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Demystifying the international accreditation process

Graphic: Palais de Nations, Geneva

APF members will draw on the insights of experts and their peers at a workshop exploring the key elements of the international accreditation process.

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APF members will have the opportunity to draw on the insights and experiences of experts and their peers at a workshop that will examine all the key elements of the international accreditation process for national human rights institutions (NHRIs).

Accreditation is vital to the work and standing of NHRIs, said APF Legal and Policy Manager Philip Wardle.

"An NHRI's accreditation outcome determines whether it can independently participate in the work of the UN Human Rights Council," Mr Wardle said.

"It can also strengthen the credibility of the NHRI with its government, civil society organisations and other partners," he said.

NHRIs take part in discussions at a GANHRI meeting

To be effective and independent, NHRIs must 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, to assess their compliance with the Paris Principles, on paper and in practice.

The three-day workshop – to be held in Doha, Qatar, in January 2020 – aims to equip APF members with the information and skills they need to engage confidently with GANHRI and its Subcommittee on Accreditation (SCA).

"We want to make sure APF members are as prepared as possible 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.

Panel discussions, simulations and other practical activities will explore four principal topics:

  • Understanding the accreditation process, from start to finish
  • Preparing a Statement of Compliance and accompanying documentation
  • Undertaking the telephone interview with SCA members
  • Responding to SCA reports following the accreditation process.

Representatives of APF member institutions that have recently completed the accreditation review process – including the NHRIs of Afghanistan, Palestine and Sri Lanka – will lead a number of workshop sessions.

A representative from GANHRI will also be part of the workshop facilitation team.

The workshop will be open to APF members that are scheduled to undertake an accreditation review in 2020. Two representatives from each NHRI will be invited to attend the workshop.

It is anticipated that this pilot workshop, which is being supported by the APF sub-regional office in Qatar, will be held on an annual basis.

More information on the international accreditation process is available on the APF website.

Date: 22 November 2019

Graphic: Meeting of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions

Practical Guide to the Sub-Committee on Accreditation

GANHRI publication (2018) describes the work of the SCA to review and accredit NHRIs in relation to their compliance with the Paris Principles

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. Palais de Nations, Geneva - APF/James Iliffe
  2. NHRIs take part in discussions at a GANHRI meeting - APF/James Iliffe
  3. EU logo - EU