ENNHRI congratulates NHRIs achieving A-status (re-)accreditation
In March 2019, four ENNHRI members were assessed by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) in Geneva on their compliance with the Paris Principles. ENNHRI provided tailored support to all four members before, during and after the accreditation session, which resulted all 4 members being re-accredited with ‘A’ status. ENNHRI congratulates these NHRIs on their great achievement and continues to offer its support to all members on the accreditation process, including the four who will go through the process in October.
National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are periodically accredited before the SCA. ‘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. The accreditation process is essential to the work of NHRIs because it provides evidence that they are credible, independent actors and helps to enhance their work by reflecting and acting upon recommendations made by the SCA.
At the beginning of March, four ENNHRI members were assessed on their compliance with the Paris Principles by the SCA in Geneva. The process resulted in 3 members retaining their ‘A’ status (Armenia, Croatia, France), and one moving from ‘B’ to ‘A’ status (Bulgaria). Accreditation with A-status is a great achievement and demonstrates that an NHRI is in full compliance with the Paris Principles. Furthermore, A-status NHRIs have specific participation rights in international and regional mechanisms, including speaking rights in the UN Human Rights Council and before UN treaty bodies. They also have voting rights and the ability to hold governance positions in NHRI networks, including ENNHRI and GANHRI.
ENNHRI provides specific support and advice to its members on accreditation throughout the process. This support can take various forms, such as support during the accreditation process by email, phone or in person, advice on legislation related to an NHRI’s 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, in collaboration with the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (France’s NHRI), has also produced a Practical Guide to the Accreditation of NHRIs.
ENNHRI also has an Accreditation Support Group which is comprised of ENNHRI members with accreditation expertise from different types of institutions across Europe. It provides peer support to members and 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.
At the next SCA session in October, four more ENNHRI members – NHRIs from Finland, Hungary, Russia and Ukraine – will be assessed on their compliance with the Paris Principles. ENNHRI stands ready to provide support and advice, before, during and after the session.