National human rights institutions

National Human Rights Institutions

National human rights institutions

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National human rights institutions (NHRIs) are administrative bodies set up in to protect or monitor human rights in a given country. There are some 110 such bodies, not all compliant with the United Nations standards set out in the Paris Principles. Compliance with the Principles is the basis for accreditation at the UN, which, uniquely for NHRIs, is not conducted directly by a UN body but through peer review conducted by the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC). Institutions accredited by the ICC with 'A status', meaning full compliance with the Paris Principles, enjoy much greater access to UN human rights treaty bodies and other organs. The secretariat to the review process (for initial accreditation, and reaccreditation every five years) is provided by the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

NHRIs can be grouped together in two broad categories: human rights commissions and ombudsmen. While most ombudsman agencies have their powers vested in a single person, human rights commissions are multi-member committees, often representative of various social groups and political tendencies. They are...
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