Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (7 March) to mark the tenth anniversary of the German Institute for Human Rights:
“Human rights are at the heart of German foreign policy. Our policy is guided by the aim of seeing human rights become a reality in the lives of all people across the globe. However, our credibility abroad depends on our also working to improve human rights at home. To this end, we need to understand human rights within Germany to be our daily responsibility.
Since it was founded, the German Institute for Human Rights has served the human rights situation in Germany as a critical attendant and alert watchdog. It is simultaneously a platform for exchange between politics, academia and civil society, an essential contributor to the debate on human rights policy and an important source of advice for the political players involved. The German Institute for Human Rights has done sterling work in this field.
For good human rights policy, we need a strong human rights institute! I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to these ten years of successful work, and I hope that we will continue to hear the Institute’s strong voice on human rights.”
The German Institute for Human Rights is Germany’s independent “national institution” for human rights as required by the United Nations Paris Principles. It was founded by unanimous decision in the German Bundestag on 8 March 2001. Its mandate is to contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights within Germany and by Germany elsewhere. Its duties cover political advice, human rights education, applied research into human rights topics and collaboration with international organizations.
Within the United Nations, the German Government actively campaigns for the creation of independent national human rights institutions. In New York, it has initiated a Resolution on establishing institutions and financially supports the advisory work which the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva does to assist the establishment and running of those institutions.