Network of African National Human Rights Institutions

Accreditation/Paris Principles

As of August 2021, at least 24 out of 46 members of NANHRI enjoyed ‘A’ status accreditation

Members of NANHRI celebrate after receiving ‘A’ status certificates from GANHRI’s Subcommitee on Accreditation.


National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are State but autonomous bodies established to ensure promotion, protection and advocacy for human rights. They are established by a constitution, law decree or pronouncement. But of these bodies to be effective in their work, they must be established as per the Paris principles and Belgrade Principles.  Among other requirements, the composition of the institution must be diverse, have a broad human rights mandate, operate independently and enjoy financial autonomy. 

To ensure full compliance with the Paris Principles, the NHRIs are reviewed after five years by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions’ Subcommittee on Accreditation. Other factors such as deemed complacency in executing the human rights preservation mandate can lead to special review before the five years.

After the review, fully compliant NHRIs are accredited with ‘A’ status while partly compliant institutions receive ‘B’ status. The rest considered non-compliant, therefore, no status. Besides accreditation, the SCA prepares recommendations with the States and the NHRIs have to work on to obtain or sustain ‘A’ status accreditation.

As of August 2021, at least 24 out of 46 members of NANHRI enjoyed ‘A’ status accreditation.

NANHRI also plays a major role in helping the NHRIs in addressing recommendations of the SCA from the previous reviews to sustain or obtain the ‘A’ status. One of the biggest tasks involves advocating for the review of the establishing laws, allocation of sufficient resources from the State and autonomy in operations as required by the Paris Principles.

Since NANHRI does not take a direct role in deciding the accreditation status of the NHRIs, it supports the members in preparation and submission of the requisite documents such as the annual reports, statement of compliance, establishing law/framework, among others. Besides, NANHRI carried submits a statement of its own assessment of compliance of the NHRI in its operations in as provided for by the Paris Principles.

As an observer to the SCA, NANHRI takes part in the process to ensure that fairness prevails in the review, which will determine the status to be granted to the NHRIs.

In another initiative, NANHRI has been building the capacities of the NHRIs, especially the commissioners, who are the decision makers in the institutions. This involves conducting induction trainings of new commissioners, regular advocacy missions targeting State agencies like the Parliament and Ministry of Justice, among others.

NANHRI offers technical assistance to the NHRIs in accreditation process

Accreditation Status

The GANHRI Subcommittee Accreditation awards status based on compliance in composition and operations as provided for by the UN Paris Principles.

As of August 2021, 24 out of 46 members of NANHRI enjoyed ‘A’ status accreditation for full compliance with the Paris Principles while eight were ‘B’ status. The rest have no or their statuses have lapsed. NANHRI offers technical assistance to the NHRIs in accreditation process

Paris Principles on National Human Rights Institutions

The Paris Principles set out the minimum standards required by national human rights institutions to be considered credible and to operate effectively. The Paris Principles relating to the status of national institutions was adopted by the General Assembly resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993.

It states competence and responsibilities which should attach to national institutions.

Click here to view the Paris Principles