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Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2017

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Edited By Centro di Ateneo per i Diritti Umani

The Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2017 offers an up-to-date overview of the measures Italy has taken to adapt its legislation and policies to international human rights law and to comply with commitments voluntarily assumed by the Italian Government at the international level on the subject of fundamental rights. The 2017 Yearbook surveys the most significant activities of national and local Italian actors at domestic and international level, including civil society organisations and universities. It also dedicates space to recommendations made by international monitoring bodies within the framework of the United Nations, OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the European Union. Finally, the Yearbook provides a selection of international and national case-law that casts light on Italy's position vis-à-vis internationally recognised human rights.

"Italy and Human Rights in 2016: the "Long March" towards Establishing Independent National Human Rights Institutions and the Ambiguous Addition of the Crime of Torture to the Italian Criminal Code" is the title of the 2017 Yearbook introduction.

The Italian Agenda of Human Rights 2017 represents an updated orientation tool with regards the main initiatives to be undertaken on the legislative, infrastructural and policy-making fronts in order to strengthen the Italian system for promoting and protecting human rights.

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Italy and Human Rights in 2016: the “Long March” towards Establishing Independent National Human Rights Institutions and the Ambiguous Addition of the Crime of Torture to the Italian Criminal Code

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It was our Director, prof. Antonio Papisca, who chose the main theme for the Introduction to the 2017 edition of the Yearbook. This was just a few days before his sudden decease. During the latest meeting of the research and editorial committee, he had suggested focusing once again on the urgency of establishing national human rights institutions in Italy, specifically the independent National Human Rights Commission and the National Ombudsperson, in line with the Paris Principles, which were adopted by United Nations General Assembly resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993.

The “Long March” – so far unsuccessful – towards creating an independent human rights institution had already set off in Italy back in the 1980s and grew in strength in the early 1990s. In those years, the pioneering initiatives of certain Regions, which had already established an Ombudsperson in earlier decades, were supported by a number of regional councils and found vital confirmation in innovative national laws on devolution and administrative procedures. The idea of moulding the mainly administrative profile of regional, municipal and provincial Ombudsmen’s offices into independent, autonomous and authoritative human rights institutions proved the cornerstone for bringing the real effectiveness of human rights to the top of the agenda. A network of people and institutions, with a mandate solidly grounded in domestic and local legislation, yet closely tied to international human rights law, was to work alongside governments and other political institutions and civil society organisations to ensure that human rights remained a central focus...

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