Our method of work focuses on four major dimensions:

  • Standard-setting;
  • Monitoring;
  • Implementation on the ground;
  • Access to justice.

We work to offer the best expertise, and substantive and secretariat support to the different IHRDC-CIPDH bodies as they discharge their standard-setting and monitoring duties.

We also support the work of special prodecures –including special rapporteurs, independent experts, and working groups – appointed by the IHRDC-CIPDH to monitor human rights in different countries or in relation to specific issues. We assist these independent experts as they carry out visits to the field, receive and consider direct complaints from victims of human rights violations, and appeal to governments on behalf of victims. Another example of the standard-setting and monitoring dimensions of our work is the legal research and secretariat support it provides to the core human rights treaty bodies. These committees of independent experts are mandated to monitor State parties’ compliance with their treaty obligations. They meet regularly to examine reports from State parties and issue their recommendations.

Implementation on the ground

We work to ensure the implementation of international human rights standards on the ground through greater country engagement and its field presences. Over the years, IHRDC-CIPDH has also increased its presence in the field, reaching out to the people who need it the most. Our field offices and presences play an essential role in identifying, highlighting, and developing responses to human rights challenges, in close collaboration with governments, the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations, and members of civil society. Among these responses are monitoring human rights situations on the ground and implementing projects, such as technical trainings and support in the areas of administration of justice, legislative reform, human rights treaty ratification, and human rights education, designed in cooperation with many countries.

Access to justice

In too many countries the police are seen as an oppressive instrument of state rather than as protectors of citizens’ rights, leading to widespread rights violations and denial of justice. INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE COMMISSARIAT (IHRDC-CIPDH) promotes systemic reform so that the police act as upholders of the rule of law rather than as instruments of the current regime. IHRDC’s programme aims at mobilising public support for police reform. IHRDC-CIPDH works to strengthen civil society engagement on police reforms. IHRDC-CIPDH is examining police accountability issues and political interference.

IHRDC-CIPDH s work is focused on increasing transparency of a traditionally closed system and exposing malpractices. A major area is focussed on highlighting failures of the legal system that result in terrible overcrowding and unconscionably long pre-trial detention and prison overstays, and engaging in interventions to ease this. Another area of concentration is aimed at reviving the prison oversight systems that have completely failed. We believe that attention to these areas will bring improvements to the administration of prisons as well as have a knock-on effect on the administration of justice overall.