Joining the club: the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, the Paris Principles, and the advancement of human rights protection in the region

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The Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF) is a membership organisation of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) from across the Asia Pacific region. As at the end of 2008, there were 14 full members and three associate members. The underlying eligibility criterion for membership is compliance with the United Nations Principles Relating to the Status and Functions of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (the Paris Principles). Full membership is open to those NHRIs which comply with the Paris Principles, candidate membership is available to those which do not do not fully comply with them but which could do so within a reasonable period of time, and associate membership is available to those NHRIs which do not comply with the Paris Principles and are unlikely to do so within a reasonable period. This article explores the way in which APF membership criteria have been applied by the Forum in its assessment of applications for membership and for upgraded membership (and in its other activities), and considers whether this has resulted in greater compliance by potential and existing members of the APF with the Paris Principles. It examines the APF’s activities in relation to its membership procedures within the framework of writing about transnational government networks as a form of international governance.

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access