Building stronger national human rights institutions

Graphic: Staff of Helmand office of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission


Independent and effective national human rights institutions can be powerful agents for change.

They can use their complaint handling, investigation, advisory and education functions to promote and protect the rights of all people in the country, especially vulnerable groups, as well as engage with the international human rights system to draw attention to pressing issues.

Many of the APF's activities are directed towards supporting our members to do this work as effectively as possible, by providing:

  • Thematic training programs to build knowledge and skills that are central to the work of effective institutions
  • Capacity assessments that enable our members to identify achievable steps to strengthen their institutions
  • Specialised programs to meet the needs of individual members or to address a serious human rights issue, such as our Torture Prevention Ambassadors initiative
  • High Level Dialogues to engage newly-appointed Commissioners in a conversation on their responsibilities and their individual and collective goals.

As a human rights commission, what we are doing is making sure that the silent voices of those people whose rights are violated are heard.

Human Rights Commission of the Maldives Logo Ahmed Tholal, Vice Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of the Maldives

Graphic: Staff of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission

Understanding national human rights institutions

This video series forms part of a comprehensive APF training package on the role and functions of independent national human rights institutions.


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Image credits

  1. Staff of Helmand office of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission - APF/Benjamin Lee