Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Press Release
December 7, 2021
The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) has announced today that it has re-accredited the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) with “A” Status following a rigorous review process of its application during GANHRI’s Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SAC) last session, held from 18 – 29 October 2021 (Full report here). GANHRI commended EHRC for its efforts to promote and protect human rights in the challenging context in which it operates, including its efforts to address identified shortcomings from GANHRI’s last review in November 2013.
GANHRI is a global network of 118 National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) that promotes the establishment and strengthening of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in conformity with the Principles Relating to the Status of National Institutions (known as the Paris Principles). Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1993, the Paris Principles serve as the internationally agreed benchmark for assessing the credibility of NHRIs. The Paris Principles require NHRIs to be independent in law, membership, operations, policy and control of resources. Other review criteria include broadness in mandate and function, pluralism in composition, adequacy of resources and powers, cooperative methods, and engagement with international and regional bodies. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) serves as the Secretariat for GANHRI while the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SAC) is an independent body responsible for making recommendations on accreditation under the auspices of OHCHR.
Since 2019, the EHRC has initiated institutional reform processes that have improved its organizational and operational effectiveness. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission Establishment (Amended) Proclamation has also guaranteed the operational and financial independence of the EHRC, while expanding its mandate to include crucial powers such as monitoring the human rights situation during election periods and states of emergency and visiting and monitoring places of detention without prior notice.
Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele welcomed the announcement as a milestone, noting the invaluable contribution of EHRC’s staff members in the reform process and in executing EHRC’s mandate, in the current difficult context. “The upgrading from the “B” status which EHRC held since November 2013 to “A” status is testament to global recognition of EHRC as an independent and effective national human rights institution fully compliant with global standards” he added.
As an NHRI with “A” Status, the Commission now has independent participation rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council, its subsidiary bodies and some General Assembly bodies and mechanisms. EHRC is also eligible for full membership of GANHRI, including the right to vote and hold governance positions.
EHRC takes this opportunity to express its appreciation to all its partners and stakeholders and particularly thanks the general public for increasingly engaging with EHRC with confidence and trust. The Commission also calls on all its stakeholders to remain steadfast in their support as EHRC continues to execute its mandate of promoting and protecting human rights in Ethiopia.