“The SCA notes that, prior to its first session of 2024, the SCA received extensive information from various civil society organizations which indicated that the relationship between the NHRCI and civil society is not effective or constructive, particularly with respect to ongoing dialogue and follow-up on issues raised.

The NHRC reported that it has reconstituted its Core working group on civil society and has met twice in 2023.

However, the SCA has received information from civil society that these mechanisms are not adequately addressing pressing human rights issues and challenges faced by civil society and human rights defenders.

 The SCA again highlights that regular and constructive engagement with all relevant stakeholders is essential for NHRIs to effectively fulfil their mandates.

 The SCA encourages the NHRC to take additional steps to ensure that it engages in ongoing, constructive dialogue and cooperation with civil society and human rights defenders and that this should include regular and ongoing modes of collaboration outside of the Core/Expert Groups and address pressing human rights issues facing human rights defenders.

The SCA refers to Paris Principle C(g) and to its General Observation 1.5 on ‘Cooperation with other human rights bodies’.”