About us

National Institution for Human Rights

Since His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa ascended to throne in 1999, the Kingdom of Bahrain experienced major changes towards fostering democracy, these included the establishment of the foundations of the state of law, and building an integrated legislative and legal system, best practices and public institutions to promote human rights. The changes constitute fundamental transformations aimed at promoting human rights, public freedoms and ensure peoples’ enjoyment of these rights.

To complement these transitions, His Majesty the King established the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) on 10 November 2009, by Royal Order No. 46 of 2009, and granted it mandates and powers in line with the Paris Principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights. “UN General Assembly Resolution 48/134 of 1993”.

To give the NIHR more independence, the Council of Representatives and the Shura Council approved Law No. 26 of 2014 establishing the National Institution for Human Rights, which was issued by His Majesty the King. The law was amended in 2016 to ensure that the institution is granted more financial and administrative independence, and powers aimed at protecting and promoting human rights in the Kingdom.

NIHR is a permanent and effective member in the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), and the Asia Pacific Forum for the NHRI’s (APF). NIHR can participate actively in the Human Rights Council sessions, and Treaty Bodies meetings, Special Procedures, Sub-committees and Working Groups, and acts as an independent institution that aims to promote and protect human rights.

NIHR Competencies (The establishment law)

  • Participate in the formulation and implementation of a national plan for the promotion and protection of Human Rights.
  • Study human rights legislation, recommend amendments or enact new legislation, and ensure compatibility with regional and international treaties.
  • Submit an annual report on progress in the human rights situation, the efforts of the NIHR and its activities, and the submission of parallel reports.
  • Receive and examine human rights complaints, refer them to the competent authorities, clarify the relevant procedures and monitor violations of human rights.
  • Conduct announced and unannounced field visits, and to monitor the human rights situation in correction facilities and detention centers.
  • Cooperate with national bodies, regional and international organizations, as well as relevant institutions in other countries that work for the promotion and protection of human rights, and to hold meetings and joint activities, cooperation, coordination and consultation with civil society and NGO’s and human rights defenders.
  • Host conferences and organize training and educational events, and issue newsletters, printed material, statistics and special reports.

Council of Commissioners

NIHR is made up of eleven members, including the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and personalities reputed for their competence and integrity, selected from advisory bodies, academic and civil society organizations, trade unions, social, economic and professional organizations, and personalities interested in human rights issues, was also taking into account the representation of women in which minorities are appropriately.

Standing Committees

NIHR consists of three Standing Committees:

  • General Rights and Freedoms Committee
  • Detention & Facilities Visitation Committee
  • Complaints, Monitoring and Follow-up Committee

File a Complaint

The NIHR receives the complaint from individuals, or from up to second degree relatives or an authorized legal representative; whether a natural person or legal entity as well as from civil society institutions, and other competent authorities.