“The SCA had received information from the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in 2017 that amendments to the CFR enabling law and the lack of enforceability of its recommendations have weakened its protection mandate in relation to certain rights and that, despite its mandate, the CFR has been reluctant to refer complaints to the Constitutional Court for review in cases that it deems political or institutional.

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the UN Human Rights Committee expressed concerns regarding the “Foreign Funded Organizations Act”. The SCA also received a report from partner organizations of the CFR highlighting several human rights issues in the country including in relation to vulnerable ethnic minorities, migrants and asylum seekers.

The SCA also received information from civil society that the CFR had failed to step up in support of the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention.

Based on the CFR written and oral response to the above issues, the SCA is of the view that the CFR has not effectively engaged on and publicly addressed all human rights issues, including in relation to vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, LGBTI, refugees and migrants as well as constitutional court cases deemed political and institutional, media pluralism, civic space and judicial independence.

The SCA is of the view that the CFR has not spoken out in a manner that promotes protection of all human rights. The failure to do so demonstrates a lack of sufficient independence. Therefore, the SCA is of the view that the CFR is operating in a way that has seriously compromised its compliance with the Paris Principles.

An NHRI’s mandate should be interpreted in a broad, liberal and purposive manner to promote a progressive definition of human rights, which includes all rights set out in international, regional and domestic instruments. NHRIs are expected to promote and ensure respect for all human rights, democratic principles and the strengthening of the rule of law in all circumstances, and without exception. Where serious violations of human rights are imminent, NHRIs are expected to conduct themselves with a heightened level of vigilance and independence.”