“The UHRC reports that, while it has received some increases in its budgetary allocation, these have not been sufficient to effectively fulfil its mandate.
The SCA emphasizes that, to function effectively, an NHRI must be provided with an appropriate level of funding in order to guarantee its independence and its ability to freely determine its priorities and activities. It must also have the power to allocate funding according to these priorities.
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 other 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 its 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. Where an NHRI has been designated with additional responsibilities by the State, additional financial resources should be provided to enable it to assume the responsibilities of discharging these functions.
The SCA acknowledges that the UHRC has sought and received donor funding in order to improve its budgetary situation.
Funding from external sources, such as from international development partners, should not compose the core funding of the NHRI, as this is the responsibility of the State. However, the SCA recognizes the need for the international community, in specific and rare circumstances, to continue to engage and support an NHRI in order to ensure it receives adequate funding until such time when the State will be able to do so. In such unique cases, an NHRI should not be required to obtain approval from the state for external sources of funding, as this requirement may
detract from its independence. Such funds should not be tied to donor-defined priorities but rather to the pre-determined priorities of the NHRI
The SCA encourages the UHRC to continue to advocate for an appropriate level of funding to be provided by the State in order to allow it to effectively carry out its mandate, including by opening additional regional offices.”