Defining Human Rights Focal Points

Defining Human Rights Focal Points

This study undertaken by the Danish Institute for Human Rights explores how governmental human rights focal points (GHRFPs), understood as states’ administrative structures mandated to provide the human rights response of the executive power, can ensure human rights implementation at the national level through expertise-building, mainstreaming and coordination. GHRFPs are considered by international human actors—including the Danish Institute for Human Rights—to be a key element of national human rights systems, alongside National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).

In the APF Regional Action Plan on Human Rights Defenders (RAP) under National Action 3 'Raise awareness of the rights of HRDs', one way to do this would be to designate an HRD Focal Point who could assist to ensure that issues relevant to HRDs are mainstreamed across the NHRI.

Your HRD Focal Point (or whatever agency you designate to lead on promoting the rights of HRDs in your NHRI) could have the following functions:

  • Serve as a consultant for processes within the NHRI to mainstream the perspectives of HRDs.
  • Monitor the work of the NHRI and advise on different ways in which elements relevant to HRDs can be further considered across the NHRI. 
  • Collect, analyse, and translate knowledge to the broader NHRI about HRDs and their rights.
  • Serve as a contact point and training hub for organisations and other NHRIs by providing training programmes for staff on HRDs

How did we do?

What is an Early Warning System (EWS) for HRDs?

Model law on Human Rights Defenders