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The Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI), is a network of over 80 member institutions that carries out research and educational activities in the field of human rights. The member institutions are from over 30 different countries. AHRI’s objective is to bring together human rights researchers from across the disciplines, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and collaboration, and to promote research, education and discussion in the field of human rights. AHRI is supportive of PhD researchers and the facilitation of exchange between the different member institutions.

AHRI Co-operation Agreement

The AHRI Co-operation Agreement (pdf) was signed in Reykjavik 22 September 2000. Bjarney Friðriksdóttir, former Director of the Icelandic Human Rights Center, was elected as AHRI’s first Chair. The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights accepted to host the Secretariat with Peter Malcontent as Executive Secretary.

The Constitution for the Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI) was amended by the AHRI Assembly 21 September 2015.


The Secretariat is elected for a three-year period. The current Secretariat’s mandate expires September 2020.

Chair, Dr. Kasey McCall-Smith, The Global Justice Academy, University of Edinburgh.
Executive Secretary, Dr. Elaine Webster, Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law, University of Strathclyde. 

Executive Committee

The member institutes of the Executive Committee are elected in staggered three-year periods and their designated representatives act on behalf of the institutes while on the committee. The current Executive Committee includes:

  • Antoine Buyse (Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, SIM)
  • Suzanne Egan (University College Dublin)
  • Felipe Gómez Isa (University of Deusto)
  • Magnus Killander (University of Pretoria)
  • Manfred Nowak (EUIC)
  • Vesna Petrovic (Belgrade Centre for Human Rights)
  • Elizabeth Salmón (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru)
  • Hans-Otto Sano (Danish Institute for Human Rights)
  • Ingrid Westendorp, AHRI Vice-Chair (Maastricht Centre for Human Rights)
  • Roman Wieruszewski (Poznan Human Rights Centre)
  • Jan Wouters (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies)
  • Gentian Zyberi (University of Oslo)

Founding history

AHRI was established in 2000 at a founding meeting in Iceland hosted by the Icelandic Human Rights Centre.

All active European academic human rights institutes were invited to join and the following founding members met in Iceland:

  • Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR), Faculty of Law, University of Oslo
  • Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University
  • Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • Danish Institute for Human Rights
  • Icelandic Human Rights Center
  • Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM)
  • Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights


For further information and news about AHRI please visit the AHRI website


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