ENNHRI’s 10th anniversary conference:

Advancing human rights, democracy and rule of law at a critical time in Europe: the role of NHRIs and ENNHRI

10 October 2023, Brussels


2023 is a milestone year for the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI): the network turns 10! To mark this, ENNHRI is holding an anniversary conference on 10 October 2023 in Brussels. This is an ideal time to take stock of and celebrate what NHRIs have achieved – individually and collectively – to promote and protect human rights and how the network contributed to this.

Partnerships have been central to the last decade’s accomplishments, which have come in an often difficult environment for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. With heads of NHRIs, regional partners and civil society set to gather, the event is also the perfect moment to reflect on how NHRIs and Europe’s wider human rights community can tackle future challenges. Together.

Event details

Gathering leading figures from Europe’s human rights community, the conference will consider how we can advance human rights, democracy and the rule of law throughout Europe, and the central role of NHRIs and ENNHRI in doing so.

Keynote speeches from Věra Jourová, European Commission Vice-President for Transparency and Values, and Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, will set the scene. Interactive panel discussions will then dive further into the day’s main topics, with an evening reception closing the conference.

The conference venue is the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium (the entrance at Rue Du Musée 11). An ENNHRI General Assembly will take place the day before. 


Leading figures from the world of human rights will deliver keynote speeches at the conference. They include:

PORTRAIT_2023 (1)

Věra Jourová

European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency


Dunja Mijatović

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights




Sirpa Rautio, ENNHRI Chair


Keynotes speeches and moderated discussion with the audience

Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission

Dunja Mijatović, Commissioner for Human Rights Council of Europe



Panel: Bolstering Strong Institutions, Civic Space and Human Rights, in a Context of War and Securitization in Europe

NHRI leaders:

  • Beate Rudolf, Director German Institute for Human Rights
  • Dmytro Lubinets, Commissioner for Human Rights Ukraine, TBC

Regional counterparts:

  • Nils Muižnieks, Director Europe, Amnesty International
  • Rick Lawson, Vice-Chair Management Board, EU Fundamental Rights Agency

Interactive Discussion with the Audience





Addressing emerging human rights challenges, including in the context of digitalization, artificial intelligence and climate change

NHRI leaders:

  • Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission
  • Peter Svetina, Human Rights Ombudsman Slovenia

Regional counterparts:

  • Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders under the Aarhus Convention, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  • Christophe Poirel, Director Human Rights, Council of Europe
  • Francesca Fanucci, Senior Legal Advisor, European Center for Non-Profit Law

Interactive Discussion with the Audience


Concluding remarks

Debbie Kohner, ENNHRI Secretary-General


Celebratory Reception with Speeches

Alan Miller, initial ENNHRI Chair, former Chair of Scottish NHRI

Lora Vidović, second ENNHRI Chair, former Ombudswoman of Croatia