ENNHRI supports Moldovan NHRI to ensure its enabling law complies with UN Paris Principles
On 31 May 2019, ENNHRI sent a letter of support to the Moldovan National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), the Office of the People’s Advocate of Moldova, regarding amendments to its enabling law which were proposed by the Moldovan authorities. The amendments, which concerned the procedure for the selection and appointment of the NHRI’s decision-making body, are considered to fall short of providing the independence safeguards required under the UN Paris Principles.
In 2018, the Moldovan NHRI was reviewed by the GANHRI Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA), which evaluates NHRIs on their compliance with the UN Paris Principles. While granting the NHRI ‘A status’, the SCA recommended adapting its enabling law to ensure full compliance with the UN Paris Principles.
The SCA’s position was that the NHRI should continue advocating for amendments to ensure that the selection and appointment of its decision-making body is based on a transparent and participatory process, including the provision which states that the decision-making body should be appointed by the Parliament with an absolute majority vote.
With reference to the SCA’s recommendations, ENNHRI’s letter expresses support for the NHRI, which has been advocating to the Moldovan authorities to strengthen its law and prevent any changes that may weaken it. ENNHRI welcomes positive elements in the enabling law and highlights areas of concern, suggesting that the state’s proposed amendments opposed by the NHRI may not comply with the applicable standards and practice set out by the SCA.
According to the SCA’s General Observation 2.1, the grounds for dismissal must be clearly defined in law and “confined to only those actions which impact adversely on the capacity of the member to fulfil their mandate”. Moreover, the grounds for dismissal “must be supported by a decision of an independent body with appropriate jurisdiction” and should not be “based solely on the discretion of appointing authorities.”
In the letter, ENNHRI also acknowledges the domestic legal framework behind the enabling law and expresses concern that the proposed amendments may fall short of providing the NHRI with the independence safeguards required under the UN Paris Principles. Furthermore, ENNHRI applauds the NHRI for its proactivity in seeking to protect its A-status accreditation and strengthen its mandate and will continue to provide assistance and support.
For more information on ENNHRI support for the establishment and accreditation of NHRIs, contact Katrien Meuwissen, Senior Human Rights Officer (Accreditation).