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Guidance for the Field Protections Clusters on Engagement with National Human Rights Institutions

Protections Clusters (PCs) can strategically engage with national human rights institutions (NHRIs) to enhance the protection of crisis affected populations. NHRIs are a unique partner for PCs for the following key reasons:

• PCs can leverage the broad mandate that NHRIs have to promote and protect the human rights of all persons on the territory or under the jurisdiction of the State concerned, including persons who are in need of protection, such as persons affected by humanitarian crises.

• NHRIs’ unique position as State institutions that function in an independent manner is a strategic asset for PCs, not least in light of the accountability schemes attached to it vis-à-vis the authorities.

• NHRIs can implement activities agreed jointly with PCs or independently as they may have a wider geographical reach and develop sustainable protection strategies, notably where they might be dedicated strategies, action plans, or presence in particular areas of the NHRIs.

• NHRIs’ standing, expertise and competences are valuable strengths that PCs can use to advance legislation that protects and promotes the human rights of the population during and post emergency.

• NHRIs frequently have the competence to, inter alia, handle individual cases, monitor cases of detention, facilitate access to redress mechanisms and monitor the protection issues faced by internally displaced persons.

• NHRIs publicize their findings and recommendations to authorities and the communities at large, which can increase the visibility of issues of relevance to PCs and provide further basis for advocacy at local level.