African commission session 59 2016

African commission session 59 2016 States reports © ISHR

Regional human rights bodies

In addition to national human rights institutions or commissions, court systems and the UN, people can also utilise regional human rights bodies to advance or remedy human rights issues.

Regional human rights mechanisms provide a layer of monitoring of and reporting on local human rights problems and, like the UN, provide a forum and avenues that are designed to help to craft solutions and recommendations.

Most areas around the world have regional human rights systems or regional human rights bodies that sit above the national level.

Regional human rights mechanisms such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, provide additional avenues for people and communities to highlight human rights problems and opportunities and seek accountability for violations.

The African regional human rights system centres around the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

There are also regional human rights courts such as the European Court of Human Rights – which interprets and rules on cases involving the European Convention on Human Rights.

Notably, the Pacific region doesn’t currently have any regional human rights systems.

Regional human rights bodies help to establish international human rights norms at a local level and provide avenues for addressing standards and human rights concerns of the particular regions.