New study on National Human Rights Institutions: challenges, promising practices and opportunities

Date: 22nd September 2020
Category: Other human rights treaties and mechanisms


National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are critical for the protection and promotion of fundamental rights yet this report finds that their full potential is not always realised. It explores relevant developments, challenges and ways to maximise their impact.

The report was produced by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, 10 years after its first in-depth study on NHRIs. It suggests the following as ways to further their impact in line with the Paris Principles and Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals:

Sufficient powers: NHRIs’ roles include monitoring fundamental rights, handling complaints, investigating rights violations, advising policy makers, as well as liaising with other rights bodies nationally and internationally. To boost their impact, Member States, both governments and parliaments, should formally consult NHRIs, engage with them on fundamental rights issues, follow up on their recommendations and answer their specific queries.

Protection and independence: Out of a total of 22 NHRIs studied, 13 reported that their staff faced threats and harassment. Member States need to protect NHRIs, their members and staff, including by law, and safeguard NHRIs’ full independence.

Adequate resources: Many NHRIs continue to lack staff considering their multiple mandates. Member States should therefore equip NHRIs with the necessary financial and human resources to carry out their mandates effectively.

  • Read more about the report here.