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Strengthening NHRI independence in Kyrgyz Republic

Graphic: APF Legal and Policy Manager Phillip Wardle presenting during the consultation

The Ombudsman of the Kyrgyz Republic is advocating for changes to its mandate to strengthen its independence and compliance with the Paris Principles, the international standards for National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).

During a consultation in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on 18 and 19 September, the Ombudsman convened a dialogue to discuss the proposed amendments with members of parliament, government agencies, civil society organisations, and stakeholders from the international community, including United Nations agencies, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and various foreign embassies.

The proposed amendments include changes to the Ombudsman's appointment process and other safeguards to ensure independence and restrict political interference in the institution’s work. The changes would also strengthen the Ombudsman’s capacity to advise and coordinate with the National Parliament and Judiciary to promote the adoption of human rights standards in legislation and judicial decisions. The proposed amendments will be introduced shortly to the Kyrgyz National Parliament. 

The APF's Legal and Policy Manager, Phillip Wardle, participated in the consultation, delivering a virtual presentation on the Paris Principles standards and sharing some best practice examples from A-status accredited NHRIs in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Ombudsman has been an APF member since 2018, and currently holds B-status accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), however is hopeful that the proposed amendments, if passed, will provide a basis to seek reaccreditation with A-status. This would allow the institution full membership of both GANHRI and the APF, including voting and governance rights, along with participation rights in the UN Human Rights Council and its subsidiary bodies.

The APF will continue its support to the Ombudsman in implementing the proposed amendments, with the goal of strengthening its mandate to protect and promote human rights. 

Date: 2 November 2023

Image credits

  1. APF Legal and Policy Manager Phillip Wardle presenting during the consultation - Ombudsman of Kyrgyz Republic