National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and their role in the policy making process: a look at the impact of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in the United Kingdom in the context of diminishing power
The promotion of human rights is not only about raising public awareness and conducting human rights education and training. The real impact of human rights promotion can be assessed through its incorporation in public policy discourse and in policies themselves. The main objective of this study is to look at the roles that National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) can play to encourage the incorporation of human rights principles as guiding values for public policies. This is especially important in economically challenging contexts where human rights principles are thought to be adding red tape and hampering economic growth, instead of assisting holistic socioeconomic and political progress. This study explores the independence, accountability and power relationship between one NHRI the government, civil society and press. Drawing on a case study of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in the United Kingdom, and using interviews with key informants, the effectiveness of this NHRI, in particular its role to safeguard and promote human rights, is examined. This study shows how issues of human rights remain a challenging subject matter even for a democratic country like the UK, as political processes and compromises affect the work the EHRC, and discusses how the ideas inherent in the capability approach can be an important tool in enabling NHRIs.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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