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This file provides an overview of the national human rights institutions operating in the Arab League member States, accredited (or not) at the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC: http://nhri.ohchr.org/EN/Pages/default.aspx).
The ICC promotes and strengthens NHRIs in accordance with the United Nations Paris Principles , contained in the General Assembly Resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993. These principles set also the level of accreditation for the NHRIs as follows:
- “A” (complies fully with the Paris Principles);
- “B” (does not fully comply with the Paris Principles or has not yet submitted sufficient documentation to make that determination);
- “C” (does not comply with the Paris Principles).
Today there are well over 100 NHRIs operating around the world, 69 of which are accredited by the ICC as fully compliant with the Paris Principles.
As of May 2012, in Arab League countries there are 6 national human rights institutions accredited with “A” status, in the following countries: Jordan (National Centre for Human Rights), Palestine (The Palestine Independent Commission for Human Rights), Qatar (National Committee for Human Rights), Egypt (National Council for Human Rights), Mauritania (National Human Rights Commission), Morocco (Human Rights Advisory Council).
“B” status institutions exist in: Algeria (National Human Rights Commission of Algeria) and Tunisia ( Higher Committee on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms).
Other Arab States have not submitted their applications for ICC accreditation, even though in some of them national institutions for human rights have been already established: e.g.in Djibouti (National Human Rights Commission), Sudan (The National Commission for Human Rights of Sudan), Bahrain (National Human Rights Institution), Iraq (Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights), Libya (National Council for Public Liberties and Human Rights), Oman (National Human Rights Commission), Saudi Arabia (National Society for Human Rights, King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue,).
Finally, other countries are discussing projects for the establishment of such institutions. For instance Somalia submitted in May 2013 an amended draft law before the parliament dealing with the creation of an independent national commission for human rights. Also in United Arab Emirates there is an ongoing discussion on the establishment of a national human rights institution.