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Human Rights Quarterly. Volume 24, Number 3 (2002), p. 662-720.


human rights; National Human Rights Commission; NGOs


The set of standards for the evaluation of National Human Rights Commissions (NHCs) formulated and applied by the UN constitute the dominant conception of an ideal NHC. Virtually every scholar, nongovernmental organization, and governmental body that has commented on the effectiveness of NHCs shares this dominant UN-driven conception of the ideal NHC. However, this dominant conception is significantly limited, and requires fundamental enlargement and revision if the NHCs animated by its vision are to have a significantly increased transformative potential. A performance assessment study of the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission (using the more holistic vision of ideal NHC developed in this paper) shows that when linked adequately with NGOs, NHCs are indeed very useful resources for human rights promotion and protection.


This article first appeared in Human Rights Quarterly 24:3 (2002), 662-720. Reprinted with permission by Johns Hopkins University Press, ©2002 .

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