About AHRI

The Association of Human Rights Institutes – AHRI, consists of over 60 member institutions that carry out research and education in the field of human rights. The objective of AHRI is to promote research, education and discussion in the field of human rights.

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, AHRI Vice-Chair (Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, SIM)
  • Elizabeth Salmón (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru)
  • Manfred Nowak (EUIC)
  • Hans-Otto Sano (Danish Institute for Human Rights)
  • Felipe Gómez Isa (University of Deusto)
  • Roman Wieruszewski (Poznan Human Rights Centre)
  • Vesna Petrovic (Belgrade Centre for Human Rights)
  • Ingrid Westendorp (Maastricht Centre for Human Rights)
  • Gentian Zyberi (University of Oslo)
  • Ray Murphy (Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway)
  • Jan Wouters (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies)

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