“The PCRS’ statistics indicate a significant decrease in the number of complaints received since 2017. The SCA acknowledges the explanation provided by the PCRS which indicated that public confidence in the institution’s complaint handling process decreased for a period of time but that recent survey indicated that the PCRS currently enjoys a high level of public trust.
The SCA encourages the PCRS to continue to take steps to improve public confidence in its complaint-handling process. Further, and as noted above, the SCA received information that there have been some significant delays in the processing of complaints. The PCRS acknowledged that this has been the case, but that they are taking steps to address the issue. The SCA encourages the institution to continue these efforts.
Where an NHRI has been provided with a mandate to receive and consider complaints alleging violations of human rights, an NHRI should ensure that complaints are dealt with fairly, transparently, efficiently, expeditiously, and with consistency. In order to do so, an NHRI should:
- ensure that its facilities, staff, and its practices and procedures, facilitate access by those who allege their rights have been violated and their representatives; and
- ensure that its complaint-handling procedures are contained in written guidelines and that these are publicly available.
The SCA notes that the PCRS has proposed amendments to its Law to provide for shorter timelines for the treatment of complaints. It encourages the PCRS to continue to advocate for the adoption of such timelines, and to ensure their application in practice.”