Human Rights Council adopts landmark resolution on National Human Rights Institutions

(Geneva, June 16, 2011) The United Nations Human Rights Council passed a landmark resolution today that calls on the Secretary General of the United Nations to report to the Human Rights Council on national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and their coordinating body the ICC and to support initiatives for funding to extend their work.

The resolution, presented by Australia and more than 115 additional co-sponsors from all regions of the world, was adopted by consensus by the Human Rights Council on 16 June 2011.

The resolution firmly asserts the role national human rights institutions play in protecting human rights nationally and internationally.

The Human Rights Council’s resolution welcomes the growing number of States establishing or strengthening national human rights institutions in all regions, and reaffirms the key role of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC).

The resolution welcomes the strengthening of international, regional and cross regional cooperation among NHRIs and the important role of NHRIs with international human rights mechanisms.

The resolution benefits from an exceptionally broad and cross-regional co-sponsorship from States from all regions. The list of co-sponsoring States includes those that have not yet established Paris Principles compliant national human rights institutions. This signifies the Human Rights Council support and recognition of national human rights institutions and their work.

Australia’s Ambassador Peter Woolcott, presenting the draft resolution, said that the broad support from States from all regions: “… reaffirmed our belief in the broad and strong recognition of the unique role and valuable work of national human rights institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights in all regions".

Ambassador Woolcott thanked the International Coordinating Committee as well as NHRIs from all regions for their engagement on this draft resolution.

ICC Chairperson Rosslyn Noonan welcomed the resolution. “This international recognition of our individual and collective work by the international community is very affirming. As individual national human rights institutions, and through the ICC and regional coordinating bodies and with the support of OHCHR and other partners, we look forward to building on this momentum to support the establishment and strengthening of strong and effective national human rights institutions.”

Associated documents:

  1. Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/17/L.18
  2. List of co-sponsoring States at action.  

List of co-sponsoring States at action (16 June 2011)


  • African Group
  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Guatemala Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iraq Ireland Israel Japan Jordan Latvia Lebanon Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia (FYROM) Maldives Malta Mexico Montenegro Netherlands New Zealand Norway Palestine Panama Peru Poland Portugal Qatar Republic of Moldova Republic of Korea Russian Federation Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Thailand Timor Leste Turkey United Kingdom Ukraine United States of America Venezuela