“The Constitution and EO 163 are silent on the requirement for the CHRP to produce annual and other reports, and on the method of tabling and publicizing such reports.
The SCA acknowledges that the CHRP, in practice, prepares annual reports on the situation of human rights and distributes these reports to regional offices for public dissemination, and to government offices such as Congress, the Senate and the department of budget and management.
The SCA notes that section 38 of the proposed CHR Act provides that the CHRP shall prepare and make public an annual report on its activities.
Annual, special and thematic reports serve to highlight key developments in the human rights situation in a country and provide a public account, and therefore public scrutiny, of the effectiveness of a National Human Rights Institution. The reports also provide a means by which a National Institution can make recommendations to, and monitor respect for, human rights by government.
The importance for a National Institution to prepare, publicize and widely distribute an annual report on its national situation with regard to human rights in general, and on more specific matters, is stressed. This report should include an account of the activities undertaken by the National Institution to further its mandate during that year and should state its opinions, recommendations and proposals to address any human rights issues of concern.
The SCA considers it important that the enabling laws of a National Institution establish a process whereby the Institution’s reports are required to be widely circulated, discussed and considered by the legislature. It would be preferable if the National Institution has an explicit power to table reports directly in the legislature, rather than through the Executive, and in so doing to promote action on them.”