'As per the decision of CHRI's International Advisory Commission on 28.11.2017, the Strategic Initiative Programme (SIP) of CHRI has been re-named as the International Advocacy and Programming (IAP) unit. The IAP unit has been expanded to include representatives from CHRI offices in London and Accra.'
IAP monitors Commonwealth states’ compliance with civil, political and human rights obligations, and advocates for their strengthening. It strategically engages with regional and global mechanisms, including the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). The unit regularly advocates for reform within the Commonwealth and stronger response mechanisms to stem human rights violations. IAP reviews Commonwealth members’ human rights commitments at UN forums; monitors the performance of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in the Commonwealth while advocating for their strengthening. It presses for the protection of human rights defenders, journalists, RTI activists and civil society space. As a trusted partner, CHRI has acted as a resource for several UN agencies and has conducted fact finding missions in Nigeria, Zambia, Fiji, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, Fiji and the Maldives.
IAP’s strategic initiatives:
CHRI’s work in Geneva
CHRI was one of the key organisations of the Global South to monitor and evaluate member states’ behaviour at the UN Human Rights Council through its ‘Easier Said Than Done’ reports. IAP has expanded its focus on the Council with targeted advocacy and regular submissions to its several mechanisms including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies. IAP reviews the performance of Commonwealth countries at the Council, makes submissions before country reviews at the UPR, builds civil society capacity to examine, report on and international perspectives back to their countries and presses the Commonwealth to strengthen its institutional commitment to human rights. CHRI is an active member of premier civil society coalitions working towards structural reform in the HRC and joint advocacy on thematic and country concerns.
IAP advocates for capacity building and greater integration of Commonwealth Small states in the HRC and promoting CSO partnerships within these countries. It works with these states to facilitate their participation in the international human rights system and bring focus on their human rights concerns and challenges. IAP provides technical support, training and orientation to diplomats and the civil society from Small States for meaningful engagement with the UPR mechanism, other procedures at the Council and international forums.
Sustainable Development Goals
Since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, IAP has advocated for Goal 16 on access to justice, access to information, transparency, accountability, participation, human rights and good governance. It has consistently engaged with national, regional and global mechanisms for SDG follow-up and review. It has contributed to policy discussions on Goal 16 implementation and advocated with CSOs, networks and coalitions for SDG accountability.
IAP is working towards achieving SDG 8.7 in the Commonwealth. 8.7 calls for the eradication of forced labour, ending modern slavery and human trafficking and securing the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour. Our work is aimed at building smart coalitions while fostering partnership and collective action in the Commonwealth.