The NHRI Academy brings together senior- and mid-level staff from National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) across the OSCE area for practical training on how to address particular challenges that NHRIs face in their work. It is an annual flagship event of ENNHRI and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

The NHRI Academy provides tailored and practical training for continuing professional development of staff at NHRIs. The week-long event supports exchange of good practices amongst NHRIs and provides a platform for professional networking between NHRIs, ENNHRI, ODIHR, academia, civil society, Human Rights Defenders and other stakeholders.

NHRI Academy 2023: the rule of law

19-24 June, Skopje, North Macedonia

This year’s NHRI Academy – the event’s tenth edition – focused on the rule of law. With backsliding on the rue of law across Europe, the central role that NHRIs play in upholding is more critical than ever.

At the Academy, participants from 24 NHRIs learnt more about major rule of law challenges and using their institutions’ mandates to address them. Other topics covered were institutional independence – including the Paris Principles – and gender mainstreaming in the work of NHRIs. They looked at how all these issues interrelate with human rights and democracy.

By the end, participants were equipped with a toolkit to tackle these challenges.

Past Editions

NHRI Academy 2022: ‘Artificial intelligence and human rights’

20 June  – 24 June, Tirana, Albania

The 9th edition of the NHRI Academy focused on one of the most important emerging human rights topics: artificial intelligence (AI). NHRI representatives from across Europe gathered in person – for the first time since 2019 – to look at how to go about addressing challenges linked to AI within their mandates.

Over the course of the week, they learnt about how they can:

  • assess the impact of AI on human rights;
  • use the NHRI mandate to tackle human rights issues related to AI;
  • take advantage of opportunities brought by digital technology and AI for more effective promotion and protection of human rights.

Alongside AI-related topics, training was also held on the independence of NHRIs, including mainstreaming the Paris Principles and prioritising gender in the work of NHRIs.

Dates: 11 June – 25 June
Location: Online
NHRIs represented: 20

Over the course of two weeks, representatives from 20 selected European National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) came together for engaging sessions and learnt to work with human rights defenders. Inspiring discussions brought innovative ideas for participants to build their institutional and individual resilience and to better protect fellow human rights defenders. » Read the stories that came out of the 2021 NHRI Academy

NHRI Academy 2021 - screenshot photo

Dates: 29 September – 29 October
Location: Online
NHRIs represented: 20

In 2020, the Academy focused on the use of NHRIs’ promotion mandate when framing migration from a human rights perspective. It analysed NHRIs’ promotion mandate, discussed human rights narrative to migration and included sessions on promoting human rights of migrants to the public and policy makers. » Watch the video lectures from the 2020 NHRI Academy

Dates: 3-7 June 2019
Location: Venice, Italy
NHRIs represented: 26

In 2019, the NHRI Academy centred around strengthening the role of NHRIs in contributing to the implementation of economic and social rights (ESR). Some of the topics covered included: ESR norms, monitoring and evaluation, and communicating ESR.

Group of participants waving at NHRI Academy 2019

Dates: 4 – 8 June 2018
Location: Helsinki, Finland
NHRIs represented: 27

In 2018, the NHRI Academy was focused on the role of NHRIs in legislative reviews and lawmaking and the promotion and protection of the Human Rights Defenders and the democratic space in general.

Participants of NHRI Academy 2018

Dates: 29 May – 2 June 2017
Location: Poznan, Poland
NHRIs represented: 27

In 2017, the NHRI Academy focused on the promotion of human rights in challenging contexts and the role of NHRIs in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Participants of NHRI Academy 2017

Dates: 30 May – 3 June 2016
Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
NHRIs represented: 25

In 2016, the NHRI Academy included a focus on issues related to the independence of NHRIs, effective co-operation with civil society organisations, torture prevention and human rights protection in countering terrorism.

NHRI Academy 2015

Dates: 29 June – 3 July 2015
Location: Warsaw, Poland
NHRIs represented: 25

In 2015, the NHRI Academy strengthened the capacities of participants in a range of areas, including gender mainstreaming, the UN Paris Principles, human rights monitoring and engaging with the Council of Europe.

NHRI Academy 2015

Dates: 23 – 27 June 2014
Location: Budapest, Hungary
NHRIs represented: 30

The first NHRI Academy held in 2014 strengthened the capacities of participants in a range of areas, including: gender mainstreaming, the UN Paris Principles, monitoring of economic and social rights and working with UN mechanisms.

Group of NHRI staff


For more information, contact:

Sophie Hale
Senior Human Rights Officer