Ukraine’s national human rights institution receives “A” statusMar 13, 2015
Geneva - During the 28th Annual Meeting of the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs (ICC), Ms. Valeria Lutkovska, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, was conferred an "A" status accreditation certificate, testifying for full compliance of Ukraine's National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) with the Paris Principles, approved by the UN General Assembly in 1993.
"This award is a testament to the excellent reputation and high recognition that the Office of the Commissioner received among human rights activists and non-governmental organizations, which defend human rights in Ukraine and around the world," emphasized the representatives of Germany, welcoming Ukrainian Ombudsperson on the occasion of awarding the "A" status to the NHRI in Ukraine.
The "A" status - the highest status of compliance with the UN Paris Principles – was awarded to the Commissioner as a result of the review of two-year activity of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights and issued by ICC on 29 December 2014.
The decision of ICC was based on the opinions of representatives of Ukrainian human rights community and non-governmental organizations, the positions of colleagues from the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI), and international partners. In particular, the effectiveness, independence, and impartiality of the institution of the Ukrainian Ombudsperson were key to assessment.
In December 2013, Valeria Lutkovska addressed the UN office in Geneva to accredit the Ukrainian NHRI as compliant with the Paris Principles. Throughout a year, the experts of relevant UN subcommittees examined the activity of the Commissioner's Office, including annual reports on human rights situation in the country and freedoms in Ukraine in 2012 and 2013, as well as other special reports produced by the Office.
In addition, the decision of ICC included a recommendation on adequate funding of the institution. In particular, it encouraged expansion of functions by new laws of the Commissioner to combat discrimination, protect personal data, and sustain national preventive mechanism and representation of people in the courts, while expressing a concern that lack of funding is not conducive to proper capacity building of the Ombudsperson's Office.
Supporting Ukrainian NHRI in its efforts to ensure protection and promotion of human rights in Ukraine has been the focus of UNDP work in the country. Particularly, the United Nations Development Programme supported a CSO-led independent assessment of the effectiveness of the Ombudsperson's Office activity. Its main recommendations were taken into account by the Commissioner. UNDP also supported the development of a 10-strong network of Ombudsperson's civic regional coordinators in 10 oblasts, bringing the institution of the Ombudsperson closer to its constituencies in the regions.