3 November 2023
Stakeholders at both national and international levels have introduced a growing number of digital human rights tracking tools and databases (DHRTTDs) designed to facilitate a more holistic approach to human rights monitoring and implementation.
Via its DHRTTDs Directory, the Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP) provides a comprehensive list and description of such key tools and databases. But how to navigate them? Which tool should be used for what, and by whom?
In this interview, Dr Domenico Zipoli, Project Coordinator at the Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP) and Pamela Peralta, former SIMORE Plus Consultant for UNDP and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay help us understand better the specificities of these tools and tells us about the November highlight of the directory: SIMORE Plus.
SIMORE Plus stands for Monitoring System of International Recommendations on Human Rights and Sustainable Development Goals (by its Spanish acronym). It comprises a digital monitoring and reporting tool that facilitates the systematization and tracking of international human rights recommendations made to Paraguay by United Nations (UN) human rights treaty bodies, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), UN Special Procedures and the resolutive points of the judgements adopted by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.
Technical cooperation provided by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Regional Office for South America and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Paraguay allowed the development of this ‘Plus’ version that incorporates the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and links the monitoring of human rights recommendations to the SDGs. This ‘Plus’ version also includes consultation and feedback features for civil society organizations within a dedicated space within the broader digital tool, called CSO Plus.
SIMORE Plus is an open-access tool: its data and content are not limited to government officers or civil society organizations but also made accessible to the public, thus promoting transparency, accountability and collaboration. Registration is however required for both government and civil society representatives in order to provide regular input and more detailed information on progress made vis-à-vis each recommendation.
SIMORE Plus is run by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice of Paraguay but other governments, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), international organizations, and other interested entities can adapt the tool to develop their own versions, with their own separate installation, database and server infrastructure. In that regard, the SIMORE Paraguay Technical Cooperation Programme has provided the SIMORE Plus tool to Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Uruguay and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
SIMORE Plus is currently a stand-alone, all-encompassing tool that takes charge of all the tasks related to the implementation, reporting, and follow-up of international human rights recommendations for the countries listed above.
SIMORE Plus allows to cluster and systematize the recommendations issued by UN human rights mechanisms to facilitate periodic reporting and implementation monitoring through the tool. The inter-institutional work around this tool comprises roundtables on themes, groups or specific SDGs with the designation of focal points (public officers) from each relevant ministries and institutions in charge of human rights monitoring and implementation who are responsible for updating SIMORE Plus. A recommendation can be linked to more than one ministry or institution, as well as to several themes, groups or SDGs to promote an intersectional approach to human rights issues. The upload of recommendations on SIMORE Plus follows an internal consultation process that links recommendations to a regularly updated implementation report, relevant public policies, indicators, yearly statistics, and other relevant information, as well as persistent implementation challenges.
As such, the Paraguayan government and its population can monitor in real time the implementation progress and apply indicators to measure impact. Furthermore, the follow-up at SIMORE Plus provides input to develop action plans. A concrete example of this process is the adoption of the 2015-2030 Institutional Action Plan of the National Secretariat for the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities, based on the recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms.
SIMORE Plus in Paraguay grants public access to the recommendations and their follow-up without a username. Everyone can use the search engine and find the latest recommendations adopted by the United Nations and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.
Each institution of the Paraguayan executive, legislative and judicial branches and all ministries and national institutions with a human rights mandate have a member (the focal points mentioned above) who represents their thematic portfolio within SIMORE Plus.
As mentioned above, the digital tool also has the possibility for civil society organizations to register and use SIMORE Plus to comment on the follow-up of the focal points (CSO Plus).
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UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré