Global NHRI movement marks milestone anniversary
Graphic: Participants at the 2017 GANHRI meeting
The international standards that underpin strong and independent NHRIs – the Paris Principles – will mark their 25th anniversary on 10 December.
The international standards that underpin strong and independent national human rights institutions – the Paris Principles– will mark their 25th anniversary on 10 December.
Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1993, the Paris Principles remain a foundational document for NHRIs.
"They set out what NHRIs need in order to be independent from government and to be strong and effective human rights defenders," said Kieren Fitzpatrick, Director of the APF secretariat.
"Importantly, they are grounded in real world experience, which is why they continue to be a cornerstone for NHRIs here in Asia Pacific and across the globe."
What are the Paris Principles and why are they important?
In this video, APF members and international experts discuss the international standards that NHRIs must meet in order to be independent, credible and effective.
Meeting in Paris in 1991, representatives from existing NHRIs worked together to define the minimum standards that NHRIs must meet to be credible and effective. They include:
- A clearly defined and broad-based mandate based on universal human rights standards
- Autonomy from government
- Independence guaranteed by legislation or the constitution
- Pluralism, including membership that broadly reflects their society
- Adequate resources
- Adequate powers of investigation.
Today, the Paris Principles serve as the benchmark against which NHRIs are accredited by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.
"We know the difference that strong NHRIs can make in people's lives, especially people who are poor, marginalised or vulnerable to human rights violations," said Mr Fitzpatrick.
"That's why we encourage governments in the Asia Pacific to draft legislation and establish NHRIs that comply with the Paris Principles," he said.
"We also provide support to our members so they can continue to meet the Paris Principles and be as effective as possible."
In addition to the 25th anniversary of the Paris Principles, 10 December 2018 will also mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Date: 15 November 2018
- Participants at the 2017 GANHRI meeting - GANHRI