ENNHRI congratulates NHRIs achieving A-status (re-)accreditation
In June 2021, five ENNHRI members were assessed by the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) on their compliance with the UN Paris Principles. With ENNHRI’s support, three members – the NHRIs in Ireland, Russia and Scotland – were re-accredited with A-status. ENNHRI congratulates them on their achievements, and offers its support to the NHRIs of Cyprus and Hungary, whose applications will be reviewed again in 2022.
From 14 to 24 June 2021, GANHRI’s Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) held its second virtual session since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Five ENNHRI members – the Cypriot Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights, the Hungarian Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, the Russian Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Scottish Human Rights Commission – underwent the (re-)accreditation process to assess their compliance with the UN Paris Principles.
A-status re-accreditation has been confirmed for the NHRIs from Ireland, Russia, and Scotland. The re-accreditation of the Cypriot NHRI has been deferred until the second SCA session of 2022, meaning it retains its B-status for now. Regarding the Hungarian NHRI, the SCA issued a recommendation to downgrade it from A- to B-status. In accordance with the GANHRI statute, the NHRI keeps its A-status for the time being. It will have another opportunity to provide evidence of its conformity with the UN Paris Principles at the SCA session in March 2022.
More information on accreditation
A-status accreditation shows that an NHRI is in full compliance with the UN Paris Principles. This means that it operates independently and with expertise, impartiality and accountability on a wide range of issues. Furthermore, A-status NHRIs have specific participation rights in international and regional mechanisms. For instance, they have speaking rights in the UN Human Rights Council and before some UN Treaty Bodies.
In Europe, A-status NHRIs are valued interlocutors for regional mechanisms, such as the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the European Union’s institutions and agencies. They also have voting rights and the ability to hold governance positions in NHRI networks, including ENNHRI and GANHRI.
ENNHRI supports its members with the accreditation process in various ways, including advising on legislation related to an NHRI’s establishment and mandates, inputting to the SCA on the regional human rights context in Europe, and assisting members with their follow-up to SCA recommendations. In collaboration with the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (France’s NHRI), ENNHRI has also produced a Practical Guide to the Accreditation of NHRIs.
ENNHRI also has an Accreditation Support Group that comprises ENNHRI members with accreditation expertise from different types of institutions across Europe. It provides peer support and is supported by the ENNHRI Secretariat, which coordinates its activities, collects relevant information and technical advice on accreditation and NHRI establishment, and liaises with the SCA on behalf of NHRIs.