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Publication date:3 September 2020

Strong and effective national human rights institutions – challenges, promising practices and opportunities

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are a vital part of the country-level human rights protection system. This report, published 10 years after FRA’s first in-depth study on NHRIs, looks at such bodies in the EU, as well as the Republic of North Macedonia, the Republic of Serbia, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It explores relevant developments, challenges to their effectiveness and ways to maximise their impact.

What?

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are a vital part of the country-level human rights protection system. By raising awareness, providing advice, monitoring and holding authorities to account, they have a central role in navigating human rights challenges.

This project will provide an in-depth study on NHRIs in the European Union, North Macedonia, Serbia, and the United Kingdom. It will explore relevant developments, challenges to their effectiveness and ways to maximise their impact.

Why?

This project aims to facilitate debate and policy development on strengthening the role of NHRIs among policymakers at the international, European and national level. It also aims to highlight ways in which NHRIs can fulfil their potential and contribute to upholding the rule of law and EU values.

The results will also feed into the European Commission’s forthcoming strategy on the effective application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

How?

Information was collected through primary and secondary sources (qualitative and quantitative). FRA staff collected data through questionnaires and interviews.

In addition, over 100 civil society organisations from FRA’s Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) responded to a targeted online consultation on the cooperation between NHRIs and civil society. The FRP is FRA’s channel for cooperation and information exchange with civil society organisations active in the field of fundamental rights at the national, grassroots, European or international level.