India: The National Human Rights Commission of India does not deserve an ‘A’ rating.

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On 22 March 2023, nine international organisations, including the FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, sent a letter to the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) to raise serious concerns regarding the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRCI) ahead of the fifth review of its accreditation status by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)

On 9 March, several signatories to this letter had written to your office, sharing their concerns about the functioning of the NHRCI. Taking cognisance of the letter and other civil society submissions, in March, GANHRI deferred the NHRCI's re-accreditation by 12 months after considering the NHRCI's failure to effectively discharge its mandates to respond to the escalating human rights violations in India, lack of pluralism in selection and appointments of its duty holders and insufficient cooperation with human rights bodies, amongst others. GANHRI also recommended the NHRCI improve its processes and functions in line with the United Nations Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions (The Paris Principles). However, both the NHRCI and the Indian government have yet again failed to make the requisite improvements.

The upcoming review comes shortly after the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, raised concerns about the increasing restrictions on the civic space and discrimination against minorities in India ahead of the country's general elections. Several UN human rights experts have highlighted these concerns, drawing attention to the "attacks on minorities, the media and civil society" in the country. India has also been downgraded on various development and human rights indices over the past few years.

In light of this, we strongly urge GANHRI to amend the NHRCI's current 'A' rating to reflect its failure to comply with the Paris Principles accurately and address India's deteriorating human rights situation.

To read the Open Letter, click here

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