The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has retained its ‘A’ status of accreditation of Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) for fourth consecutive term. NHRC was awarded ‘A’ status for first time in 1999 which it retained in 2006 and 2011 reviews. The Sub Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of GANHRIs had recommended that NHRC be reaccredited with “A” status..
What it means?
The accreditation is given to those human rights institutions, which after rigorous process of review every five years are found fully compliant with UN-mandated Paris Principles. ‘A’ status accreditation also grants participation in the work and decision-making of the GANHRI, as well as the work of the Human Rights Council and other UN mechanisms.
GANHRI accreditation system
The GANHRI accreditation system has evolved and been strengthened over past years. It measures that GANHRI adopted to improve process including system by which NHRIs are reviewed on periodic basis of 5 years, appeal process for NHRIs to ensure greater transparency and due process, more rigorous review of each application, more focused recommendations and wider distribution and greater knowledge of SCA recommendations by NHRIs and other stakeholders, so that they can follow up in-country and contribute to the accreditation process.
The Paris Principles were adopted by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1993. It requires human right commissions to protect human rights, including by receiving, investigating and resolving complaints, mediating conflicts and monitoring activities. It also promotes human rights, through education, outreach, media, publications, training and capacity building, as well as advising and assisting government. According to Paris Principles, human right commissions should have autonomy from government, independence guaranteed by statute or constitution, pluralism, adequate resources and adequate powers of investigation.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
NHRC is apex statutory watchdog of human rights in the country, i.e. the rights related to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the international convents. It was established as per the statutory provisions of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. It is multimember body consisting of Chairman and four members. President appoints the Chairman and members of the NHRC on the recommendation of the high-powered committee headed by the Prime Minister.