“Section 6 (1) (m) of the CHRAGG Act provides that the Commission’s interaction with international bodies in the areas of protection and promotion of human rights and administrative justice shall be “under the auspices of the government”.
The CHRAGG reports that it has not been required to seek prior government approval before engaging with international human rights bodies. The Paris Principles recognize that monitoring and engaging with the international human rights system, and in particular with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, can be an effective tool for NHRIs in the promotion and protection of human rights domestically. While it is appropriate for governments to consult with NHRIs in the preparation of a state’s reports to human rights mechanisms, NHRIs should neither prepare the country report nor should they report on behalf of the government.
NHRIs must maintain their independence and, where they have the capacity to provide information to human rights mechanisms, do so in their own right. NHRIs should not participate as part of a government delegation during the Universal Periodic Review, reviews before the Treaty Bodies, or in other international mechanisms where independent participation rights for NHRIs exist. Where independent participation rights for NHRIs do not exist in a particular fora and an NHRI chooses to participate as part of a State delegation, the manner of their participation must clearly distinguish them as an independent NHRI.
The SCA emphasizes its previous recommendation that the CHRAGG advocates for the amendment of Section 6 (1) (m) of the CHRAGG Act to remove the clause “under the auspices of government”.
The SCA refers to Paris Principles A.3 (d) and (e) and to its General Observation 1.4 on ‘Interaction with the international human rights system’.”