Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Review of our accreditation as a National Human Rights Institution
Earlier this year, several civil society organisations in the UK wrote to the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA), asking for the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s 'A' status accreditation as a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) to be reviewed.
The SCA met for its second scheduled session of 2023 in October.
It has decided to consider the issues raised in greater depth through its Special Review process.
Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chairwoman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:
“We take seriously our duty to protect and promote equality and human rights for everyone. That includes considering, carefully and impartially and on the basis of evidence, how the rights of one person, or group, might be affected by the rights of another.
“We are disappointed that we will have to defend our accreditation status in this way and remain very confident that we will be able to respond robustly to any questions the SCA may have.
“We have already written to the Committee to highlight inaccuracies in the submissions made against us, and to strongly reject claims that we are not compliant with the Paris Principles.
“We take great pride in our independence from government and continue to demonstrate our impartiality through our willingness to robustly challenge them.
“At the EHRC, we keep our eyes on our first public duty, which is to protect and promote equality and the everyone’s rights – not merely those that shout the loudest.”
Notes to Editors
- The EHRC was last re-accredited as an ‘A status’ NHRI in 2022 and previously in 2015 and 2008.
- National Human Rights Institutions are assessed against the Paris Principles. These require NHRIs:
· To be competent to promote and protect human rights
· To have a broad, clear constitutional and legislative mandate
· To submit advice on human rights issues to government and Parliament
· To cooperate with the United Nations and other international organisations to protect and promote human rights
· To promote education of human rights in schools, universities and professional circles
· To combat all forms of discrimination by increasing public awareness of human rights
· To ensure plural representation in its appointments
· To have adequate funding
· To be independent in its decision-making and operation
- There are two levels of accreditation, rating NHRIs' compliance with the Paris Principles:
· ‘A’ – fully compliant
· ‘B’ – partially compliant
- NHRIs that are non-compliant are graded as 'not accredited'.
- The advice the EHRC provided to the Minister for Women and Equalities in April 2023, on clarifying the definition of ‘sex’ in the Equality Act, can be found here.
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