Human Rights

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)

B-117 2nd floor, Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi – 110017, India

Tel: +91 11 4318 0200/11 4318 0225-299 | Fax: +91 11 2686 4688   Email: 


CHRI Africa Office

House No. 9, Samora Machel Street, Asylum Down, opposite Beverly Hills Hotel, Near Trust Towers, Accra, Ghana

Tel/fax: +233 302 971 170 | Email:


CHRI London Office

School of Advanced Study, University of London, 2nd Floor, South Block, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, UK

Tel: +44 20 7862 8857 | Fax: +44 20 7862 8820 | Email: 


CHRI is an international NGO that works for the practical realisation of human rights throughout the Commonwealth. It has been headquartered in India since 1993. CHRI also has offices in Ghana and the UK.

CHRI advocates for better respect for, protection and promotion of international human rights standards and ensuring greater adherence to Commonwealth Harare principles. Issues relating to accountability and participation in governance – access to justice and access to information – are at the heart of CHRI’s work. It also overviews the human rights situation in countries of the Commonwealth, looking especially at human rights defenders, compliance with international treaty obligations and monitoring the performance of Commonwealth members of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Foundation: 1987. CHRI’s founding organisations are Commonwealth Journalists Association, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Commonwealth Legal Education Association, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Commonwealth Press Union and Commonwealth Broadcasting Association.

Chief Functionaries: Chair, Internal Advisory Commission: Yashpal Ghai (Kenya); Chair, Executive Committee Africa Office: Samuel Awuku Okudzeto (Ghana); Chair, Executive Committee (Headquarters): B G Verghese (India); Chair, Executive Committee (UK): Neville Linton (UK); Director: Maja Daruwala

Activities: Within the access to justice programme, CHRI’s main focus is on police reform and prison reforms.

CHRI’s access to information (ATI) programme works to promote and protect the right to access information, and to catalyse the development and implementation of ATI regimes in all regions of the Commonwealth, especially focusing on Africa and South Asia. CHRI’s Strategic Initiatives Programme works on monitoring, from a human rights perspective, the performance of Commonwealth institutions, Commonwealth members at the UN Human Rights Council, national human rights institutions in the Commonwealth, LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) rights in the Commonwealth countries and specific country situations of concern. For each Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHRI produces a report on an issue of human rights concern within the Commonwealth (these can be downloaded at CHRI’s website) and organises the Commonwealth Human Rights Forum to coincide with the meeting to ensure the active engagement of civil society.