Strong international mechanisms
Strong international mechanisms are essential to hold governments to their human rights obligations, independently document human rights violations, and raise awareness of human rights issues among the international community.
Governments are increasing neglecting the findings of observation mechanisms established to ensure the implementation of human rights obligations and commitments. This includes those established under the Helsinki Agreements, by the Council of Europe, and under the United Nations human rights system. Debates surrounding the European Court of Human Rights are in this regard particularly worrying in various States, including key actors for the promotion of human rights, such as Poland or the United Kingdom.
A lack of cooperation with expert mechanisms is a sign of unwillingness by some States to have their achievements assessed. Some States disregard conclusions they disagree with, whilst using international mechanisms to promote their own vision of rights.
A tendency has also developed over time to allow a certain relativism in the cooperation with the international human rights mechanisms, including by States in funding certain mechanisms over others. To strengthen the universality and indivisibility of human rights, and hence the credibility of the international system, the United Nations’ ordinary budget on human rights must be increased.
Furthermore, States are investing more time in limiting the access of NGOs to international human rights mechanisms or in punishing those who cooperate with such mechanisms. Reprisals have become a way of weakening the whole system, and must be addressed.