This volume reflects the findings of a conference organized in preparation of setting up a national human rights commission and ombudsman institution in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The meeting assembled experts in the field of the protection and promotion of human rights, and of the problems of countries in transition from a non-democratic system, characterized by gross violations of human rights, towards a democratic system based on the rule of law and respect for human rights. The book analyses the functioning of national human rights commissions and ombudsman institutions in 23 different countries, by means of country report written in the main by members of these institutions themselves and containing an assessment of their experience. Many offer relevant constitutional and legislative provisions as well. This volume thus forms a unique collection of materials dealing with national human rights commissions and ombudsman offices.