“The SCA has received information that there have been some significant delays in the NHRCT’s handling of complaints. The SCA acknowledges that the NHRCT reports that it has been taking steps to address this issue. It 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.

Further, the NHRCT reports that it has been advocating for the expansion of its complaints handling mandate to include the power to mediate disputes. The SCA notes that the recommendations contained in the 2019 report of the Working Group on human rights on transnational corporations and other business enterprises included this recommendation (A/HRC/41/43/Add.1). The NHRCT reports that it would welcome such an amendment to its enabling legislation. In fulfilling its complaint-handling mandate, it should be provided with the necessary functions and powers to adequately fulfil this mandate. This may include the ability to seek an amicable and confidential settlement of the complaint through an alternative redress process.