Ashgabat 25 March 2021: As part of the project “Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Ombudsperson’s Office of Turkmenistan” implemented jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ombudsperson’s Office of Turkmenistan, a two-day online workshop entitled “Assisting the Ombudsperson’s Office in the accreditation process for the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)” was organized in Ashgabat. The workshop was conducted by experts from the Asia-Pacific Forum (APF) of National Human Rights Institutions.

The aim of the seminar was to provide assistance to Ombudsperson’s Office of Turkmenistan in the process of accreditation to the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) by analyzing the Ombudsperson's mandate in accordance with the legislation and providing appropriate recommendations.

“The APF is pleased to see the Ombudsperson’s Office so engaged in preparing the institution for accreditation with GANHRI. We are glad to be able to provide the Office with technical support to prepare for the accreditation process” noted Mr. Phillip Wardle, APF Legal and Policy Manager.

The APF conducted a review of the Ombudsperson’s enabling legal mandate and practice to provide a preliminary assessment of compliance with the Paris Principles. This review is designed to enable the Ombudsperson to consider an application for accreditation with the GANHRI, which is also a pre-requisite for membership of the APF. The review considered the Ombudsperson Law and various sources of information as evidence of the institution's practice, including reports from the UN Human Rights Machinery, NGOs, and the Ombudsperson’s own annual report.

During the workshop, participants discussed the Ombudsperson’s legal mandate, the selection and appointment processes, the individual protections and privileges of Ombudsperson, her general mandate and the complaints-handling function.

UNDP and APF hosted a two-day workshop to provide further commentary  on the review, and to enable the Ombudsperson to provide feedback and ask questions on any issues that arise in the review materials. The APF also extended an invitation to the Ombudsperson and her Office to attend the next APF workshop on GANHRI accreditation, which is an annual activity delivered by the APF to support its members and new NHRIs to understand the GANHRI accreditation process in more details.

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The main goal of the project “Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Ombudsperson’s Office of Turkmenistan” is to improve the promotion, protection and implementation of human rights in Turkmenistan by supporting efforts to reform national legislations in accordance with the international human rights commitments undertaken by Turkmenistan and to build the institutional capacity of the Ombudsperson’s Office. This important initiative is supported by financial contribution of the Government of Canada and the Government of Finland.

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