Using an event history framework we analyze the adoption rate of national human rights institutions. Neo-realist perspective predicts adoption rates to be positively influenced by favorable national profiles that lower the costs and make it more reasonable to establish these institutions. From a world polity perspective adoption rates will be positively influenced by a world saturated with human rights organizations and conferences, by increasing adoption densities, and by greater linkages to the world polity. We find support for both perspectives in the analysis of the human rights commission. Only the changing state of the world polity is consequential for the founding of the classical ombudsman office. We discuss the national incorporation of international human rights standards and its relevance to issues of state sovereignty and national citizenship.