Architects of human rights implementation at the national level: a study of framework development of the National Mechanisms for Implementation, Reporting, and Follow-up in the states of Paraguay and Portugal to address the implementation of soft law recommendations from the United Nations human rights mechanisms

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Peralta Valiente, Pamela Araceli
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Over the years, the United Nations (UN) human rights framework has significantly expanded. The establishment of numerous treaties and bodies responded to the need to monitor the States’ human rights implementation. Even though (well-intentioned) States commit to comply is difficult for them to implement and keep track of all recommendations issued by these bodies. One of the ways in which the UN and other stakeholders try to support state implementation and compliance is through the National Mechanisms for Implementation, Reporting, and Follow-up (NMIRFs). NMIRFs comprise government-led structures with a systematic, inter-institutional, participative procedure to implement, report, and follow-up recommendations. This qualitative approach thesis addresses to what extent can national framework setting (of Paraguay and Portugal) be qualified as effective in implementing soft law recommendations from the UN bodies by establishing NMIRFs. The framework of NMIRFs is based on criteria identification retrieved from NMIRFs development at the international level and conceptual notions. E.g., a standing inter-ministerial structure with a mandate based on engagement, coordination, information management, and consultation. Likewise, it comprises a working method to retain institutional memory, inter-institutionality, periodic capacity-building activities, and the use of IT tools. As a next step, this thesis applies the criteria in both countries to illustrate these national frameworks’ effectiveness to address soft law recommendations adopted by the UN human rights mechanisms. Thus, NMIRFs maintain a standing structure and provide good governance, human rights mainstreaming, policy-making, reporting system, and civil service engagement and training. Keywords: human rights implementation, national mechanisms, recommendations, UN system, Paraguay, Portugal.
Second semester University: Utrecht University
United Nations, human rights, national state, Paraguay, Portugal, monitoring