The Role of Parliamentarians


Over 50% of UPR recommendations require parliamentary action in order to be implemented. Within their mandates and capacity, parliaments are ideally placed to contribute to the implementation of UPR recommendations and their follow-up. 

Parliamentary work covers the entire spectrum of political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights.  As a result, the following actions of parliamentarians have a direct impact on the implementation of human rights, including UPR recommendations:

  • Enactment of laws: introducing/amending bills to implement the State's human rights obligations;
  • Ratification of international human rights treaties;
  • Parliamentary oversight over the executive through committee hearings, plenary hearings, parliamentary inquiries, question sessions, public policy evaluation missions, etc;
  • Voting, budget approval, and, analysis to ensure that NHRIs, other statutory human rights bodies, and the human rights implementation process receive sufficient funding.

Establishing a Human Rights Parliamentary Committee would constitute a strong political signal aimed at coordinating and leading the efforts of parliaments in the area of human rights promotion and protection. 

Cooperation between parliaments, NHRIs, CSOs, UN Agencies, and mandate-holders is essential to the efficient functioning of the UPR, in particular, due to the legislative, budgetary, and oversight roles of parliaments. 

Example of a UPR recommendation that requires parliamentary action to be implemented:

“Amend provisions in the Criminal Code and the law on the press to provide the right to freedom of expression without fear of reprisals, arrest or detention.”