Global agency affiliated to UN rights body defers NHRC accreditation

Source: The post is based on the article “Global agency affiliated to UN rights body defers NHRC accreditation” published in the Indian Express on 25th May 2023

What is the News?

For the second time in a row, an organisation affiliated to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has deferred re-accreditation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India for a year.

About the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

Read here: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

About the deferment of NHRC accreditation

The Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) is responsible for reviewing and accrediting National Human Rights Institutions in compliance with the Paris Principles every five years.

Earlier, the Sub Committee on Accreditation (SCA) to the GANHRI has not granted accreditation to NHRC in 2016. This is the first such instance since NHRC was established in 1993. But the GANHRI granted ‘A’ status of accreditation to NHRC in 2017.

Note: The NHRC got ‘A’ status of accreditation for the first time in 1999. Later it was retained in 2006, 2011, and in 2017 after it was deferred for a year.

So, the review of NHRC, India was due in March 2023, for its re-accreditation. But, this has been deferred for a year.

Reason for deferment: The subcommittee has recommended the government and parliamentarians for certain legislative amendments to improve compliance with the Paris Principles.

Note: In 2016, the GANHRI cited the appointment of political representatives and failure in ensuring gender balance and pluralism in NHRC staff among its reasons for the deferment.

Implication: Without the accreditation, NHRC will be unable to represent India at the UN Human Rights Council.

However, the process of re-accreditation has not concluded. As the GANHRI has deferred only for a year and it is not a final decision for five years.

About the Paris Principles

The Paris Principles are a crucial step in the development of standards for national human rights institutions across the world. These principles were adopted in 1991.

The six principles require a country‘s human rights agency to be independent of the government in its structure, composition, decision-making and method of operation.

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