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APF workshop builds confidence for accreditation

Graphic: Practical activities were an important part of the workshop

Representatives from 11 NHRIs in the Asia Pacific attended a workshop to deepen their understanding of the international accreditation process.

Asia Pacific Forum LogoAsia Pacific Forum

Representatives from 11 national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the Asia Pacific have taken part in practical exercises and listened to expert presentations that helped deepen their understanding of the international accreditation process.

To be effective and independent, NHRIs must be established and operate in accordance with the international standards set out in the Paris Principles.

APF members, along with NHRIs from the other three regions, take part in a regular review process coordinated by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), through its Subcommittee on Accreditation (SCA), to assess their compliance with the Paris Principles.

The three-day workshop – held in Doha, Qatar, from 20-22 January 2020 – explored a number of topics central to the accreditation process, including:

  • Preparing the written application for accreditation (the 'Statement of Compliance')
  • Undertaking the telephone interview with the SCA
  • Responding to SCA reports following the accreditation process.

"Thanks to APF for this workshop. It was so useful because you collected all the materials related to the accreditation and that was like rescuing me. Now I am confident about what I will be doing in the coming few months."

Ola Adawai
Palestine Independent Commission for Human Rights

As part of the workshop activities, participants worked together to prepare a Statement of Compliance for a fictional NHRI and then conducted a mock interview with the SCA.

Ammar Dwaik, Director General of the Palestine Independent Commission for Human Rights, and Mohammed Musa Mahmoodi, former Executive Director of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, shared their insights and experiences of preparing their respective NHRIs for the accreditation process.

In addition, GANHRI Geneva Representative Katharina Rose described the role and working methods of the SCA, as well as the steps involved before, during and after the accreditation review.

APF Legal and Policy Manager Philip Wardle addressed a broad range of technical issues and outlined the APF services and support available to NHRIs seeking accreditation or re-accreditation.

Graphic: Participants talk in a small group

Before I attended this workshop, I didn't know much about the SCA procedure or how to write a statement of compliance but now I have confidence.

National Human Rights Commission of Korea Logo Sungnam Park , National Human Rights Commission of Korea

Accreditation is vital to the work and standing of NHRIs, Mr Wardle said.

"Our goal is to support APF members so they are prepared, confident and can put forward a complete picture of their legislation, their work and the steps they have taken to implement previous recommendations made by the SCA," Mr Wardle said.

"We are very grateful for the excellent organisation and generous support provided by the APF sub-regional office in Qatar."

The workshop was open to APF members scheduled to undertake an accreditation review by March 2021, as well as new NHRIs seeking accreditation.

It was attended by representatives from the NHRIs of Iraq, Kuwait, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Palestine, Qatar, Samoa, Thailand and Uzbekistan.

It is anticipated that the workshop will be held on an annual basis.

Date: 10 February 2019

EU logo

This activity is part of the NHRI.EU capacity project, which aims to strengthen the capacities of NHRIs, individually and collectively, in line with the UN Paris Principles.

Image credits

  1. Practical activities were an important part of the workshop - APF/James Iliffe
  2. Participants talk in a small group - APF/ James Iliffe
  3. EU logo - EU