Paris Principles

Kate Turner-Mann Updated by Kate Turner-Mann

What are the Paris Principles?

The Paris Principles (‘Principles Relating to the Status of National Human Rights Institutions’) set out the minimum standards that NHRIs must meet in order to be considered credible and to operate effectively.

The key pillars of the Paris Principles are pluralism, independence and effectiveness.

The Paris Principles set out requirements in relation to:

  • Broad mandate, so that NHRIs are able to promote and protect all human rights
  • Broad functions, so that NHRIs are able to deliver on their mandate by providing advice, reporting and monitoring, handling complaints and human rights education, among other “responsibilities”
  • Independence from government, set out in legislation or the Constitution
  • Pluralism, to ensure that the composition of NHRIs reflects the “social forces (of civilian society) involved in the promotion and protection of human rights”
  • Adequate powers, so that NHRIs can initiate inquiries and investigations, gather the evidence and documents they need, consult with NGOs and State institutions and publicise their reports, findings and recommendations
  • Adequate resources, so that NHRIs have the funding, staffing, infrastructure and institutional capacity to perform their functions and discharge their responsibilities
  • Cooperative work, recognising that effective human rights work requires NHRIs to collaborate with other State institutions, NGOs and civil society groups
  • International engagement, so that NHRIs can contribute their knowledge and expertise to international and regional human rights bodies and mechanisms.

The Paris Principles represent the core minimum standards for effective NHRIs.

Download the Paris Principles here in English - Paris Principles (English).pdf

Download the Paris Principles here in Arabic - Paris Principles (Arabic).pdf

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