GANHRI Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA)

Access for SCA members to Extranet

Current chart on accreditation of NHRIs (PDF)

Session Reports

Rules of procedure and observations

Upcoming sessions

The accreditation system

The General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, in their resolutions relating to national human rights institutions,[1] encouraged NHRIs to seek accreditation status through the GANHRI and noted with satisfaction the strengthening of the accreditation process and the continued assistance of UN Human Rights in this regard.

Likewise, UN human rights mechanisms including the Universal Periodic Review, Treaty Bodies and the Special Procedures increasingly refer to the Paris Principles and the GANHRI accreditation process, to encourage the establishment and strengthening of fully Paris Principles-compliant NHRIs worldwide.

Accreditation takes place under the rules of procedure of the GANHRI’s Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA). The SCA comprises one ‘A’ status institution from each of the four GANHRI regional groupings: Africa , the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe. Its members are appointed by regional groupings for a renewable term of three years.

The National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section in the UN Human Rights Office is a permanent observer on the SCA and serves as the secretariat to the GANHRI and its SCA.

The accreditation is guided by the principles of transparency, rigor and independence. NHRIs are reviewed on a periodic basis every 5 years, there is an appeal process for NHRIs to ensure greater transparency and due process. The reviews of each application result in focused recommendations.

The SCA also develops General Observations which interprete the Paris Principles. The General Observations are intended to constitute guidance for NHRIs on their accreditation and on the implementation of the Paris Principles. They are also useful for NHRIs to press for institutional changes necessary to fully comply with the Paris Principles.

Accreditation grants participation in the work and decision-making of the GANHRI, as well as in the work of the UN Human Rights Council and other UN mechanisms.

Key Documents

A Practical Guide To The Work Of The Sub-Committee On Accreditation (SCA)

Compilation of the SCA Rules, Working Methods and Template for the Statement of Compliance
(English | Français | Español)

Accreditation status

As of 6 December, 2021, 118 NHRIs were accredited by the GANHRI: 

  • (A status) - 86 as being in full compliance with the Paris Principles 
  • (B status) - 32 as being not fully in compliance with the Paris Principles

Paris Principles

Endorsed in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly, the Paris Principles require NHRIs to:

  • Protect human rights, including by receiving, investigating and resolving complaints, mediating conflicts and monitoring activities; and
  • Promote human rights, through education, outreach, the media, publications, training and capacity building, as well as advising and assisting the Government.

The Paris Principles focus on six main criteria against which national human rights institutions (NHRIs) can be accredited by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI):

  • A broad mandate, based on universal human rights norms and standards;
  • Autonomy from Government;
  • Independence guaranteed by statute or Constitution;
  • Pluralism;
  • Adequate resources; and
  • Adequate powers of investigation.

Levels of accreditation

There are currently two levels of accreditation:

Status “A”: Fully compliant with the Paris Principles

“A” status institutions participate fully in the international and regional work and meetings of national institutions as voting members, and they can hold office in the Bureau of the International Coordinating Committee or any sub-committee the Bureau establishes. They are also able to participate in sessions of the Human Rights Council and take the floor under any agenda item, submit documentation and take up separate seating.

Status “B”: Partially compliant with the Paris Principles

“B” status institutions may participate as observers in te international and regional meetings of the national human rights institutions. They cannot vote or hold office with the Bureau or its sub-committees. They are not given NHRIs badges, nor may they take the floor under agenda items and submit documentation to the Human Rights Council.

Other categories:

*A(R): This category (accreditation with reserve) was granted where insufficient documentation was submitted to confer 'A' status; is no longer in use by the GANHRI. It is maintained only for those NHRIs which were accredited with this status before April 2008.

*C: This category (non-member & non-compliant with the Paris Principles) was granted where the institution was deemed to not be in compliance with the Paris Principles; it is no longer in use. It is maintained only for institutions that were accredited with this status before October 2007.