NHRC retains ICC ‘A’ rating despite criticism

- DEWAN RAI, Kathmandu

Nov 8, 2014-

The National Human Rights Commission has retained ‘A’ status despite widespread criticism from civil society organisations for failing to function effectively.  

A month after the appointment of commissioners at the national rights watchdog, the International Coordination Committee of national human rights institutions (ICC) has given continuity to ‘A’ status that it granted to the NHRC for the first time in 2011 for five years.

Regarding the provisions of new Human Rights Act, Informal Sector Service Centre (Insec) and Advocacy Forum had lodged complaints against the NHRC last year, questioning the selection and appointment of commissioners, financial transactions, staffing of the commission and inadequate authority to look into rights violation cases of Nepal Army. They demanded the NHRC be demoted to ‘B’ status.

NHRC spokesperson Mohana Ansari confirmed that the commission received the letter from the ICC. “ICC retained our ‘A’ status,” she told the Post. “Once the government endorses the Financial Regulation of the commission, the question of autonomy of the commission will never arise in the days to come.” Nepal is one of the 70 countries with ‘A’ status in the 106-member global association of national human rights institutions.

The handover of the remains of five youths killed by security forces in Godar, Dhanusha in 2003 to their kin in July by the commission is believed to the main reason behind the ICC decision.

“This will help clear disbelief over human rights situation in Nepal,” said Bed Prasad Bhattarai, acting secretary at the commission.

Published: 09-11-2014 09:04

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