“The SCA notes the information received regarding the lack of sufficient plurality within the members of HRCSL. According to the institution, the current members are composed of four (4) Sinhalese and one (1) Tamil, with no Muslim representative, and only one (1) woman.
The SCA acknowledges the response by HRCSL that due to the five-member limit in its membership, it is difficult to cover the pluralistic character of Sri Lankan society and that pluralism is reflected in their staff composition and in their engagement with vulnerable groups.
A diverse decision-making and staff body facilitates the NHRI’s appreciation of, and capacity to engage on, all human rights issues affecting the society in which it operates, and promotes the accessibility of the NHRI for all citizens. Pluralism refers to broader representation of national society. Consideration must be given to ensuring pluralism in the context of gender, ethnicity, or minority status. This includes, for example, ensuring the equitable participation of women in the NHRI.
The SCA is of the view that it is good practice for the enabling law of an NHRI to include a requirement to ensure pluralism and diversity. This facilitates its appreciation of, and capacity to engage on, all human rights issues affecting the society in which it operates. In addition, it promotes the accessibility of the NHRI for all people in the society within which it operates.
The SCA encourages the HRCSL to take steps to ensure pluralism and diversity including appropriate religious, ethnic and gender balance in its composition.”