Integration of national equality bodies and human rights institutions

This project aims to provide practical guidance to governments, parliamentarians, equality and human rights bodies and other stakeholders regarding matters to be taken into account in considering, planning, or implementing the integration of National equality bodies (NEBs) and national human rights institutions (NHRIs).

NEBs and NHRIs appear to be public bodies that are ripe for integration. Indeed, a number of EU member states are presently taking steps to merge these bodies into a single combined entity, as the UK did in 2007 with the establishment of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).  However, the historically separate evolution of NEBs and NHRIs has left the bodies with many distinctive features which can, if unaddressed, frustrate the successful integration of their mandates, as evidenced by the problems already experienced by the EHRC.

The study will include desk‐based analysis and a focused investigation into five case study examples which will contain interviews with key policymakers and stakeholders, and will have advise from an expert committee. The project enjoys the strong support of the European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet) and European Group of National Human Rights Institutions.

Expected outputs will include a comprehensive research report reviewing the experience of integration both within and outside the EU, accessible practical guidance containing an overview of lessons learnt and exploring options for future policy‐making, an international conference and associated academic publications. 

Project details



Colm O'Cinneide, University College London

Funding Programme

Law in Society

Grant amount and duration


July 2012 - August 2013