“The SCA notes that the Act is silent on the power to visit places of deprivation of liberty. The SCA is of the view that an NHRI’s mandate should be interpreted in a broad and purposive manner to promote a progressive definition of human rights which includes all rights set out in international, regional and domestic instruments, including economic, social and cultural rights.  

Specifically, the mandate should authorize unannounced and free access to inspect and examine any public premises, documents, equipment, and assets without prior written notice. 

The SCA recommends that the CHRC advocates for the explicit mandate to conduct unannounced visits to places of deprivation of liberty. 

In the interim, the SCA recommends that the CHRC access all places of deprivation of liberty to effectively monitor, investigate and report on the human rights situation in a timely manner. It further recommends that the CHRC undertake systematic follow-up activities and advocate for the consideration and implementation of its findings and recommendations in order to ensure the protection of all persons deprived of their liberty. 

The SCA refers to Paris Principles A.2, A.3, and D.d, and to its General Observations 1.2 on ‘Human rights mandate’ and 1.6 on ‘Recommendations by NHRIs’.”