In accordance with the UN Paris Principles and the GANHRI Statute, the following classifications for accreditation are used by the GANHRI:
A. Fully compliant with the Paris Principles;
B. Partially compliant with the Paris Principles.
The General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, in their resolutions relating to national human rights institutions, encouraged NHRIs to seek accreditation status through GANHRI and noted with satisfaction the strengthening of the accreditation process and the continued assistance of OHCHR in this regard.
Likewise, UN human rights mechanisms including the Universal Periodic Review, treaty bodies and the Special Procedures increasingly refer to the UN Paris Principles and the GANHRI accreditation process, to encourage the establishment and strengthening of fully Paris Principles-compliant NHRIs worldwide.
In line with its key mission to support the establishment and strengthening of NHRIs, GANHRI, through its Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA), reviews and accredits national human rights institutions in compliance with UN Paris Principles.
The GANHRI may also assist those NHRIs under threat, encourage NHRI statutory legislation reforms, and the provision of technical assistance, such as education and training opportunities, to strengthen the status and capacities of NHRIs.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is a permanent observer on the SCA and serves as the secretariat to GANHRI and its SCA.
The GANHRI accreditation system has evolved and been strengthened over the past years, guided by the principles of transparency, rigor and independence.
Measures that the GANHRI adopted improve to the process include:
1. A system by which NHRIs are reviewed on a periodic basis of 5 years;
2. An appeal process for NHRIs to ensure greater transparency and due process;
3. More rigorous review of each application;
4. More focused recommendations; and
5. Wider distribution and greater knowledge of SCA recommendations by NHRIs and other stakeholders, so that they can follow up in-country and contribute to the accreditation process.
Accreditation takes place under the rules of procedure of GANHRI’s Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA).
The SCA is comprised of one ‘A’ status institution from each of the four GANHRI regional groupings: Africa (Conseil national des droits de l’homme of Morocco), Americas (Canadian Human Rights Commission), Asia and the Pacific (Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines), and Europe (Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’homme of France).
Its members are appointed by regional groupings for a renewable term of three years.
The SCA also develops General Observations on interpretative issues regarding the UN Paris Principles. They are intended to constitute guidance for NHRIs on accreditation and on the implementation of the UN Paris Principles. They are also useful for NHRIs to press for the institutional changes necessary to fully comply with the UN Paris Principles.
Accreditation confers international recognition, and protection, of the NHRI and its compliance with the UN Paris Principles. A status accreditation also grants participation in the work and decision-making of GANHRI, as well as the work of the Human Rights Council and other UN mechanisms.
Categories of accreditation
As of November 2019, 123 NHRIs were accredited by GANHRI:
1. (A status) - 80 being in full compliance with the UN Paris Principles
2. (B status) – 33 not being fully in compliance with the UN Paris Principles