Strong and independent Equality Bodies, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI), Ombudsman Institutions and are necessary features of any democratic State, underpinning human rights, good governance and justice Equinet together with five other human rights organizations stated in a joint statement today.
As the process continues to appoint a new Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland, an important and long-standing member of Equinet, we urge the national authorities to ensure a smooth transition and to take every care that the institution can continue to work effectively and independently throughout the selection and appointment process.
EU Member States have a legal duty to ensure the independent and effective operations of a National Equality Body. Both the EU standards on equality bodies (European Commission’s Recommendation on standards for equality bodies) and Council of Europe standards (the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) General Policy Recommendation No. 2) place particular weight on the independence of the equality body and procedures for appointing and dismissing people in leadership positions.
Today’s statement was signed by Equinet together with the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, the International Ombudsman Institute, and the European Office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner.
Equinet and its partners added that they remain ready to support, assist and advise the Polish authorities involved in the selection and appointment process to ensure it is fully in line with international standards and that the new Commissioner for Human Rights is able to continue the institution’s important work.