“All NHRIs should be legislatively mandated with specific functions to both promote and protect human rights. The SCA understands ‘protection’ functions as those that address and seek to prevent actual human rights violations. Such functions include monitoring, inquiring, investigating and reporting on human rights violations, and may include individual complaint handling.
The SCA notes that the Constitution and EO 163 mandate the CHRP with various protection functions, including the mandate to investigate complaints and all forms of human rights violations, provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights, recommend to the Congress to provide compensation to victims or their families, monitor the Government’s compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights, and make recommendations to relevant bodies. The SCA acknowledges that the CHRP fulfills its protection mandate through these powers and also, for example, the establishment of a witness protection programme.
The SCA encourages the CHRP to continue its advocacy for an expanded protection mandate, which would be provided for in the proposed CHR Act.
Further, in accordance with Article XIII Section 18 (1) of the Constitution and Section 3 (i) of EO 163, the CHRP is mandated to investigate all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. It does not have an explicit mandate with respect to economic, social and cultural rights.
The SCA acknowledges that the CHRP interprets its mandate in a broad manner and conducts activities in this regard. It further notes that, by virtue of ratification of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by the Philippines and CHRP’s Omnibus Rules of Procedures 2012, the CHRP has also interpreted its mandate as including violations of economic, social and cultural rights.
The SCA further notes that section 3 of the proposed CHR Act makes specific reference to the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as forming part of the definition of human rights.
Finally, the CHRP does not have an explicit mandate to encourage ratification or accession to international human rights instruments.
The SCA again acknowledges that the CHRP interprets its mandate in a broad manner and conducts activities in this regard. The SCA further notes that section 33(b) of the proposed CHR Act mandates the CHRP to recommend ratification, or accession to, international human rights instruments, and to ensure their implementation.”