Human Rights Ombudsman: An Overview

AuthorNajmul Abedin
DOI10.1177/0019556120150105
Date01 January 2015
Publication Date01 January 2015
SubjectArticle
HUMAN RIGHTS OMBUDSMAN: AN OVERVIEW
NAJMUL ABED
IN
Emergence
of
new nations since the
end
of
World
War
II,
and
also the collapse
of
communism in Central
and
Eastern Europe
in the late 1980s and early 1990s enormously contributed to
the increasing awareness
of
the importance
and
significance
of
democracy
and
human rights both
of
which
are,
in fact,
intertwined
and
complimentary
or
supplementary to each
other. Even
in
some developed democracies certain issues,
for
example, civil rights movement in the
USA
had
stressed
or
raised
the human rights issue especially in the 1950s
and
60s.
Jn
both
developed
and
developing countries there are also increasing
concerns about legitimate rights
of
vulnerable people such as
minorities, children, handicapped, elderly, underdogs
and
the
like. A number
of
international organisations, e.g., the
UN,
have
also forcefully pursued the cause
of
human rights. Increasing
concern
and
demand
for
advancement
and
protection
of
human rights have emerged as a vigourous socio-political
movement almost all over the world.
As
a result, various steps
have been taken
and
a number
of
agencies
or
institutions have
been established
to
promote
and
protect human rights one
of
which has been the establishment
of
the office
of
Human
Rights Ombudsman. The purpose
of
this article is
to
examine
analytically the emergence, salient features, modus operandi,
problems, issues
and
types
of
Human Rights Ombudsman in
various parts
of
the world. In a nutshell, it looks
at
the role
that this institution plays in managing human rights issues.
BACKDROP
FOR
A better understanding
of
the origin, characteristics,
and
modus
operandi
of
Human Rights Ombudsman, it is rather imperative to briefly look
at such features
of
the Original/Classical/ Legislative Ombudsman which is
also referred to as "real ombudsman."' The ombudsman institution has its
roots deep in the past. In 1713 the Swedish king appointed an ombudsman-
like official, called Chancellor
of
Justice, to look into complaints against

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