“The ZHRC informed the SCA that its budget has increased since the last review and that this has enabled the ZHRC to recruit additional staff. The SCA also notes that the ZHRC plans to open additional regional offices to improve its geographical coverage and enhance accessibility to its services.
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. Provision of adequate funding by the State should, as a minimum, include the following:
a) the allocation of funds for premises which 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 its 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 well-functioning communications systems including telephone and internet; and
e) the allocation of a sufficient amount of resources for mandated activities. Where the National Institution 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 recommends that the ZHRC continue to advocate for an appropriate level of funding to carry out its mandate, including plans to enhance its field presence.
The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.2 and to its General Observation 1.10 on ‘Adequate funding of NHRIs’.”