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Maqsoud Kruse, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in the UAE, during a media briefing in Abu Dhabi on Thursday Image Credit: Samihah Zaman, Senior Reporter

Abu Dhabi: The National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in the UAE will welcome complaints and concerns from all individuals and entities once it set up its working processes and mechanism, the chairperson of authority has said.

In doing so, it assumes that there is no perfection or end to preserving human rights and enhancing them, said Maqsoud Kruse, NHRI chairperson, at the authority’s second media briefing in the capital on Thursday.

“The NHRI will provide an advisory role to government, nongovernment, civil society and academia. To protect human rights, it will develop its own mechanisms, methodologies and independent reviews and procedures to look into existing complaints, and to monitor reports submitted to the NHRI. [It will also] schedule field visits whenever necessary to conduct our own independent review,” Kruse told Gulf News. “And to enhance a culture of human rights [in the country], we will look at advancing the understanding of human rights, [including] developing initiatives and programmes, and conveying [the concepts] to the community,” he added. Krush stressed that protecting human rights is an ongoing process.

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“The NHRI does not assume perfection. It does not assume finality. The NHRI exists to continue and enhance the status of human rights in the UAE, and to work closely with both the government, civil and private sectors to ensure that all human rights are being properly implemented and preserved for both citizens and residents. There will be a series of initiatives and programmes that we hope will address all these matters [of worker abuses] efficiently, and also look into them in depth,” the official said.

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Maqsoud Kruse, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in the UAE Image Credit: Samihah Zaman, Senior Reporter

100-day plan

The NHRI was established last year by federal law No. 12 of 2021 pertaining to the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), with Kruse appointed as chairman in December 2021. The authority, which has been established as an independent legal entity, held the first meeting of its board of trustees last month, and announced the 100-day plan to devise institutional and organisational workings.

As part of this plan, the NHRI has already created six committees, each of which will tackle related concerns, namely the Civil and Political Rights Committee, the Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights Committee, the International Relations and Non-Governmental Organisations Committee, the Complaints, Monitoring and Field Visits Committee, the Committee for the Promotion f Human Rights Culture, and the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee. Chairs have now been elected to head each of them.

“Work is well underway towards the completion of the development of the NHRI official website and the official social media accounts, in preparation for the launch campaign,” Kruse said.

Abuse reports

Asked about reports of alleged migrant worker abuses in the UAE, Kruse said the NHRI will look into any complaints submitted to it.

“The NHRI, through its Complaints, Monitoring and Field Visits Committee will look into all the files … and issues brought before the NHRI for its review, commentary, and for conducting its own independent assessments,” he said.

“We shall look into, and launch, all kinds of probes as soon as the relevant committees have set their own processes and procedures for us to conduct our own review. As you are aware, these matters are very sensitive. They are complex in nature, and we need to be in a position of responsibility so that when we get involved, and indeed we look into these things, we have the proper tools, procedures, standards and criteria. [This is] because we will also be questioned on our review, and the outcomes. We are [also] not only there to conduct our review, and look into what is happening, but we need to move forward and set recommendations on how to enhance and develop [human rights],” he explained.

Direct coordination

In future NHRI meetings, government officials will also be present, and Kruse explained that this will enable direct coordination needed to address any relevant issues. “Our work at the NHRI has no end,” he said.