13 Dec 2021

Outcomes announced from the latest session of the Sub-Committee on Accreditation

In October 2021, the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) assessed two ENNHRI members on their compliance with the UN Paris Principles. ENNHRI congratulates the Serbian NHRI on its re-accreditation with A-status, and offers support to the Northern Ireland NHRI following the deferral of its review to 2022.

From 18 to 29 October 2021, the SCA held its third virtual session. Two ENNHRI members – the Serbian Protector of Citizens and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission -were included for re-accreditation review.

The Serbian NHRI was re-accredited with A-status. The SCA welcomed its efforts to address the recommendations made in December 2020 when the SCA decided to defer its re-accreditation. They included recommendations on selection and appointment, addressing human rights violations, cooperation with civil society, and adequate funding.

The re-accreditation of the Northern Irish NHRI was deferred to the second SCA session of 2022. The SCA expressed grave concerns regarding the current financial environment in which the NIHRC operates, as well as impacts this could have in the future. The SCA evaluates the situation as being “very serious and time sensitive, and strongly recommends that an improved and sustainable position is reached within this deferral period.”

ENNHRI provided tailored support to both members before and during the session, and stands ready to assist them and national authorities in their follow-up to the SCA recommendations.

In March 2022, five more ENNHRI members – NHRIs from Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and Hungary – are scheduled to be assessed on their compliance with the UN Paris Principles. ENNHRI stands ready to support them during the accreditation process.

For full details on the October 2021 SCA session’s outcomes and recommendations for NHRIs, click here.

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.