“The SCA acknowledges that the PDDH can initiate ex officio or upon request investigations on human rights violations as per Articles 194.I.2, 8, 10 and 11 of the Constitution.

The SCA provided the PDDH with an opportunity to respond to specific issues of concern. It acknowledges that the PDDH provided information regarding:

– The activities of the Deputy Procuraduria on Migration and Public Security on prevention of human rights violations against human rights defenders, journalists and media workers; and

– Recommendations on the exemption of journalists from restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the SCA notes that the PDDH did not provide sufficient information with regards to how it implements its full mandate to monitor, promote, and protect the rights of journalists, media workers, and human rights defenders.

The SCA encourages the PDDH to address all violations of human rights and to ensure effective follow-up so that the State makes the necessary changes to ensure that human rights are clearly protected. The SCA further encourages the PDDH to ensure that its positions on these issues are made publicly available, as this will contribute to the strengthening of the credibility and accessibility of the institution for all people in El Salvador.

An NHRI’s mandate should be interpreted in a broad, liberal, and purposive manner to promote a progressive definition of human rights, which includes all rights set out in international, regional, and domestic instruments. NHRIs are expected to promote and ensure respect for all human rights, democratic principles, and the strengthening of the rule of law in all circumstances, and without exception. Where serious violations of human rights are imminent, NHRIs are expected to conduct themselves with a heightened level of vigilance and independence.”