“Royal Decree No. (57/2022) does not provide the OHRC with the explicit mandate to encourage ratification or accession to international human rights instruments. The OHRC reported that it interprets article 11(4) of the Decree, which provides it with the general mandate to advise state authorities on human rights and freedoms, to include recommending the ratification of international treaties.

The SCA acknowledges further that, in practice, the OHRC promotes ratification of international instruments including through its recommendations for the State to adhere to international standards in its submissions to the UPR in 2020, CEDAW in 2021 and CRC in 2022. The SCA highlights that encouraging ratification of, or accession to, regional and international human rights instruments, as well as monitoring the effective implementation of those instruments, is a vital function of an NHRI.

The SCA considers it important that these duties form an integral part of the enabling legislation of an NHRI. While article (45) bis 16 (6) of the updated Internal Regulations provides that the OHRC annual report shall include recommendations for accession to relevant international human rights conventions and proposals for withdrawing reservations to certain convention clauses, the SCA considers that Internal Regulations do not form part of the OHRC legislative mandate. The SCA recommends that the OHRC advocate for appropriate amendments to Royal Decree No. (57/2022), to provide for the explicit mandate to encourage ratification or accession to regional and international human rights instruments.

The SCA encourages the OHRC to continue its advocacy for the ratification of international human rights instruments in practice.”

The SCA refers to Paris Principle A.3(c) and its General Observation 1.3 on ‘Encouraging ratification or accession to international human rights instruments’. “