The Commission was constituted vide National Commission for Human Rights Act, 2012. As per the law, the tenure of the Chairperson and members will be for four years. The first Commission was appointed in 2015 which got expired on May 2019.
Till now, the Federal Government has failed to appoint the new Commission. The Federal Government advertised regarding the posts of Chairman and members in March 2019, but the Cabinet directed to re-advertise the posts since Ministry failed to take Cabinet’s approval.
The Commission is going through a transition period and facing many difficulties. The employees of the Commission were either on deputation or contract since the Federal Government couldn’t approve the Recruitment Rules of NCHR in four years.
In such circumstances, the contractual employees are facing serious hardships since in the absence of Chairman and Members; Ministry of Human Rights is a competent authority who is adamant in extending the contracts of employees.
The Commission has already forwarded the case of extension twice but Ministry hasn’t replied it yet. Few of the employees’ contract has already been expired but the Ministry instead of extending dumped the file and are not replying.
The employees had a meeting with the Minister for Human Rights earlier this week. It was surprising to note that the Minister had no idea about this issue and admitted that her ministry never briefed her about this issue. She told the staff that she will look into it.
Either it is the officers of ministry who don’t want the Commission to become established or is it the incompetent minister who has no idea about the mandate of the Commission.
The staff has already submitted public petitions to Chairman Senate and Functional Committee on Human Rights and awaiting the response. It is ironic that the Ministry of Human Rights is responsible for the violation of human rights of the Commission’s staff