“The SCA notes that article 14(3) of the IHCHR Amended Law requires the IHCHR to seek approval from the Council of Representatives prior to receiving donor funding. Although the IHCHR reported that, in practice, this provision has never been used, the SCA encourages the IHCHR to advocate for the removal of this restriction under the IHCHR Amended Law, to ensure it enjoys full autonomy.
The SCA is of the view that as it is the responsibility of the State to ensure the NHRI’s core budget. Funding from external sources, such as from international development partners, should not constitute the NHRI’s core funding. However, it recognizes the need for the international community, in specific and rare circumstances, to continue to engage and support an NHRI in order to ensure it receives adequate funding until such time when the State will be able to do so. This is particularly applicable in post-conflict States. In these circumstances, NHRIs should not be required to obtain approval for external sources of funding, as this requirement may pose a threat to its independence.
While the SCA acknowledges that the IHCHR has undertaken activities within its existing budget, it notes that the IHCHR has reported that it would benefit from more funding especially in relation to its activities.
The SCA emphasizes that, to function effectively, 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 improvement in the NHRI’s operations and the fulfilment of its mandate.
Provision of adequate funding by the State should, at a minimum, include the following:
a) The allocation of funds for premises, which are accessible to the wide community, including for persons, 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;
b) Salaries and benefits awarded to staff comparable to those of civil servants performing similar tasks in other independent institutions of the State;
c) Remuneration of members of the decision-making body (where appropriate);
d) The establishment of a well-functioning communications system including telephone and internet; and
e) 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 IHCHR to continue to advocate for an appropriate level of funding to carry out its mandate.”