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New name, chairperson for global NHRI body

Graphic: Professor Beate Rudolf, GANHRI Chairperson

The body representing over 100 NHRIs worldwide will now be known as the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.


Representatives from over 100 national human rights institutions (NHRIs) representing all four regions have officially adopted a new name for the global body that represents them.

During the 29th Annual Meeting, held in Geneva on 22-23 March 2016, member institutions of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Right officially endorsed the name: the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).

The development of the new name was the result of a two-year consultation process involving NHRIs, regional coordinating committees and other stakeholders.

The outgoing Chairperson Adv. Mabedle Lawrence Mushwana said: "This is not just about a new name and logo. This is about strengthening our collective voice for human rights."

As part of the annual meeting, NHRIs elected Professor Beate Rudolf, Director of the German Institute for Human Rights, as GANHRI Chairperson for a three-year term.

The meeting also elected Montserrat Solano Carboni, Defensora de los Habitantes de Costa Rica, as GANHRI Secretary. She succeeds Professor Alan Miller, former Chairperson of the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

In addition, this year's meeting included discussions on:

  • The role of NHRIs in conflict and post conflict situations – with presentation from the NHRIs of Ukraine, El Salvador, Egypt, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone and Georgia
  • Refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and displaced persons and the roles of NHRIs – with presentations from UNHCR and the NHRIs of Morocco, Mexico, and Jordan
  • Adopting human rights-based approach to confronting violations, focusing on intolerance, racism and xenophobia – with presentations from the Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee and the NHRIs of Australia, South Africa, Venezuela and Germany.

The Conference concluded with the adoption of a Closing Statement in which NHRIs reiterated that "human rights and their underlying principles, such as participation, accountability and non-discrimination, transparency and the rule of law, offer guidance to finding solutions and the right balance in situations of crisis".

The Statement also sets out roles, tasks and concrete actions for NHRIs in addressing the human rights challenges resulting from conflict and post-conflict, mass displacement of people and with regard to intensified intolerance, nationalism, racism and xenophobia.

Date: 3 April 2016