Global Alliance of NHRIs (GANHRI)

ENNHRI is one of four regional networks of NHRIs, which together make up the Global Alliance of NHRIs (GANHRI). Established in 1993, and previously known as the ICC (International Coordinating Committee), GANHRI promotes the role of NHRIs worldwide, providing a forum for its members to interact and exchange, as well as facilitating their engagement with international organisations. Members officially adopted on 22 March 2016 the new name Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).

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UN Headquarters in Geneva. The National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Unit (NIRMS) of the OHCHR acts as GANNHRI Secretariat. ©UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

Regional networks

The Global Alliance supports and represents NHRIs on the global scene, bringing together the members of its four regional networks:

Through its Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA), the organisation also undertakes NHRI accreditation and re-accreditation by evaluating their compliance with the Paris Principles.

Membership

The Global Alliance is formed by all the NHRIs members of the four regional networks. Member NHRIs in full compliance with the Paris Principles (‘A’ status) are entitled to become voting members and to hold governance positions. NHRIs partially in compliance with the Paris Principles (‘B’, ‘C’ and no status) can participate in the meetings but are not entitled to vote or to hold governance positions.

General Meeting

As per its statutes, the General Meeting is the highest power and it is formed by all its members. The General Meeting meets at least once per year to control and review the activities of the alliance and its governance bodies, as well as elect and appoint office holders when needed. As one of the four regional networks, ENNHRI and its members participate in all the General Meetings.

International Conference

Since 1991 an ICC International Conference has been held every second or third year. The ICC Conference alternates between Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Asia Pacific. The conference brings together NHRIs and a variety of other actors such as human rights experts, State representatives, NGOs and UN agencies and branches.

The 12th International Conference of NHRIs took place in Mérida, Yucatàn, Mexico, in October 2015. It was hosted by the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico (CNDH), in cooperation with OHCHR and GANNHRI (then ICC). The Conference adopted the Mérida Declaration on the role of NHRIs in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Governance

Chair

The Chair has a three-year mandate and rotates among the four regional groupings.
The Chair provides the strategic leadership and organisational management of the Global Alliance. In doing so, he/she consults and works in close cooperation with all the regional networks, including ENNHRI.

During the 29th Annual Conference which was held on 22 March 2016 in Geneva, NHRIs elected Professor Beate Rudolf, Director of the German Institute for Human Rights, as the new Chairperson for a three-year term period.

Professor Rudolf succeeds to Adv. Mabedle Lawrence Mushwana, Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission. The meeting also elected Montserrat Solano Carboni, Defensora de los Habitantes de Costa Rica as new Secretary. She succeeds to Professor Alan Miller, former Chairperson of the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

Bureau

The Global Alliance is managed by a Bureau, which consists of four representatives from each of the four regional groupings, including the Chair.

The regional groups are represented by four elected ’A status’ NHRIs from each region. The Bureau membership rotates after three years.

European Members of GANHRI Bureau
ENNHRI is represented on the Bureau for the 2016-2018 period by the following members, elected at the General Assembly meeting in Utrecht on 1 December 2015:

  • Croatia - Office of the Ombudswoman of Croatia
  • Finland - Finnish Human Rights Centre/Finnish NHRI
  • Georgia - Office of Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia
  • Germany - German Institute for Human Rights

The Bureau is assessing the applications for membership, reviews and determines the accreditation status of NHRIs. It also implements decisions of the General Meeting and is responsible for the general management of the organisation, including the development of organisational policies and procedures, the implementation of programs and monitoring financial accounts.

The Bureau collaborates with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in particular the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Unit (NIRMS), to enable the participation of NHRIs in the UN Human Rights Council. The Bureau meets twice a year, in spring and autumn.

Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA)

One of the key functions of the Bureau is to assess the applications for membership, review and determine the accreditation status of NHRIs, following a recommendation from the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA). The SCA meets twice a year to make recommendations to the Bureau on NHRIs’ accreditation status. The SCA comprises one ’A status’ NHRI from each of the four GANHRI regional groupings.

Members of the SCA for the 2013-2016 period are:

  • Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l’Homme of France (for Europe)
  • Commission Nationale des Droits de l’Homme of Mauritania (for Africa)
  • Canadian Human Rights Commission (for the Americas)
  • Independent Commission for Human Rights of the State of Palestine (for Asia and the Pacific)

ENNHRI attends SCA meetings to provide support to its members undergoing the accreditation process.

Representation in Geneva

The members of the Global Alliance meets once a year in Geneva, where the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Unit (NIRMS) of the OHCHR acts as Secretariat. The secretariat provides assistance and expert advice to members on interaction with UN processes and on how best to engage effectively with international human rights instruments.

For more information, see here.