Information for NHRIs

About the accreditation process

The accreditation process assesses an NHRI’s compliance with the Paris Principles in law and practice.

Among other things, the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) will consider whether:

  • the mandate of the NHRI is sufficiently broad, empowering it to promote and protect human rights
  • the provisions of the NHRI’s enabling law are sufficient to allow the institution to function effectively and independently
  • the composition of the NHRI reflects the diversity and pluralism of the society in which it operates
  • the selection and appointment process for members of the NHRI’s decision-making body is clear, transparent and participatory
  • the NHRI has an appropriate level of funding to guarantee its independence and its ability to freely determine its priorities and activities
  • the NHRI demonstrates independence in practice and a willingness to address pressing human rights issues.

The SCA convenes two sessions per year, in March and in October. All upcoming sessions are available here.

Applications for accreditation

The SCA Secretariat will write to an NHRI that has requested to be accredited or is scheduled for re-accreditation to invite them to provide their application. All NHRIs must wait for this invitation to be received prior to submitting information to the Secretariat.

In the interests of consistency, the SCA has developed fixed deadlines for notification and for the submission of information to the Secretariat. These will be communicated to the NHRI when it is invited to submit its application.

The core component of an accreditation application is the Statement of Compliance, which describes the NHRI’s compliance with the Paris Principles. NHRIs applying for accreditation or re-accreditation must complete the Statement of Compliance in full. A template is available here.

In addition to the Statement of Compliance, an NHRI applying for accreditation or re-accreditation must submit:

  • A copy of its legislation or other instrument by which it is established in its official or published format
  • An outline of its organisational structure
  • A copy of its annual budget
  • A copy of its most recent annual report or equivalent document in its official or published format.

These documents must be submitted in all cases.

Key documents, including the Statement of Compliance and the NHRI’s enabling legislation, must be submitted in English, French or Spanish. An NHRI should also provide all additional information relevant to their application, including materials to support the points made in the Statement of Compliance.

A re-accreditation application should focus on developments since the NHRI’s last accreditation, including, for example:

  • Amendments to its enabling legislation
  • Changes to its structure or methods of operation
  • Expansion of its mandate, duties or powers.

All NHRIs are expected to take the necessary steps to pursue continuous efforts at improvement and to their enhance effectiveness and independence, in line with the Paris Principles and recommendations made previously by the SCA.

Documents for reference