Recommending Human Rights Commission to Transcend Ad Hoc Approaches
INSEC would like to express its relief over the end of speculation regarding the status downgrade of Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
Considering the affirmation of ‘A’ category status, INSEC strongly urges the government to expedite the legislative process to evolve away from the National Human Rights Act of 2068, predating the current Constitution of Nepal, and allow for a commission with greater autonomy and effectiveness under the Paris Principles (1993).
Nepal’s human rights situation would have been further periled if the status downgrade had happened, as the state wouldn’t be bound by the recommendations of a “B” status commission. Furthermore, the Commission’s downgrading would have strained its international status and would have had detrimental consequences for state agencies in terms of international grants and engagement in global human rights forums. This status would be difficult to recover if a downgrade had gone ahead. The impact on Nepal’s representation and standing in international human rights discussions could have been far-reaching into the future.
In purview of these facts, it is incumbent upon the Nepal government, Parliament, political parties, and the National Human Rights Commission to earnestly consider the implications and take proactive steps toward formulating new legislation relating to the Commission.
With the end of discourse on the Commission’s accreditation, it is obligatory upon the Commission now to enhance its collaboration with civil society and human rights organizations in efforts to safeguard and advance human rights. It is crucial for the Commission to rise above its ad hoc mentality from the status downgrade affair and instead foster a robust environment of cooperation with human rights and civil society organizations, not only at the operational level but also at the policy level.
The Commission must also remain committed to upholding high standards of discipline and responsibility for its office bearers. The Commission must internalize that irresponsible conduct on the part of its office-bearers harms its own credibility.
Nepal’s human rights and civil society organizations have led the collective effort for the establishment and to maintain the “A” status of the National Human Rights Commission. It is now incumbent on the commission to pursue its mission of the protection and promotion of human rights with strength, autonomy, competence, sensitivity, effectiveness, and prepared for all situation. We remain open to collaborate with the Commission in realizing its original vision and the founding objectives of the Commission.
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