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Parliamentary bodies dealing with human rights :
All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group

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Type of parliamentary body Informal
Nature Other
Related to chambers House of Commons
House of Lords
Date of creation 2 June 1986
Last renewal date
Mandate The All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group ("PHRG") is mandated by its members to raise awareness of international human rights issues in the Houses of Parliament; to work for the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, and Social, Economic and Cultural Rights by all governments; and to encourage debate, research and further action on such matters.

The PHRG fulfills its objectives by receiving verbal and written reports concerning violations of human rights throughout the world; organizing missions to collect evidence from areas of concern; communicating PHRG's concerns about human rights violations to governments, their representatives in the UK and visiting delegations; requesting Her Majesty's Government to explain foreign policy in the light of human rights objectives; establishing contacts with intergovernmental agencies and other parliamentary groups in order to widen the debate about human rights; co-ordinating approaches made to Parliamentarians by non-governmental organizations; and organizing regular meetings on human rights matters in the Houses of Parliament.
Membership The PHRG is composed of interested backbench members of Parliament who wish to join and is represented cross-party in accordance with the parliamentary rules on all-party groups. Currently there are 135 members of both chambers. The PHRG holds an Annual General Meeting, at which the Officers are elected by those members in attendance.
The organisation could theoretically be dissolved by members of Parliament but this is highly unlikely.
Working methods The PHRG holds an Annual General Meeting, at which the general policy priorities of the PHRG are determined. The Officers are responsible for further policy development and the day-to-day running of the PHRG. They meet regularly with NGO representatives and UK and international Government officials to discuss matters of concern. Staff may be employed by the Officers to assist them with their duties. The Officers meet quarterly to discuss and decide upon matters within the PHRG's mandate.

Members of the PHRG are informed of all general meetings of the PHRG. They may ask for specific issues to be raised and addressed at the Officers' meetings and meetings with external bodies; may accompany Officers to meetings with external bodies; may, upon request, have access to human rights information collected by the PHRG; and may obtain briefings on the human rights situation in specific countries.

The PHRG Officers organize a number of general meetings during each parliamentary term, some of which are open to the public and some limited to PHRG members.
Relations with other parliamentary bodies The PHRG interacts with other all-party groups on an ad-hoc basis and may organise joint meetings on mutual issues of concern. It has no formal links with Select Committees.
Relations with external bodies The Officers, and interested members, meet and correspond regularly with NGO representatives and UK and international Government officials, including UK Ministers, foreign ambassadors, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to discuss matters of concern in relation to international human rights.
Subjects dealt with Topics which have been raised in the last year include: grave and widespread human rights violations in Chechnya, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Burma, Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, Columbia, Western Sahara, Guatemala, Zimbabwe, and Saudi Arabia; the detention of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay; and the prosecution of human rights violators.
Main address House of Commons
Phone + 44 20 72 19 63 68
Fax + 44 20 72 19 48 99
E-mail gerrardn@parliament.uk
Website http://www.appg-aids.org.uk/
Name Ms. Ann Clwyd
Notes Chair
Address (if different from above)
Phone +44 20 72 19 66 09
Fax ...
E-mail clwyda@parliament.uk
Website ...
Name Mr. Lord Avebury
Notes Vice-Chair
Name Mr. John Bercow
Notes Secretary

Information on this page was last updated on 31 March 2009
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