The APF has urged NHRIs to continue their campaign for independent participation in the work of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
The APF has urged national human rights institutions (NHRIs) to continue the campaign for independent participation in the work of the UN's policy making body for women and girls and build on the gains secured in recent years.
Unlike at the Human Rights Council, 'A status' NHRIs do not have standing in their own right to participate in meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and can only attend as part of their country's government delegation, if they are invited.
The campaign for independent participation – which was initiated by the APF in 2009 – saw ten NHRIs from all corners of the globe attend the 61st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2017: Australia, Afghanistan, Cote d'Ivoire, Georgia, Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar and the United Kingdom.
Importantly, and despite opposition from some States during their drafting, the historic gains secured by NHRIs in 2016 were maintained at CSW 61 with the Agreed Conclusions encouraging the CSW secretariat:
... to continue its consideration of how to enhance the participation, including at the sixty-second session of the Commission, of national human rights institutions that are fully compliant with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (Paris Principles), where they exist, in compliance with the rules of procedure of the Economic and Social Council.
CSW 62 will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York from 12 to 23 March 2018.
The priority theme is "challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls".
The APF was responsible for coordinating and leading the joint lobbying efforts of NHRIs at CSW 61, on behalf of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
In its report on CSW 61, the APF highlighted a number of effective strategies that should be repeated for next year's session, including to:
- Prepare a report on the CSW 62 priority theme to showcase the work and successes of NHRIs in relation to the promoting and protecting rights of rural women
- Hold an NHRI side event to build awareness among government delegations and international organisations about the unique role of NHRIs and the significant contribution they can make to international discussions of the rights of women and girls
- Encourage NHRIs to engage with their governments in advance of CSW 62 and build support for the independent participation rights for NHRIs
- Explore the option of securing formal participation rights for NHRIs at CSW through a specific ECOSOC resolution.
The APF-GANHRI report on NHRI engagement at CSW 61, along with other key documents from the meeting, is available on the APF website.