30 Nov 2020

10 reasons to engage with NHRIs on human rights and democracy

ENNHRI, in collaboration with other regional and global networks of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), has launched a guide for EU external action on ’10 reasons to engage with NHRIs on human rights and democracy’.  

NHRIs are state-mandated bodies, independent of government, with a broad constitutional or legal mandate to promote and protect human rights at the national level. They are accredited with an internationally accepted quality label on the basis of their compliance with the UN Paris Principles, which are standards for independence, pluralism and effectiveness. 

It has been recognised that the EU should establish stronger and more structured cooperation with NHRIs from third countries. Given the unique characteristics of NHRIs, this document sets out 10 key reasons and associated advice for engaging with them, and thus progressing actions for human rights and democracy. 

These include: 

  1. NHRIs have a broad human rights mandate
  2. All NHRIs monitor the national implementation of human rights standards 
  3. NHRIs both protect and promote human rights 
  4. NHRIs cooperate with both state actors and civil society 
  5. NHRIs are human rights defenders and can come under threat 
  6. NHRIs participate in international and regional mechanisms 
  7. Each NHRI is mandated by the national constitution or primary law 
  8. NHRIs are reviewed periodically to test their independence 
  9. No NHRI? Each state should have an A-status NHRI by 2030 
  10. NHRIs cooperate with each other all over the world 

The guide also includes a checklist for EU Delegations for their engagement with NHRIs.