“The SCA sought to examine the PDDH’s independence. However the SCA is of the view that the information provided by the PDDH to date has been insufficient to enable an adequate assessment.
The SCA notes that the Committee on Migrants Workers stated the following
“27. The Committee is concerned about the lack of information regarding the specific role of the Office of the Human Rights Advocate (Procuraduría de Derechos Humanos) with regard to migration issues, its independence, the existence of a complaints mechanism accessible to migrant workers and members of their families and the conduct of visits to migrant detention and custodial centres.
28. The Committee recommends that the State party entrust the Office of the Human Rights Advocate with the mandate to effectively carry out the promotion and protection of the rights of migrant workers and members of their families under the Convention. The Committee also recommends that the Office of the Human Rights Advocate be vested with the independent authority to investigate all issues relating to the human rights of migrant workers and members of their families, regardless of status, and to conduct unannounced visits to all places where migrant workers and members of their families may be deprived of their liberty. The Committee further recommends that the State party provide the Office of the Human Rights Advocate with adequate financial and human resources to enable it to effectively discharge its mandate in full compliance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights“. (CMW/C/NIC/CO/1 – 11th October 2016)
The SCA encourages the PDDH to provide its response to this observation.
Additionally, the SCA encourages the PDDH to provide:
– any reports issued by the PDDH in relation to the human rights situation in Nicaragua, as well as its press releases, public statements and any recommendations made to the Government or the National Assembly related to human rights;
– its submissions to the international and regional human rights system;
– information about actions the PDHH has undertaken in relation to the request of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to undertake a visit to Nicaragua;
– Follow-up information on the actions the PDDH has undertaken to address cases related to violations of human rights, including that of Maria Luisa Acosta.
The SCA notes that the Paris Principles require an NHRI to be independent from government in its structure, composition, decision-making and method of operation. It must be constituted and empowered to consider and determine the strategic priorities and activities of the NHRI based solely on its determination of the human rights priorities in the country, free from political interference.
The SCA notes that the real and perceived independence of an NHRI is fundamental to the Paris Principles. It stresses the importance of public confidence in the independence of a NHRI.
The SCA encourages the PDDH to promote and protect human rights in an independent manner, ensuring respect for all human rights, democratic principles and the strengthening of the rule of law in all circumstances, and without exception.”