22 February 2012 Participants of the Expert’s International Seminar on the Relationship between National Human Rights Institutions and Parliaments

22 February 2012 Participants of the Expert’s International Seminar on the Relationship between National Human Rights Institutions and Parliaments

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Expert’s International Seminar on the Relationship between National Human Rights Institutions and Parliaments

On 22 and 23 February, the National Assembly House is hosting a two-day Expert’s International Seminar on the Relationship between National Human Rights Institutions and Parliaments, organised by the National Assembly, Ombudsman, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.


Opening the seminar, National Assembly Speaker Prof. Dr Slavica Djukic Dejanovic said that human rights were the foundation of the society we strive for and that every state’s supreme legislative body’s duty was to create the legislative framework fit for human rights.

In his opening address, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Serbia, William Infante stressed that the seminar aimed to promote cooperation between parliaments and national human rights institutions, as well as strengthen the legal framework for the protection of human rights. He deemed that Serbia gives a good example of successful cooperation between the parliament and ombudsman.

The Chief of the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Vladlen Stefanov stressed that democracy and respect for human rights were interconnected, and the parliament with its legislative and control function played a big role in the protection and promotion of human rights.

Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic stated that this institution’s job was to independently control the work of public authorities, point out the flaws in their functioning resulting in violations of civil rights and propose measures to address them. The Ombudsman’s autonomy is necessary to ensure protection of human rights independent of daily politics, said Jankovic adding that parliaments and national human rights institutions work on the same task which draws them to cooperate with one another.

In the continuation of the seminar, MP Natasa Vuckovic gave an overview of the main functions of legislative institutions and national human rights institutions saying that the position of human rights institutions is the key indicator of social development. Parliaments play a significant role in protecting and promoting human rights through their legislative activity, as well as by adopting the budget financing human rights institutions, while the parliamentarians themselves bear the great responsibility of developing the culture of human rights protection, stated Vuckovic. The MP briefed the participants on the position of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Serbia, established by the Constitution and law, his authority and relationship with the National Assembly and went on to invite the participants to share the experience of their respective institutions on the main areas of relationship between the two bodies.

The two-day seminar, comprising MPs, representatives of parliaments and national human rights institutions from different regions of the world, will be addressing various issues such as: Parliament’s role in establishing a national human rights institution and securing its functioning and independence, Cooperation between parliaments and national human rights institutions in relation to legislation, Cooperation between parliaments and national human rights institutions in relation to accountability, Cooperation between parliaments and national human rights institutions in the promotion of human rights and Cooperation between parliaments and national human rights institutions in monitoring the implementation of human rights recommendations.

In addition to sharing experiences, the seminar aims to provide the opportunity to draft and adopt globally applicable principles which would serve as a foundation for the relationship between parliaments and national human rights institutions. To that end, on the second day of the seminar the participants are to adopt the Belgrade Principles on the relationship between national human rights institutions and parliaments.



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monday, 25 may
  • 13.00 - press conference of MPs Sasa Radulovic, Branka Stamenkovic and Vojin Biljic (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, Central Hall)

  • 13.30 - press conference of MP Dr Vlarimir Orlic (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, Central Hall)

Full event calendar