Accreditation status: A
The Malawi Human Rights Commission (‘the Commission’) is an independent institution established under Chapter XI of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. The Commission is regulated by the Human Rights Commission Act, in terms of its establishment, composition, functions, responsibilities, modes of operation and finances among other things. Sections 13 and 14 of the Act give the Commission the following mandate:
- Consider and make recommendations regarding any human rights issues, on its own volition or as may be referred to it by the Government
- Conduct investigation and engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (ADR)
The Commission has the following directorates, who deal with the respective human rights issues:
- Child Rights
- Civil and Political Rights
- Disability and Elderly Rights
- Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- Gender and Women Rights
- Corporate Services
Who can access it?
Complaints can be submitted by any person or group of persons on the territory of Malawi, whose human rights have been violated or by legal practitioners, their representatives, third parties, non-governmental organizations, professional associations or any other representative organizations having an appropriate interest in the matter.
How does it work?
Complaints can be submitted by filling out the complaints form and submitting it to the address of the Commission. After a complaint has been submitted the Commission proceeds to categorize it and assign officers to be in charge of it. An inquiry plan is then completed by the assigned officer who can proceed to consider the complaint. An investigation of the facts and merits of the case is later on performed, as well as further evidence acquired. Then the Commission proceeds to make a decision on recommendation or any other action. Conciliation can also be resorted to at any stage, upon the discretion of the Commission.
The Commission has the power to conduct investigations and make recommendations to the Director of Public Prosecution to consider carrying out prosecutions. Possible outcomes may include:
- transmitting a complaint to any other competent authority as prescribed by the law or as otherwise the Commission sees fit
- making recommendations to competent authorities
- recommending to the relevant authority the prosecution of any persons found to have violated human rights