International Monitoring and Implementation, the Paris Principles
November 12, 2015
The national human rights institutions around the world established the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in 1993 to coordinate the activities of NHRIs internationally and to accredit members as complying fully with the Paris Principles.
The International Coordinating Committee has a Sub-committee on Accreditation with a “mandate to review and analyse accreditation applications forwarded by the International Coordinating Committee’s Chair and to make recommendations to the Committee on the compliance of applicants with the Paris Principles.”
There are currently three levels of accreditation:
- “A” Voting member: complies fully with the Paris Principles;
- “B” Observer member: does not fully comply with the Paris Principles or has not yet submitted sufficient documentation to make that determination; and
- “C” Non-member: does not comply with the Paris Principles.
“A” status institutions can “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.”
“B” status institutions “may participate as observers in the international and regional work and meetings of national institutions. They cannot vote or hold office within 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.”
“C” status institutions “have no rights or privileges with the International Coordinating Committee or in United Nations rights forums. They may, at the invitation of the Chair of the Bureau, attend meetings of the International Coordinating Committee.” It should be noted that the International Coordinating Committee plans to eliminate “C” status since such an institution is not by definition a national human rights institution.
All “A” status National Human Rights Institutions are subject to reaccreditation every five years to ensure that they maintain and improve their compliance with the Paris Principles. Institutions must provide documents to support their reaccreditation applications. Unless there are compelling and exceptional circumstances, a National Human Rights Institution that fails to provide these will lose its status and be required to re-apply anew.
According to the OHCHR, As of March 2015 73 67 National Human Rights Institutions were accredited as being in compliance with the Paris Principles.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission is in full compliance with the Paris Principles and maintains an “A” status. This status was last confirmed in May 2011.