CHARTER
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF MALAYSIA
(SUHAKAM)
PREAMBLE

SUHAKAM the National Human Rights Institution established by the Human Rights Commission Act 1999 (Act 597), with due compliance with the 1993 Paris Principles Relating to the Status of National Institutions,

ASSERTS its mandates to promote and protect human rights in Malaysia,

ADHERES to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948, to the extent that it is not inconsistent with the Federal Constitution,

RECOGNIZES the diversity of the cultures, religions and moral values in a multi-racial society,

RECOGNIZES that human rights continue to be universally developed,

HEREBY DECLARES:

The statutory responsibilities of SUHAKAM are:

  • To promote awareness and provide education relating to human rights;
  • To advise and assist the Government in formulating legislation and procedures and recommend the necessary measures to be taken;
  • To recommend to the Government with regard to the subscription or accession to treaties and other international instruments in the field of human rights;
  • To inquire into complaints regarding infringements of human rights.

SUHAKAM shall fulfil these responsibilities by:

  • Promoting awareness of human rights and undertaking research and conducting programmes, seminars and workshops and to disseminate and distribute the results of such research;
  • Advising the Government and/or relevant authorities of complaints against them and to recommend appropriate measures to be taken;
  • Investigating and verifying any infringement of human rights;
  • Working with civil society organizations and human rights defenders for the promotion and protection of human rights;
  • Conducting Public Inquiries on major infringements of human rights;
  • Visiting places of detention in accordance with procedures as prescribed by laws relating to places of detention and to make necessary recommendations;
  • Issuing public statements on human rights as and when necessary;
  • Undertaking appropriate activities as are necessary.

Development of annual strategic plans of action on core areas of concern:

  • Inculcation of human right values in all Malaysians;
  • Promotion and protection of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as Civil and Political Rights;
  • Advocacy and monitoring for the ratification, accession and implementation of international human rights treaties by the State;
  • Advocacy and recommendations to amend or repeal laws those are against the principles of human rights.

The framework of operation for SUHAKAM shall be guided by the following core values:

  • Respect
    Respect for differences in cultures, religions and social sensibilities with due recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the State as in Article 29 of the UDHR.
  • Independence
    Exerting independence in the performance of its functions in relation to the legislative, judiciary and executive branches of the Government.
  • Integrity
    Ensuring that the Commission and its members operate to the highest level of integrity, responsibility and accountability in performing their tasks and responsibilities.
  • Engagements
    Enhancing relations with all stakeholders which include the Government, civil societies, regional and international networks and United Nations (UN) human rights bodies and mechanisms.
  • Efficiency
    Promptly responding to public complaints, through active assistance to resolve difficulties, within the provisions of existing laws and regulations.
  • Openness
    Maintaining transparency and providing sufficient avenues to obtain feedbacks and opinions from the public.
  • Capacity development
    Recognizing the value of human resources and the important need for continuous capacity building for Commission members, staff, and other stakeholders.