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European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has issued a new report titled “Strong and effective national human rights institutions”, presenting an overview of the challenges and opportunities of the NHRIs’ operation in the EU Member States.
NHRIs are established in accordance with the Paris Principles and represent a vital part of the country-level human rights protection system. By raising awareness, providing advice, monitoring and holding authorities to account, NHRIs have a central role in navigating the great human rights challenges of our day – tackling both persistent concerns like discrimination and inequality, and novel issues such as the rights implications of artificial intelligence and of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the 10 years since FRA’s first report on NHRIs, the number of Paris Principles-compliant NHRIs has risen from 9 to 16 in the current 27 EU Member States. An additional six Member States have NHRIs that are not fully compliant with the principles, and only five EU member states - the Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Malta and Romania - have not established an NHRI yet. Another important development is the establishment of the European Network of NHRIs (ENNHRI).
The report underscores that to fulfil their potential, NHRIs need a clear mandate, independence, adequate resources, and, in their memberships, to reflect societies’ diversity. They also need to comply with the Paris Principles on the independence and effectiveness endorsed by the United Nations.
The report is consultable at the link below.