International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions
The International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions, sometimes shortened to the International Coordinating Committee (ICC), is a global network of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) - administrative bodies set up to promote, protect and monitor human rights in a given country. The ICC, whose full legal title is the "International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights", coordinates the relationship between NHRIs and the United Nations human rights system, and is unique as the only non-UN body whose internal accreditation system, based on compliance with the 1993 Paris Principles, grants access to UN committees. Institutions accredited by the ICC with "A status", meaning full compliance with the Paris Principles, are usually accorded speaking rights and seating at human rights treaty bodies and other UN organs. The ICC representative often presents statements on behalf of individual NHRIs or the regional groups.
The ICC is constituted as a non-profit entity under Swiss law, and has one member of staff representing it at the United Nations Office at Geneva. Secretariat support is provided to the ICC by the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms (NIRM) Unit of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Additional work devolves on the NHRI elected to chair the network, currently Jordan's National Centre for Human Rights, and on the chairs of the ICC's four regional networks. The peer review process for initial accreditation, and re-accreditation every five years, is managed by a subcommittee consisting of one representative of each of the regional networks. The ICC holds annual general meetings (usually in Geneva in March, coinciding with the UN Human Rights Council session) and a biennial thematic conference; the tenth conference, hosted in 2010 by the Scottish Human Rights Commission, was on the theme of business and human rights.
The OHCHR maintains a web portal on behalf of the ICC. It shows a list of 99 institutions that have been accredited. As of December 2011, 69 were accredited with "A status" by the ICC, and are thus entitled to vote or hold office in the ICC or its regional groups; those with lower status (20 B status, meaning not fully compliant with the Paris Principles, and 10 C status meaning not compliant) can only participate as observers.
Regional groupings of NHRIs
- Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI)
- Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF)
- European Group of National Human Rights Institutions
- Network of National Institutions in the Americas
- http://www.ohchr.org/en/countries/nhri/pages/nhrimain.aspx OHCHR web page on NHRIs
- 10th NHRI conference website
- December 2011 listing of ICC-accredited NHRIs