On 1 June, more than 100 representatives of governments, international organizations and civil society met to discuss the role of national human rights institutions in promoting and protecting individual human rights at the three-day OSCE Human Dimension Seminar.
This event was organised by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in co-operation with the 2015 Serbian Chairmanship of the OSCE.
Michael Georg Link, ODIHR Director, said that the contacts and co-operation made possible by such events are central to the effectiveness of the institutions, such as ombudsperson’s offices.
"Whenever necessary, national human rights institutions ought to be uncomfortable partners to their governments," the ODIHR Director said. "Given this natural domestic tension, it is even more important that they support each other across borders. The co-operation of Ms. Ella Pamfilova, the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, and Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, is an excellent example. It is admirable how outspoken both are, given the difficult climate under which they operate. The statement of Ella Pamfilova on the recently adopted law on the so-called „undesirable organizations“ is a good example."
Adapted from OSCE