“Two voting members of the GIHR’s Board of Trustees are members of the Federal Parliament. The GIHR notes that it has brought the SCA’s previous concern and recommendation on this matter to the attention of the GIHR General Assembly and of the Federal Parliament Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. 

The GIHR informs the SCA that the Board of Trustees is primarily the accountability body for the Board of Directors, who in turn is primarily responsible for the activities of the GIHR and can be considered the central decision-making body for the GIHR operations. However, the SCA notes that the Board of Trustees is also an organ of the GIHR that takes some important decisions. 

An NHRI is required to be independent of government in its composition, operation, and decision-making. It must be constituted and empowered to consider and determine its strategic priorities and activities based solely on its determination of the human rights priorities in the country, free from political interference. For these reasons, government representatives and members of parliament should not be members of, nor participate in the decision-making of, organs of an NHRI. 

The SCA encourages the GIHR to continue its advocacy for the necessary changes in its governance structure and accordingly amend the law. 

The SCA refers to Paris Principles B.1, B.3 and C(c), and to its General Observation 1.9 on ‘Government representatives on NHRIs’.”