07 Dec 2023

Outcomes announced of the October 2023 session of the Sub-Committee on Accreditation

From 23-27 October 2023, the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) assessed four ENNHRI members on their compliance with the UN Paris Principles. Those assessed were ENNHRI’s members from Germany, Great Britain, Moldova and Northern Ireland.

The German Institute for Human Rights was reaccredited with A-status. The SCA included recommendations for the German NHRI to continue to advocate for legal amendments to strengthen its protection mandate, as well as for changes in the governance structure with regard to the members of parliament in the Board of Trustees. In addition, the SCA recommended that the German NHRI continues to advocate for the formalisation and application of a uniform selection and appointment procedure.  

The Office of the People’s Advocate of Moldova was reaccredited with A-status. The SCA recommended that the NHRI continues to advocate for an appropriate level of funding to effectively fulfil its mandate and for the restoration of stronger provisions on the functional immunity of the Ombudsman. Furthermore, the SCA encouraged the NHRI to advocate for the formalisation of processes to ensure that pluralism and diversity are reflected in the staff.  

Following the deferral of its reaccreditation in the previous SCA session, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission was reaccredited with A-status. The SCA reiterated its previous recommendations regarding the NHRIs adequate funding and financial autonomy. This includes through continued engagement between the NHRI and relevant authorities – in line with public commitments – to ensure an adequate, appropriate and sustainable level of funding to enable the NHRI to carry out the full breadth of its mandate. Further, the SCA included recommendations on diversity and pluralism and visiting places of detention.   

The SCA decided to initiate a special review of the Equality and Human Rights Commission of Great Britain. The SCA took the view that third-party submissions and publicly available information raise concerns about the continued compliance of the institution with the Paris Principles, including its ability to conduct its mandate independently; to take positions in line with international standards; and its cooperation with civil society. The special review is scheduled for the first SCA session of 2024. 

The SCA recommended the removal of the accreditation status of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation. The SCA is of the view that the institution is operating in a manner that seriously compromises its independence and effectiveness to an extent that the SCA believes it should no longer be accredited as an NHRI within the framework of the Paris Principles. 

ENNHRI members voted to exclude the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation from the network in April 2023. 

ENNHRI provided tailored support to its members before and during the session and stands ready to assist them and national authorities in their follow-up to the SCA recommendations.  

For the full details on the outcomes and recommendations from the SCA’s October 2023 session, read the meeting report. 

In the next SCA session, six ENNHRI members will be assessed on their compliance with the UN Paris Principles. They are the NHRIs in Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Great Britain, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain. ENNHRI stands ready to support them during the accreditation process.  

Read more on what that accreditation support encompasses, as well as ENNHRI’s Practical Guide to the Accreditation of NHRIs.