With its top position in almost global ranks, particularly those of human development and personal freedoms, the establishment of the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), decreed on Monday by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan comes as the natural progression of the nation’s pursuit of prosperity and sustainable development.
The move also reflects the maturity of our society as we celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Union’s inception.
The new body, the NHRI, will be an independent legal entity that aims “to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms following the provisions of the UAE Constitution, laws and legislation as well as relevant international conventions,” the decree says.
One of the key and most important functions will be the development, in collaboration with relevant authorities, of “a national action plan to promote and protect human rights in the country and propose a mechanism for its implementation.”
Compatible with international treaties
Another key role is to assess national legislations and laws to see if they are compatible with international treaties and conventions on human rights to which the UAE is a party, and submit its recommendations to the government in that regard.
The NHRI will “track human rights abuses and violations, verify their authenticity, and report them to the relevant authorities,” the presidential decree said.
The NHRI is being established in line with the best global practices and human rights benchmarks, particularly the 1993 Paris Principles for the National Human Rights Institutions. Also, the law was drafted in cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
That shows the leadership’s will to establish a genuine body that is empowered and able to promote and protect human rights in this country. It is also a testament of the UAE’s national strategy to join the best in the world in supporting human rights.
Universal declaration of human rights
Early this year, the UAE took the bold step in updating its legal codes, including the Penal Code and Personal Status Laws, to conform with the universal declarations of human rights.
Monday’s decree complements those important steps to boost the nation’s status as one of the world’s leaders in supporting global efforts to ensure the protection of human rights.
UAE aims to eliminate all forms of racism, religious and ethnic discrimination and hate. These goals are not only enshrined in our constitution but a way of life highlighted by clear official policies and daily practices.
The new body will work towards developing those values and strengthening the social awareness of multiculturism, coexistence, tolerance and social harmony. Another great and pioneering milestone in the UAE’s amazing 50 year march.