National Human Rights Institution (NHRI)

The Finnish National Human Rights Institution

The Human Rights Centre, its Human Rights Delegation and the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman together form the Finnish National Human Rights Institution (NHRI).

The Finnish NHRI was granted the highest status (A-status) in 2014 and again in 2019 by the The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (formerly known as ICC). The A-status confirms that the institution fully complies with the requirements of the Paris Principles. The status is re-examined every five years.

A-status grants the institution rigth of speech in the UN Human Rights Council and a right of vote in GANHRI  (Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions).

Role of the National Human Rights Institution

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) are autonomous and independent institutions, established by law and with a task to promote and protect human rights.

The institution is a body that complements the activities of civil society, human rights research institutions and government. It seeks to contribute to safeguarding the implementation of human rights by monitoring and evaluating, when necessary also critically, the actions of the above-mentioned instances, by assisting them to implement human rights better and by making society more conscious of and amenable to human rights.

Paris Principles

The United Nations Paris Principles provide the international benchmarks against which national human rights institutions (NHRIs) can be accredited by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).

Adopted 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
  • Promote human rights, through education, outreach, the media, publications, training and capacity building, as well as advising and assisting the Government.

The Paris Principles set out six main criteria that NHRIs require to meet:

  • Mandate and competence: a broad mandate, based on universal human rights norms and standards
  • Autonomy from Government
  • Independence guaranteed by statute or Constitution
  • Pluralism
  • Adequate resources
  • Adequate powers of investigation​

In the world there are currently over 100 national human rights institutions that have been registered by the UN and fulfil the criteria of the above-mentioned principles to varying extents.

Status of the institution

The Finnish institution has been granted A status on 2014 and 2019.

  • A status means that the institution complies with the Paris Principles in full.
  • B status means that there are some shortcomings in complying with the Paris Principles.
  • The accreditation status is reassessed every five years.