“The Law of the DHCR (enabling Law) provides for a limited promotional mandate and does not include acts and omissions by private entities.
The SCA is of the view that an NHRI should be legislatively mandated with specific functions to both promote and protect human rights. It understands ‘promotion’ to include those functions which seek to create a society where human rights are more broadly understood and respected. Such functions may include education, training, advising, public outreach and advocacy.
An NHRI’s mandate should be interpreted in a broad and purposeful manner to promote a progressive definition of human rights which includes all rights set out in international, regional, and domestic instruments, including economic social and cultural rights. Specifically, the mandate should:
– extend to the acts or omissions of both public and private actors;
– vest the NHRI with the competence to freely address public opinion;
– raise public awareness on human rights issues;
– carry out education and training programs;
– provide the authority to address recommendations to public authorities to analyze human rights situations in the country and to obtain statements or documents in order to assess situations raising human rights issues;
– authorize unannounced and free access to inspect and examine any public premises, documents, equipment, and assets without prior written notice; and
– authorize the full investigation into alleged human rights violations, including the military, police, and security officers.
The SCA reiterates its recommendation from 2016 and recommends that the DHCR advocate for appropriate amendments to its enabling law to make its promotional mandate explicit. The SCA also recommends that the DHCR advocate for appropriate amendments to its enabling law to include the ability to address human rights violations resulting from the acts and omissions of private individuals and entities.
The SCA refers to Paris Principle A.3 and to its General Observation 1.2 on ‘Human rights mandate.’”