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NHRIs of Australia and Nepal maintain ‘A status’ accreditation

Graphic: United Nations, Geneva

Four APF member institutions were reviewed during the latest session of GANHRI's Sub-Committee on Accreditation.

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The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) has published its report on the latest session of its Subcommittee on Accreditation (SCA), which took place in October 2023.

Four APF member institutions were reviewed during the session, with the NHRIs of Australia and Nepal maintaining their 'A-status' accreditation.

In its report, the SCA acknowledged the efforts of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in advocating for changes to its selection and appointment process to strengthen compliance with the Paris Principles, with subsequent amendments to the AHRC’s enabling legislation addressing the SCA’s previous concerns. 

Similarly, the SCA commended the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal (NHRC) for advocating changes to the National Human Rights Commission Act, addressing past SCA recommendations and demonstrating Paris Principles compliance.

Bahrain's National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) had its re-accreditation deferred for 12 months, which will provide the NIHR an opportunity to present further evidence of compliance with the Paris Principles. The SCA urged the NIHR to strengthen its cooperation with civil society organisations and human rights defenders to tackle serious violations in places of detention in Bahrain.

The SCA also recommended the removal of accreditation status from the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC), which it considered was not effectively and independently addressing all human violations throughout Myanmar. Under the GANHRI statute, this removal takes effect after one year, allowing the MNHRC to retain its B-status until the SCA's second session of 2024, where it will have another opportunity to establish its continued compliance with the Paris Principles. While this is a disappointing outcome for the MNRHC, the APF will continue to work with the institution during 2024 to support it to address the concerns of the SCA. 

With the impact of the crisis in Gaza, the Asia Pacific member on the SCA – Dr Ammar Dwaik from the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) of Palestine – was unable to attend the session as planned, which was due to be the ICHR’s final session in its three-year term as member. 

With limited notice, the NHRI of New Zealand, Te Kāhui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission, which was elected by APF members to succeed the ICHR, assumed its voting seat at the SCA one session early. Meg de Ronde, the Commission’s Tatau-Uruora Chief Executive, represented the Commission at the session, which was a significant commitment in exceptional circumstances and allowed the APF region to be represented. The APF will continue to support its member NHRIs in implementing SCA recommendations for Paris Principles compliance.

Read the full SCA report here.

Date: 6 February 2024

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  1. United Nations, Geneva - Dominionart on Shutterstock