Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)

The National Human Rights Commission, India (NHRC-India), a vital institution for safeguarding human rights, recently faced challenges regarding its accreditation by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).

Deferral of Accreditation

The NHRC-India has experienced a deferral of its accreditation by GANHRI on two occasions. GANHRI raised concerns regarding several aspects of NHRC-India’s functioning, including political interference in appointments, involvement of the police in human rights violation investigations, poor cooperation with civil society, lack of diversity in staff and leadership, and insufficient action to protect marginalized groups. These objections prompted a reevaluation of NHRC-India’s adherence to international human rights standards.

The Paris Principles: International Benchmarks

The accreditation of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) is based on the Paris Principles, which serve as international benchmarks. These principles outline six criteria that NHRIs must meet, including mandate and competence, autonomy from the government, independence guaranteed by a statute or constitution, pluralism, adequate resources, and adequate powers of investigation. Compliance with these principles ensures the effectiveness and credibility of NHRIs.

The Role of GANHRI and NHRC-India’s Status

GANHRI consists of 16 NHRIs with ‘A’ status accreditation, representing different regions worldwide. ‘A’ status accreditation grants participation in the decision-making processes of GANHRI, the Human Rights Council, and other U.N. mechanisms. NHRC-India has held ‘A’ status accreditation since the accreditation process began in 1999, reaffirming its recognition and participation in human rights advocacy.

Reaccreditation Process and Privileges

The reaccreditation process for NHRIs, including NHRC-India, occurs every five years. During the deferred period, NHRC-India retains its ‘A’ status and associated privileges, such as voting and participation rights in GANHRI and the Asia Pacific Forum (APF). The Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) plays a crucial role in reviewing and accrediting NHRIs, evaluating their compliance with the Paris Principles.

Advocating for Legislative Amendments

As part of the ongoing reaccreditation process, the SCA has recommended that NHRC-India advocates for legislative amendments to improve its compliance with the Paris Principles. These amendments aim to enhance NHRC-India’s independence, pluralism, diversity, and accountability, aligning it with U.N. standards. The recommendations highlight the importance of continuous improvement and adherence to international human rights norms.



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