NHRI.EU – Strong NHRIs Project

Respect for human rights is the foundation of fair and inclusive communities, in which everyone, regardless of their background, can live freely and in safety. 

National human rights institutions (NHRIs) make a vital contribution to their communities by promoting and protecting basic rights and freedoms, especially for those most vulnerable to discrimination and abuse. 

However, challenges to human rights are growing in all regions: war and conflict, shrinking civic space, erosion of the rule of law and climate change, among others. 

When human rights are threatened or rolled back, communities suffer. And the role of independent NHRIs becomes more urgent. 

The Strong NHRIs project will support and equip NHRIs, as well as their global and regional networks, to respond to these challenges and promote and protect the rights of all people. 

Building capacity 

The Strong NHRIs project will build the capacity of NHRIs in four key areas. 

Human rights defenders and civic space

Strengthen NHRIs to promote and protect human rights defenders and civic space, in line with the 2018 Marrakech Declaration, and defend NHRIs when they face threats and reprisals.


Strengthen the Sub-Committee on Accreditation and promote the establishment, strengthening and accreditation of NHRIs in compliance with the Paris Principles 

Human rights priorities

Support and enhance the effectiveness of NHRIs to bring about change in priority areas, such as climate change, prevention of torture and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

NHRI networks

Continue to strengthen GANHRI and the four regional networks – in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe – to better serve and support member NHRIs. 

Engaging and equipping NHRIs 

Throughout the project, NHRIs will have access to a wide range of support and training to deepen their knowledge and expertise. 

We will regularly bring NHRIs together to share experiences and learn from each other.  

We will publish tools and resources, drawing on good practices and insights of NHRIs and partner organisations. 

We will amplify the voice of or members and inform the global human rights agenda by sharing NHRI insights on priority human rights. 



The Strong NHRIs project is led by GANHRI and implemented in partnership with the four regional networks:  

The project will run from 2022-2025 and is funded by the European Union. It builds on learning and developments from previous phases of the NHRI-EU capacity building project (Phase 1: 2016-2018 and Phase 2: 2019-2021). 


The Strong NHRIs project (NHRI-EU Phase 3) is funded by the European Union.  


NHRIs to redouble efforts on business and human rights

National human rights institutions (NHRIs) from across the globe will redouble their efforts to promote and protect human rights in relation to the activities of business, with a particular focus on pressing issues such as climate change and threats to online civic space.
More than 80 NHRIs participating at the GANHRI Annual Conference adopted the Outcome Statement on Business and Human Rights: the Role and Experiences of NHRIs.

NHRIs to strengthen cooperation in the face of mounting threats

With human rights, peace and security facing mounting threats across the globe, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) from all regions will gather in Geneva to discuss areas for collaboration and strategies to prevent and address violations.

More than 200 representatives from NHRIs, UN agencies, States and civil society will take part in the GANHRI Annual Meeting and Conference, to be held from 6-8 May 2024.

New NHRI accreditation database now available

The NHRI Accreditation Database features recommendations developed by the GANHRI Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) since 2017, which seek to support and strengthen NHRIs to operate in compliance with the Paris Principles 
The recommendations are organised against the requirements set out in the Paris Principles and the General Observations, providing NHRIs with valuable insights into the criteria and steps that can be taken to promote their independence, effectiveness and credibility. 

Ireland: Placing community voices at the heart of policymaking 

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has an incredibly diverse range of human rights mandates. Central to the Commission’s efforts to effect lasting change is ensuring that policymaking at all levels reflects and responds to the lived experiences of people at risk of human rights violations. Former Chief Commissioner Sinéad Gibney discussed the Commission’s priorities and principles at the 14th International Conference of NHRIs. 

Preventing torture: How NHRIs can be powerful agents of change

National human rights institutions (NHRIs), including those designated as National Prevention Mechanisms (NPMs), can be powerful actors to prevent torture and ill-treatment, as well as safeguard the rights of those who face heightened risks when deprived of liberty. Barbara Bernath, Secretary General of the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), speaking at the 14th International Conference of NHRIs, describes some of the practical ways that NHRIs can use their unique mandate to drive change at the national level.   

Sierra Leone: The power of public inquiries to drive change on torture 

While prohibited under the nation’s constitution, there is no law in Sierra Leone that makes torture a specific and punishable crime. In recent years, many individuals have come to the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) to lodge complaints of torture and ill-treatment at the hands of police and military officials. As Vice Chairperson Victor Idrissa Lansana talled about their work at the 14th International Conference of NHRIs.

As COP 28 opens in Dubai, NHRIs urge State Parties to place human rights at the center of actions to counter global climate crisis

GANHRI released an open letter urging leaders to take decisive, human rights-centred decisions and action to counter the “unparalleled human rights repercussions of climate change”.

NHRIs adopt global plan to prevent and address torture and other ill-treatment

More than 85 NHRIs participating in the 14th International Conference of National Human Rights Institutions, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 6-8 November 2023, have unanimously adopted the Kyiv-Copenhagen Declaration.

NHRIs gather in Copenhagen to set global plan to counter torture

More than 300 participants will take part in the three-day event to counter the growing incidence of torture and ill-treatment in countries across all regions. 

As States meet for SDG summit, GANHRI urges governments to renew their commitment to human rights-based action for the 2030 Agenda

The GANHRI Declaration highlights the unique role of NHRIs across the globe to promote a human rights-based and people-centred implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
We invite all States to renew their commitment to the realisation of human rights, peace and sustainable development for all.

GANHRI and UN partners meet to support national human rights institutions 

The Annual Review Meeting of the GANHRI-OHCHR-UNDP TriPartite Partnership (TPP), to be held in New York on 24-25 May 2023, will involve representatives of the four regional NHRI networks (NANHRI; RINDHCA; APF; ENNHRI). The high level delegation will be led by GANHRI Secretary Amina Bouayach, President of Morocco’s Conseil National des Droits de l’Homme.

At global meeting, national human rights institutions approve new strategic plan, expressing concern at pushbacks for universal human rights

The GANHRI Annual Meeting, held on 14-16 March 2023, provided a platform for NHRI members to exchange and learn from each other, reviewing our work and deciding collectively on next steps moving forward.