Supporting the establishment of national human rights institutions

Graphic: Staff of Samoa's national human rights institution

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights LogoOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Development Programme LogoUnited Nations Development Programme
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat LogoPacific Islands Forum Secretariat

With almost two thirds of the global population stretching a third of the way around the globe, the Asia Pacific is the most diverse and populous region in the world.

Unlike all other regional groupings, however, it does not have a comprehensive intergovernmental system to monitor, promote and protect human rights.

An important development in recent years has been the establishment of national human rights institutions that now operate in many countries throughout the region. Their role is to promote and protect fundamental human rights at the country level.

The APF has played a direct role in this growth by providing advice and legal drafting assistance to the governments and parliaments of Afghanistan, Fiji, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Thailand and Timor-Leste on the creation of their NHRIs.

We send missions to countries within the region that are considering the establishment of national human rights institutions.

The APF also responds to requests for advice from governments and civil society on the role, function, establishment and accreditation of NHRIs. This has included Cambodia, China, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Our foremost goal is to ensure that new national human rights institutions are established in accordance with the international standards set out in the Paris Principles.

The APF has developed guidelines to assist governments and civil society in the process of establishing national human rights institutions.


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Image credits

  1. Staff of Samoa's national human rights institution - APF/Steve Percival