A world where everyone everywhere fully enjoys their human rights.

Our vision

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) have been recognized at the international level as actors for the promotion and protection of human rights since 1946. Throughout the next three decades the United Nations and some of its affiliated organizations prepared a series of reports on the feasibility of national institutions as instruments for protection and promotion of human rights. These reports culminated in the UN International Workshop on National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, held in Paris in 1991.

The workshop led to the drafting of guiding principles – popularly known as the “Paris Principles” – that were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993. NHRIs met in Tunis for their second international workshop and established the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI). Since then, the UN General Assembly has adopted numerous resolutions calling for the strengthening of NHRIs and Ombudsmen Offices.

At an international workshop held in Tunis, Tunisia on 13 December 1993, a group of NHRIs set the foundation for the global network of national human rights institutions, known today as the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.


In 1946, the Economic and Social Council considered the issue of national institutions, two years before the Universal Declaration of Human (UDHR) Rights became the “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”. Member states were invited to consider establishing information groups or local human rights committees.


In 1978, the Commission on Human Rights organised a seminar which resulted in draft guidelines for the structure and functioning of institutions. The Commission on Human Rights and the General Assembly subsequently endorsed the guidelines. The General Assembly invited States to take appropriate steps to establish these institutions, where they did not already exist, and requested the Secretary-General to submit a detailed report on NHRIs.


In 1991, the first international workshop on National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights took place in Paris. A key outcome was the Paris Principles relating to the status of national institutions.


Since the Vienna World Conference in 1993, the Paris Principles are now broadly accepted as the test of an institution’s legitimacy and credibility. The importance of establishing and strengthening independent pluralistic NHRIs consistent with the Paris Principles has since been reaffirmed by the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council in various resolutions.


Today, GANHRI brings together over 110 NHRIs from all regions of the globe in order to provide leadership and support in the promotion and protection of human rights.