“The SCA notes that, due to austerity measures adopted by the government, the KNCHR continues to
experience challenges in maintaining an adequate level of funding to fulfil its staffing needs and to perform the additional functions entrusted to it under the CRPD. The SCA acknowledges the steps taken by the KNCHR to address this issue by engaging with National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary and the Parliament to ensure adequate funding.
The SCA emphasizes that, to function effectively and to fulfil its mandate, an NHRI must be provided with an appropriate level of funding in order to guarantee its ability to freely determine its priorities and activities. In particular, adequate funding should, to a reasonable degree, ensure the gradual and progressive realization of the improvement of the NHRI’s operations and the fulfilment of its mandate. The SCA highlights that, where an NHRI has been mandated with additional responsibilities, it must be provided with the adequate funding to effectively fulfil these duties.
Provision of adequate funding by the State should, at a minimum, include the following:
- the allocation of funds for premises which are accessible to the wider community, including for persons with disabilities. In certain circumstances, in order to promote independence and accessibility, this may require that offices are not co-located with government agencies. Where possible, accessibility should be further enhanced by establishing a permanent regional presence;
- salaries and benefits awarded to staff comparable to those of civil servants performing similar tasks in other independent institutions of the State;
- remuneration of members of the decision-making body (where appropriate);
- the establishment of well-functioning communications systems including telephone and internet; and
- the allocation of a sufficient amount of resources for mandated activities. Where the NHRI has been designated with additional responsibilities by the State, additional financial resources should be provided to enable it to assume the responsibilities of discharging these functions.
The SCA encourages the KNCHR to continue to advocate for a level of funding adequate to ensure that it can effectively carry out its mandate, including its additional functions, and to fulfill its staffing requirements.”