When was the Human rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) established?

It was established in the year 1996 under the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act No 21 of 1996 by Parliament .

What is the purpose to establishing a Human Rights Commission in Sri Lanka?

Purpose is protecting and promoting human rights at the national and regional levels bases on Paris principles.

How are human rights defined in the HRCSL Act?

Rights declared and recognized by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

What are fundamental rights in HRCSL Act?

Fundamental rights means a fundamental right declared and recognized by the Constitution

What are the main functions of the HRCSL?

• Inquiring and investigating into fundamental rights violations

• To ensure that all State procedures comply with fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Sri Lanka

• To advice and assist the government in drawing up legislations, administrative directives, and procedures in compliance with fundamental rights

• To make recommendations to the government regarding how national laws and administrative practices can be brought in line with international human rights obligations of Sri Lanka

• To advise the government on acceding to international human rights treaties and other international instruments in the field of human rights

• To promote human rights awareness in the country

What type of a complaint can a person forward to the Commission?

Violations or imminent violations of fundamental rights guaranteed by Chapter III of the Constitution (1978)

Who can make a complaint to the Commission?

• An aggrieved person

• Group of persons

• A person / group of persons acting on behalf of an aggrieved person or a group of persons

Can be the complaint be lodged in any language?

The complaint can be lodged in Sinhala, Tamil or English

Can the Commission Investigate into Matters Without Receiving any Complaints?

Yes. The Commission can investigate and inquire into fundamental rights violations on its own motion

Can the Supreme Court Direct Complaints to the Commission to Investigate and Report?

Yes. Sometimes the Supreme Court directs complaints to the HRCSL to inquire into and report

What Information should be included in a Complaint?

• What rights have been violated

• Whose rights have been violated

• Who is responsible for the violation/s

• In what manner were the rights violated

• Where and when did the violation took place

• Remedies you seek for

Is it compulsory to bring legal representatives when appearing to HRCSL for inquiries?

No, it is not compulsory to bring legal representatives

What happens to complaints which do not come under the HRCSL mandate?

These complaints refer to relevant remedial institutions which were established by the government.

Is it possible to make complaints on very old fundamental rights violations?

Very old fundamental rights violation complaints will be accepted on reasonable grounds only

Are HRCSL services free of charge?

Yes, all the services which are provided by the HRCSL are free of charge

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