The Kigali Declaration on upholding human rights during a pandemic and other global crises



Thematic topic for the Biennial Conference:  Youth and Human Rights


CFNHRIs Biennial Meeting, 2020


19 - 20 June 2020, 09:30 -17:00 (Friday and Saturday)


Room (AD12) Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda



Concept Note




The Commonwealth Forum of NHRIs (CFNHRI) is an unincorporated global network of National Human Rights Institutions working to ensure that international human rights standards are respected across the Commonwealth.  

The CFNHRI promotes, protects and improves human rights in the Commonwealth through influencing the progression of human rights within the processes of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM); providing a united voice on human rights priorities; and ensuring members and other stakeholders can learn from the insight, experiences and expertise contained within the Forum.

The CFNHRI holds an Annual Meeting (usually in February or March). Additional to the Annual Meeting, the CFNHRI organizes a Biennial Conference which usually takes place at the same time and location as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

The Chair of the CFNHRI must be an ‘’A’’ Status institution and is appointed on a rotating basis at the biennial conference. It is assumed that the role will be taken up by the NHRI located in the host country of CHOGM.

It is against this framework that the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Great Britain is the NHRI that is chairing the CFNHRI from 2018 with a term which shall end in June 2020 to pass the baton to the National Commission for Human Rights/Rwanda until 2022.

From 19-20 June, delegates from 56 NHRIs and Ombudsman offices will be gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, to attend a CFNHRIs Biennial Meeting on ‘’Youth and human rights’’This conference will take place alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). 

Building on progress since the 2018 biennial conference in London, NHRIs are expected to discuss ways the contemporary Commonwealth analyzes existing protection gaps in the implementation of human rights with regard to youth and the crucial role of youth in the promotion of human rights.

The discussions will focus on emerging issues that the youth faces and the role of NHRIs in promoting and protecting young generations’ rights.

This concept note contains the following:

-          Objectives, expected outcome and expected outputs;

-          Conference format, venue and dates;

-          Budget estimate;

-          Agenda.




The overall objective of the conference is to contribute to the realization of human rights with regard to youth through effective participation of Commonwealth NHRIs.


The specific objectives are:

Ø  To raise emerging issues that infringe on the realization of young people’s rights;

Ø  To share experience on how youth’s rights are promoted and protected within the Commonwealth States;

Ø  To reflect together on measures to be taken by duty bearers in order to deal with the issues;

Ø  To adopt resolutions that will serve as guidelines within NHRIs towards the full realization of young generations’ rights by promoting and protecting their rights;

Ø  To develop actions that shall be taken by NHRIs by the year 2022.






The following outcomes are expected:

*      The political, socio-economic, cultural and collective rights of the youth across the Commonwealth States are effectively promoted and protected.

*      An independent permanent secretariat is established to ensure continuity of the Forum’s actions towards tremendous achievements of the SDGs in Commonwealth States for the well-being of everyone with the common goal of not leaving none behind. 



ü  Emerging issues that infringe on the realization of young people’s rights are raised and discussed;

ü  NHRIs authorities learn from their fellows good practices on their respective role on how to properly promote and protect young people’s rights;

ü  Effective measures are taken to hold accountable duty bearers on how to handle human rights concerns amongst the youth;

ü  Kigali Resolutions on the promotion and protection of human rights amongst the youth are adopted;

ü  Two (2) year actions are developed for the Commonwealth to ensure that priorities in realization of human rights are taken, especially for the promotion and protection of young people’s rights.




The conference sessions shall entail: presentations, panel and plenary discussions as well as group work sessions.



The conference will take place at Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda from 19 - 20 June 2020.