National Human Rights Institutions

General information


National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are established by governments to promote and protect human rights at country level, but they operate and function independently from government. There are six models of NHRIs: human rights commissions, human rights ombudsman institutions, hybrid institutions, consultative and advisory bodies, institutes and center, and multiple institutions.

The Paris Principles, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, provide a set of core minimum recommendations relating to the status and functioning of national institutions for the projection and promotion of human rights. The International Coordinating Committee of the National Human Rights Institutions (ICC) determines the international accreditation status of the NHRIs. The different classifications for accreditation used by the ICC are:

A: Compliance with the Paris Principles.

B: Observer Status – Not fully in compliance with the Paris Principles or insufficient information provided to make a determination.

C: Non-compliant with the Paris Principles.

(No longer in use is the A(R) Accreditation status: granted where insufficient documentation is submitted to confer A status.)

There are four regional networks of NHRIs:

In 2009, the ICC set up the ICC Working Group on Business and Human Rights, aimed at promoting capacity building, strategic collaboration, advocacy and outreach by NHRIs in the human rights and business area.  


Office of the High Commission on Human Rights, National Human Rights Institutions; History, Principles, Roles and Responsibilities.

Accreditation status as of 11 February 2013.


ICC Working Group on Business and Human Rights.

Last edited: 
April, 2015

The descriptions of these mechanisms are based on publicly available information presented by the mechanisms themselves. ACCESS does not add any content from other resources than the mechanisms have provided themselves. ACCESS makes no statements, determinations, or assessments in this database about the effectiveness of the mechanisms described. If you are an administrator or operator of one of the mechanisms described, and you would like us to amend or update the text, we kindly invite you to contact us.