“In accordance with Article 131 (3) of the Constitution and Section 33 of the CHRAGG Act, CHRAGG submits annual reports to the responsible Minister, who is obliged to table it before the Parliament.
The CHRAGG informs the SCA that, for reasons beyond its control, its annual reports since the 2010/2011 financial year are not publicly available and have not been tabled before Parliament. The CHRAGG indicated that its current reports have also not been tabled before Parliament by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and, consequently, have not been made public.
The SCA emphasizes the importance for a NHRI to prepare, publicize and widely distribute an annual report on its national situation with regard to human rights in general, and on more specific matters.
This report should include an account of the activities undertaken by the NHRI to further its mandate during that year and should state its opinions, recommendations, and proposals to address any human rights issues of concern. The SCA considers it important that the enabling laws of an NHRI establish a process whereby the Institution’s reports are required to be widely circulated, discussed, and considered by the legislature.
Where an NHRI has made an application for accreditation or, re-accreditation, it will be required to submit a current annual report, that is, one from the preceding year’s reporting period. The SCA finds it difficult to assess the effectiveness of a National Institution and its compliance with the Paris Principles in the absence of a current annual report.
The SCA acknowledges that the CHRAGG has engaged with the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to resolve the issue and has received a commitment that all overdue reports will be tabled before Parliament in May 2023.
The SCA recommends that the CHRAGG ensures its annual reports are tabled in Parliament, made public as soon as possible, and in doing so to promote action on them.
The SCA also recommends that the CHRAGG advocates for amendments to Article 131 (3) of the Constitution and Section 33 of the CHRAGG Act, to provide the CHRAGG with the power to directly table its reports with Parliament.
The SCA refers to Paris Principle A.3 and to its General Observation 1.11 on ‘Annual reports of NHRIs’.”