“Despite the recent increase in the SOO budget, the SCA notes that this budget is neither sufficient to recruit and retain qualified staff, nor to fully implement its promotion mandate. Furthermore, the SOO reported that a new mandate for the institution as National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking is currently under discussion in Parliament, which may be added to the SOO without additional resources.

The SCA notes that, to function effectively, an NHRI must be provided with an appropriate level of funding in order to guarantee its independence and its ability to freely determine its priorities and activities. In particular, adequate funding should, to a reasonable degree, ensure the gradual and progressive realization of the improvement of the NHRI’s operations and the fulfilment of its mandate.

 Furthermore, the SCA highlights that, where an NHRI has been mandated with additional responsibilities, it must be provided with the additional adequate funding to effectively fulfil these duties. Provision of adequate funding by the State should, at a minimum, include the following:

 – the allocation of funds for premises which are accessible to the wider community, including for persons with disabilities;

– salaries and benefits awarded to staff comparable to those of civil servants performing similar tasks in other independent institutions of the State;

– remuneration of members of the decision making body; and

– the allocation of a sufficient amount of resources for mandated activities.

 The SCA emphasizes that Government funding should be regularly released and in a manner that does not impact adversely on its functions, day-to-day management, and retention of staff. The SCA encourages the SOO to continue to advocate for an adequate level of funding and human resources to ensure that it can effectively carry out the full breadth of its current and additional mandates in an effective manner, including its mandate to promote human rights.

The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.2 and to its General Observation 1.10 on ‘Adequate funding of NHRIs’.”