Print Edition - 2015-03-13 | Main News
NHRC retains top rating
- ICC meet confirms ‘A’ status despite complaints
Mar 12, 2015-
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has retained ‘A’ grade in a review by a global panel of rights bodies, which set aside a plea from some civil society groups for its downgrading.
A meeting of the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) of National Human Rights Institutions in Geneva on Thursday formally endorsed the recommendation made by its Accreditation Sub-Committee last November to re-accredit Nepal with ‘A’ status. The NHRC has held the ‘A’ status since 2011.
Informal Sector Service Centre (Insec) and Advocacy Forum had lodged complaints against the NHRC last year, demanding the commission be relegated to ‘B’ status. They had questioned the autonomy and independence of the commission due to a new Human Rights Act, particularly regarding the selection and appointment of commissioners, financial transactions, staffing of the commission and inadequate authority to look into cases of rights violation by Nepal Army.
To compound the matter further, the commission remained without chairperson and commissioners for over a year before eventually being filled in last September. A month after the appointment of commissioners, the ICC Sub-Committee on Accreditation had decided to give continuity to ‘A’ status.
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 was another reason behind the ICC decision.
Nepal is among the 79 countries with ‘A’ status in the 114-member global association of national human rights institutions. ‘A’ status is given to those institutions which are fully compliant with the Paris Principles towards promotion and protection of human rights.
“This will help clear disbelief over human rights situation in Nepal,” said Shree Ram Adhikari, a Nepali team delegate attending the meeting in Geneva. “It will encourage the NHRC to perform its mandate effectively.”
During an ICC meeting, Adhikari said, NHRC Chairperson Anup Raj Sharma also proposed to hold an annual ICC Asia Pacific Forum in Nepal.
Published: 13-03-2015 08:27