“The PDDH reports that it has not been allocated with sufficient funding to create new programs or strengthen existing ones and that, while it has received some increase in its budgetary allocation, these have not been sufficient to address the limitations faced by the institution. The PDDH also reports that the limitation of the budget has also been exacerbated by the significant proportion of the budget that is allocated to the long-term rental of office premises, including the headquarters and regional branches.

The SCA emphasizes that, to function effectively, an NHRI must be provided with an appropriate level of funding in order to guarantee its ability to freely determine its priorities and activities. In particular, adequate funding should, to a reasonable degree, ensure the gradual and progressive realization of improvement in the NHRI’s operations and the fulfilment of its mandate.

Provision of adequate funding by the State should, at a minimum, include the following:

a) The allocation of funds for premises that are accessible to the wider community, including for persons with disabilities. In certain circumstances, in order to promote independence and accessibility, this may require that offices are not co-located with government agencies. Where possible, accessibility should be further enhanced by establishing a permanent regional presence;

b) Salaries and benefits awarded to staff comparable to those of civil servants performing similar tasks in other independent institutions of the State;

c) Remuneration of members of the decision-making body (where appropriate);

d) The establishment of a well-functioning communications system including telephone and internet; and

e) The allocation of a sufficient amount of resources for mandated activities.

The SCA reiterates its previous recommendation encouraging the PDDH to advocate for the funding necessary to ensure that it can effectively carry out its mandate.”