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One of the more promising developments in global efforts to uphold human rights over the past decade has been the growing role of national human rights institutions. A role for national institutions was foreseen by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as early as 1946 and since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 the Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations Secretariat have sought to promote the role of such institutions. This volume offers a wealth of information on the protection functions of existing national human rights institutions in a wide selection of countries, drawn from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and Oceania. These essays together make clear the genuine striving by national human rights commissions to act for the protection of human rights in the countries they serve, and the variety of protection models that can and are being adopted, both in developed and developing countries.