The institutions of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights has received “A” status - the highest status of compliance with the UN Paris Principles

14/01/2015 15:25

On 29 December 2014 based on the results of examination of two years of activities of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights the Bureau of the International Coordination Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC NHRI) has granted to the Commissioner for Human Rights the “A” status - the highest status of compliance with the UN Paris Principles.

In 1993 in Paris the UN General Assembly adopted the Resolution on Principles Relating to the Status of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (the Paris Principles).

It should be mentioned that a national human rights institution may apply to the relevant bodies of the United Nations in order to be accredited in accordance with international standards.

In December 2013 the Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska applied to the ICC NHRI with a request to accredit the institution in full compliance with the mentioned Paris Principles.

Experts of the relevant Subcommittee of the ICC NHRI was examining the activities of the Secretariat of the Commissioner, in particular Annual Reports on the Observance of Human and Citizens’ Rights and Freedoms in Ukraine in 2012 and 2013 as well as special reports, in particular on the state of implementation of the national preventive mechanism in 2012 and 2013, the rights of a child that stays in social rehabilitation institutions of Ukraine, the state of the right to health care in detention centers of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, violation of human rights in Ukraine during the events of November 2013 - February 2014.

The decision of the ICC NHRI was based on the opinions of representatives of Ukrainian human rights community and non-governmental organizations, colleagues from the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions and international partners. In particular, the effectiveness, independence and impartiality of the institution of the Ombudsman of Ukraine were estimated.

In addition, the decision of the ICC NHRI consisted of a recommendation to provide adequate funding to the institution. In particular, the expansion of powers of the Commissioner in the spheres of combatting discrimination, personal data protection, implementation of the national preventive mechanism and representation of citizens’ in the courts according to newly adopted laws was welcomed. However, the ICC NHRI expressed its concern that the lack of funding wouldn’t contribute to capacity building of the Secretariat of the Commissioner for Human Rights.

It should be recalled that the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights has become the first institution that established a permanent public external monitoring of its activities. Thus, the first external monitoring of the Commissioner for Human Rights was conducted on 20 June 2012 with the assistance of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group experts. The monitoring conducted by the Center for Civil Liberties with the support of UNDP in Ukraine was unprecedented in its essence as the activities of the Ombudsman were for the first time evaluated by the representatives of Ukrainian civil society. In the study presented by the Head of Board of the Centre for Civil Liberties on 26 April 2013 there was analyzed the state of implementation of the Ombudsman priorities set at the beginning of the appointment - namely transparency, openness and cooperation with civil society.

In addition, on the basis of the Office of the Ombudsman of Ukraine the national preventive mechanism was developed and effectively implemented. The NPM, functioning within the model "Ombudsman Plus", was recognized as one of the best in the region. The experience of the Commissioner for Human Rights on the mediation between state bodies and civil society has also been highly appreciated by specialists of the United Nations, as evidenced by the constant exchange of experience with EU institutions, including Western Europe, on the above mentioned issues.