Partners for Good: Marking 30 years of strong NHRIs
National human rights institutions (NHRIs) are the cornerstone of strong and inclusive communities. With a powerful legal mandate, they work to promote and protect fundamental rights and freedoms, especially for those most vulnerable to discrimination and abuse.
NHRIs draw their strength from the Principles relating to the status of national institutions.
The Paris Principles, as they came to be known, set out the roles, responsibilities and minimum standards for NHRIs to be considered independent and effective.
2023 marked the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Principles by the international community, endorsed by the General Assembly in 1993.
In the same year, GANHRI was established with a mission to establish, support, strengthen and be a voice for NHRIs around the world. We began with just 12 members and have grown ten-fold over the past 30 years.
2023 also marked the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Adopted in 1948 in the aftermath of World War 2, the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration underpin the work of NHRIs in all regions of the world.
On the occasion of this anniversary, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has launched the United Nations Human Rights 75 Initiative, a key aim of which is to generate pledges by State institutions, local and regional authorities, regional organizations, national human rights institutions, civil society organisations, and others to bring about concrete change towards greater enjoyment of human rights for all.Learn more
NHRIs: Partners for Good
The Paris Principles provide the framework to support the work of NHRIs and their vision of building a world where all people can enjoy freedom, safety and respect.
A key pillar of the Paris Principles is that NHRIs should work in partnership with others to respect, protect and fulfil the promise of human rights.
NHRIs support States to uphold their human rights commitments
The Paris Principles require NHRIs to provide advice to States on the human rights impact of domestic laws, policies and practices. This advice helps States meet their responsibilities under international law.
NHRIs build constructive and strategic partnerships to tackle urgent human rights issues
The Paris Principles call on NHRIs to work cooperatively and engage with a broad range of groups, including State institutions and civil society organisations. Many NHRIs also engage with business, international organisations, academia and others. These partnerships can include collaboration in human rights education, research, assistance in investigations, and joint advocacy to reform laws, policy and practices.
NHRIs promote transparency, accountability and sustainable development
Paris Principles-compliant institutions play a key role to promote transparency and accountability on behalf of those in situations of vulnerability, including those deprived of liberty (OPCAT, art. 18) and persons with disabilities (CRPD, art. 33). NHRIs also help States ensure that human rights are embedded in national approaches to realising the Sustainable Development Goals.
NHRIs are trusted partners of the international community
NHRIs are trusted partners of the international human rights system, speaking with credibility at the UN Human Rights Council, some General Assembly bodies and a growing number of UN forums. They also contribute to the Universal Periodic Review and the work of UN human rights treaty bodies and the special procedures.
A united voice
Through GANHRI, NHRIs speak with a powerful and united voice on pressing human rights issues – including climate change, migration and human rights defenders – and advocate for positive change at the national, regional and international levels.