Assisting members with international accreditation
Graphic: Woman walking past flags at UN in Geneva
To be effective and independent, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) need to operate in accordance with the international standards set out in the Paris Principles.
APF member institutions, along with NHRIs from around the globe, take part in a regular review process by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI; formerly known as the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights) to assess their compliance with the Paris Principles, both on paper and in practice.
A national human rights institution is reviewed by the GANHRI Sub-Committee on Accreditation when:
- it applies for initial accreditation
- it applies for re-accreditation every five years
- the circumstances of the NHRI change in any way that may affect its compliance with the Paris Principles.
The accreditation process is a peer-based review, undertaken by representatives of NHRIs from each of the four regions: Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.
Accreditation outcomes are used to determine GANHRI and APF membership status, as well as whether a NHRI can independently participate in the work of the UN Human Rights Council. Accreditation can also confirm or strengthen the credibility of the NHRI.
Read more about the international accreditation process for NHRIs.
The APF can provide support, as requested, to our members before, during and after the accreditation process.
Before accreditation: By reviewing a completed application; identifying supplementary information that may be included in the accreditation application; or providing advice on issues raised in the summary document prepared by the OHCHR and discussing possible responses.
During accreditation: By providing advice on how the meeting will proceed and what to expect; or providing advice to the Sub-Committee on Accreditation on regional or national circumstances.
After accreditation: By providing advice on how to respond to issues of concern raised by GANHRI, either through changes to law or administrative action; providing advice on how to document changes that have been implemented; providing training or capacity building programs for the NHRI; or undertaking field missions to support the NHRI.
National human rights can be accredited as 'A status' or 'B status'.
Of the 25 APF member institutions, 16 have 'A status' accreditation and nine have 'B status' accreditation.
The APF seeks to provide practical support to ensure that our members are able to achieve or maintain 'A status' accreditation.
A status: Full compliance with the Paris Principles.
'A status' institutions are eligible for full membership of GANHRI, including the right to vote and to hold governance positions. They can also participate independently in sessions of the UN Human Rights Council and take the floor under any agenda item, submit documentation and take separate seating.
B status: Not fully in compliance with the Paris Principles or has not yet submitted sufficient documentation to make that determination.
'B status' institutions may participate in GANHRI meetings but are unable to vote or hold governance positions. They do not have independent participation rights at the UN Human Rights Council.
- Woman walking past flags at UN in Geneva - APF/James Iliffe