 1981);
 
The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT; adoption in 1984; entry into force in 1987);
 
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC; adoption in 1989; entry into force in 1990);
 
The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (known as the Migrant Workers Convention, or ICRMW; adoption in 1990; entry into force in 2003);
 
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD; adoption in 2006, entry into force in 2008);
 
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED; adoption in 2006, entry into force in 2010)