“The SCA notes that section 2 of the Act provides the DIHR with a mandate to both promote and protect human rights, and that, in its application, the DIHR has provided details about a wide range of activities it undertakes that would be considered to be protection functions.
The SCA understands ‘protection’ functions as those that address and seek to prevent actual human rights violations. Such functions include monitoring, inquiring, investigating and reporting on human rights violations, and may include individual complaint handling.
The SCA encourages the DIHR to continue to interpret its protection mandate in a broad manner and to conduct a range of protection actions, including monitoring, enquiring, investigating, and reporting.
Further, the SCA notes that the DIHR is not explicitly mandated with responsibility to encourage ratification or accession to international human rights instruments. While acknowledging the activities the DIHR undertakes in this regard in practice, the SCA encourages the DIHR to advocate for amendments to its enabling law to make this mandate explicit.”