Strong and independent National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) play a key role in realising human rights at the national level. While most European countries have established NHRIs, some have not yet done so. We support different actors, such as national authorities and civil society organisations, to establish NHRIs in compliance with the UN Paris Principles.

The role of NHRIs in promoting and protecting human rights has been recognised by different bodies at the UN, Council of Europe and EU levels. In fact, the UN identifies the existence of independent, Paris Principles-compliant NHRIs as one of the indicators of peaceful and inclusive societies (Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals).

The Council of Europe Comittee of Ministers’ Recommendation on NHRIs also includes a recommendation for governments to take all necessary measures to establish and, when established, maintain and strengthen an independent NHRI in accordance with the Paris Principles.

ENNHRI supports the establishment of NHRIs in Europe by:

  • Raising awareness of governments, parliaments and civil society on the role, function and value of NHRIs
  • Providing advice to states when establishing an NHRI to do so in compliance with the UN Paris Principles, and providing guidance on models that can fit the national context
  • Liaising with regional and international bodies, such as the Council of Europe and the EU, to encourage and advise states to establish an NHRI in compliance with the UN Paris Principles

We provide support through our Secretariat and our Expert Group on NHRI Standards. This pool of experts, drawn from across the ENNHRI membership, represents a variety of NHRI models.


To request support for the establishment of NHRIs, contact the ENNHRI Secretariat:

Klara Paro
Human Rights Officer