NHRI Accreditation

What is accreditation?

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are periodically accredited before the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI). “Accreditation” means that NHRIs are evaluated with reference to the Paris Principles, which are the international standards for NHRIs to effectively protect and promote human rights in an independent manner.

NHRIs are accredited with one of the following statuses:

  • A status – Fully compliant with Paris Principles
  • B status – Partly compliant with Paris Principles
  • No status – Not compliant with Paris Principles

Why is it important?

The accreditation process is essential to the work of NHRIs because it:

  • Provides evidence of an NHRI’s trustworthiness as a credible and independent actor
  • Allows NHRIs to enhance their work by reflecting and acting upon recommendations from the SCA
  • Assists NHRIs in applying the Paris Principles in their national contexts, ultimately helping ensure their independence, pluralism, effectiveness and accountability

NHRIs with A status have specific participation rights in international and regional mechanisms, including:

  • Speaking rights in the UN Human Rights Council and before UN treaty bodies
  • Being valued as interlocutors for European mechanisms, such as the OSCE, Council of Europe and European Union institutions and agencies
  • Voting rights and ability to hold governance positions in NHRI networks, such as ENNHRI and GANHRI

What is the accreditation process?

There following is the process for accreditation:

STEP 1

  • If without status or with B status: NHRI submits letter to SCA Secretariat asking for accreditation, and upon invitation by the SCA Secretariat, NHRI submits documentation.
  • If with A status: NHRI is invited by SCA Secretariat to submit documentation for periodic review (every 5 years).

STEP 2

  • SCA Secretariat summarises information received from NHRI and shares the summary and information received from third parties with NHRI under review for response.

STEP 3

  • SCA meets to review the NHRI application and organises a teleconference with the NHRI under review to ask clarification on any outstanding issues.

STEP 4

  • SCA recommendations are shared with the applicant NHRI. The NHRI has 28 days to challenge the report of the SCA.

STEP 5

  • The GANHRI Bureau decides on the accreditation status and the SCA report is made public.

STEP 6

  • NHRI acts to address the SCA recommendations.

The following key actors are involved:

  • GANHRI’s Subcommittee on Accreditation (SCA): Peer review on accreditation conducted by the SCA, comprised of one A-status institution from each of the GANNHRI regional groupings (Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe).
  • SCA Secretariat: Sends information about the SCA to NHRIs under review before, during and after accreditation. UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights serves as the Secretariat.
  • GANHRI and regional representatives: One representative from GANHRI and each regional network assist the SCA in understanding UN and regional contexts and clarify procedural matters. Do not take part in decision-making.
  • Third parties (e.g. civil society organisations): Provide information to SCA such as its views on the NHRI’s compliance with Paris Principles.

For more detail and guidance, see:

How can ENNHRI help?

Accreditation support for European NHRIs is one of the core objectives of ENNHRI. Members are supported in a number of ways, such as: support during the accreditation process; advice on legislation related to NHRI establishment and mandates; input to the SCA on the regional human rights context in Europe; and assistance during a member’s follow-up on SCA recommendations.

ENNHRI’s Accreditation Support Group (ASG) gathers ENNHRI members with accreditation expertise from different types of institutions across Europe, including members of the SCA. It provides peer support in order to:

  • Promote the Paris Principles, the SCA General Observations and SCA rules of procedure to ENNHRI members
  • Promote good practice on the various stages of the accreditation process
  • Act as a point of contact for peer exchange on accreditation for ENNHRI members and the establishment of new NHRIs in compliance with the Paris Principles
  • Facilitate input from ENNHRI members on the SCA accreditation process

The ASG is supported by the ENNHRI Secretariat, which coordinates its activities, collects relevant information and technical advice on accreditation and NHRI establishment, and provides liaison with the SCA.

Current members of the ASG (2018):

CountryNHRIMembers
Bosnia and Herzegovina Ombudsmen of Bosnia and Herzegovina Jasminka Džumhur
Croatia Office of the Ombudswoman of the Republic of Croatia Lora Vidović
Milena Gogic
Tatjana Vlasic
Finland Finnish Human Rights Centre Sirpa Rautio
Kristiina Kouros
Elina Hakala
France Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l’Homme Magali Lafourcade (SCA Chair)
Germany German Institute for Human Rights Beate Rudolf
Jan Arend
Greece Greek National Commission for Human Rights Maria Gavouneli
Ireland Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Emily Logan
Muireann Ní Thuairisg
Lithuania The Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office Vytautas Valentinavicius
Luxembourg Commission Consultative des Droits de l’Homme du Grand Duché de Luxembourg Gilbert Pregno
Fabienne Rossler
Netherlands Netherlands Institute for Human Rights Adriana Van Dooijeweert (SCA Alternate Member)
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission Les Allamby
Norway Norwegian National Human Rights Institution Petter Wille

To request support from ENNHRI, or if you are interested in becoming a member of the ASG, contact the ENNHRI Secretariat: