UN Resolutions on national human rights institutions

Each alternate year, the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council pass a respective resolution reaffirming international support for NHRIs and encouraging all States to establish them.

The resolutions welcome and further encourage the participation of NHRIs across UN mechanisms and processes. They also recognize the important and unique role of NHRIs to monitor, advise, promote and protect human rights at the national level.

The resolutions have expressed concern at increasing reports of cases of reprisals and other acts of intimidation against NHRIs, their members and staff as a result of work carried out according to their mandate. They have called on States to investigate these cases and bring perpetrators to justice.

The General Assembly and the Human Rights Council have also welcomed the important role played by GANHRI and regional networks of NHRIs, as well as encouraged the UN Human Rights Office to continue supporting their activities.

The 2019 NHRI resolution, adopted by General Assembly (GA 74/156) reiterated its call for all States to establish and strengthen independent, effective and pluralist NHRIs, in line with the Paris Principles, including as a means to guarantee and accelerate progress for the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

The establishment of NHRIs in-country and their participation internationally has been continuously supported and further encouraged by the UN Secretary-General in its regular reports on NHRIs[2], as well as in other reports including his SDGs progress reports.

The resolutions are generally adopted with wide, cross-regional co-sponsorship and unanimous support, thereby reflecting broad universal agreement about the importance and value that each State has a strong, effective and Paris Principles-compliant NHRI.

Treaty monitoring bodies have supported these calls, regularly including recommendations to establish or strengthen NHRIs in their concluding observations. Similarly, the Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review also include recommendations for States to establish and strengthen NHRIs in line with the Paris Principles.

2020 resolution

The resolution on NHRIs  presented by Australia to the 45th session of the Human Rights Council in September 2020, inter alia, highlights the role and contributions of NHRIs in addressing the human rights impacts of COVID-19 and response and recovery measures.


[1] General Assembly resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993

[2] Latest report of the Secretary General to the UN General Assembly: https://undocs.org/A/74/226