29 Apr 2021

ENNHRI issues opinion on the proposed establishment of an Ombudsman for Entrepreneurs Rights within the structure of the Moldovan NHRI

Following the presentation of a draft law for the amendment of the structure and mandate of the People’s Advocate of the Republic of Moldova (Moldovan NHRI), ENNHRI underlines the importance of respect for the UN Paris Principles and other relevant international standards when considering amendments affecting NHRIs, and draws attention to regional practices. 

According to the draft law, the new Ombudsman for Entrepreneurs Rights would be established within the NHRI structure, but would be autonomous from the People’s Advocate. The new Ombudsman would have the mandate to ensure the observance of the “rights and legitimate interests of entrepreneurs” by public authorities, private entities and individuals. For the purpose of carrying out its mandate, it would be entrusted with a set of powers. Changes in the composition of the appointment body are also envisaged in the draft law.  

In this Opinion, ENNHRI calls on the Moldovan Parliament to carefully consider the following requirements: 

  • Any change to the legislative provisions affecting NHRIs, including those affecting the composition of the appointment body, requires a prior effective consultation with all parties concerned, with a strong role for the NHRI itself. 
  • Any extension of the mandate of an NHRI, such as the addition of a competence over legal entities, including businesses, must not undermine its ability to promote and protect the human rights of individuals, including in relation to corporate-related human rights abuses. 
  • Changes to the structure, mandate or functions of an NHRI must not adversely affect the independence, effectiveness of the NHRI and public confidence in its leadership body. 

Substantial changes to the structure, mandate and functions of an NHRI may affect its compliance with the UN Paris Principles and trigger a Special Review by GANHRI’s Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) under the accreditation process.  

In light of the above, ENNHRI calls on the relevant authorities to assess the proposed amendments in full consideration of the applicable international standards and initiate an effective consultation with the Moldovan NHRI and other relevant stakeholders as soon as possible. 

» Read the full Opinion

ENNHRI is available for any further clarification on the applicable international standards. For more information, contact Gabriel Almeida at the ENNHRI Secretariat (Gabriel.Almeida@ennhri.org).