“Section 40 of the Act requires the Ombudsman to submit a report on the status of human rights to the Legislative Assembly. The Act requires the Legislative Assembly to refer the report to the Parliamentary Committee responsible for human rights to scrutinize the report. However, the Ombudsman reports that in practice, these provisions, are not always implemented.
Annual, special, and thematic reports serve to highlight key developments in the human rights situation in a country and provide a public account, and therefore public scrutiny, of the effectiveness of an NHRI. The reports also provide a means by which an NHRI can make recommendations to government and monitor respect for human rights by government.
The SCA stresses the importance for an NHRI to prepare, publicize, and widely distribute an annual report on its national situation with regard to human rights in general, and on more specific matters. This report should include an account of the activities undertaken by the NHRI to further its mandate during that year and should state its opinions, recommendations and proposals to address any human rights issues of concern.
The SCA considers it important that the enabling laws of an NHRI establish a process whereby its reports are required to be widely circulated, discussed, and considered by the legislature.
The SCA encourages the Ombudsman to continue to advocate for the full implementation of Section 40 of its enabling law regarding the requirement for the legislature to scrutinize and debate the content of the Ombudsman’s annual report.”