National human rights institutions

The Human Rights Commission is New Zealand’s national human rights institution (NHRI). The United Nations and other international agencies are increasingly looking to NHRIs for human rights advice and to monitor the progress countries make towards the realisation of human rights. National human rights institutions are independent of government, and separate from non-governmental organisations such as charities.

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission has ‘A’ status accreditation as an NHRI. This gives us voting rights in the International Coordinating Committee (ICC), the organisation that coordinates and supports national human rights institutions.

More about the ICC

The full name of the ICC is the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. It is a representative body of national human rights institutions from all over the world.

Its aim is to help establish and strengthen independent and effective national human rights Institutions, which meet the international standards set out in the ‘Paris Principles’.
The Paris Principles (‘Principles Relating to the Status of National Institutions’) set out the minimum standards national human rights institutions must meet to be considered credible and to operate effectively.

The ICC encourages joint activities and cooperation among NHRIs, organises international conferences, contributes to the United Nations and other international organisations, helps NHRIs under threat, and, where requested, helps governments to establish NHRIs.

Until March 2012, the former Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission, Rosslyn Noonan, was the chair of the ICC.

The Asia Pacific Forum

The Asia Pacific Forum (APF) advances human rights in the Asia Pacific through member organisations (including the New Zealand Human Rights Commission).

The APF facilitates the formation and growth of national human rights institutions by providing training, networking and resource sharing.

You can learn more about the Asia Pacific Forum on their website

Resources for NHRIs

The APF produces professional resources that provide practical guidance on key human rights issues and themes.

They are developed in consultation with APF members, in order to collect and exchange good practice approaches.