Our vision is for a fair, safe and inclusive St Helena where every person is treated with dignity and respect
Our mission is to work with and influence law and policy makers, organisations, groups and individuals to protect and promote human rights in St Helena, allowing everyone an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.
The commission has a statutory duty to promote and protect human rights on St Helena as stated in the Commission for equality and human rights ordinance 2015.
Under Section 5 of the Ordinance, it states the duty of the Commission.
The general duty states that the commission must exercise it’s functions with a view to encouraging and supporting the development of a society in which –
- an individual’s ability to achieve his or her potential is not limited by prejudice or discrimination;
- there is respect for and protection of each individual’s human rights;
- there is respect for the dignity and worth of each individual;
- each individual has an equal opportunity to participate in society; and
- there is mutual respect between groups based on understanding and valuing of diversity and on shared respect for equality and human rights.
The EHRC is a non-departmental public body, an institute of the State but independent of the State, established under the Commission for Equality & Human Rights Ordinance 2015. Our role is to protect and promote human rights in St Helena through various means, including:
- Investigating Complaints – We are able to investigate complaints of human rights infringements including discrimination, sexual harassment, racial and religious intolerance by providing a free and confidential assistance service
- Research – We undertake research to understand and find solutions to systemic causes of discrimination and human rights breaches.
- Advocating and Empower – We raise awareness across all parts of the community about the importance of equality and human rights, encouraging meaningful debate and challenging discriminatory views and behaviours
- Enforce – We intervene in court proceedings to bring an expert independent perspective to cases raising equal opportunity and human rights issues. We conduct inquiries and investigations to identify and eliminate systemic discrimination
- Education – We provide information to help people understand and assert their rights. We are happy to conduct review of programs and practices to help organisations comply with their equal opportunity and human rights obligations
- Monitor – We monitor the operating of the Constitution and the Human Rights instruments extended to the island and track St Helena’s progress in protecting fundamental rights. We produce reports for the UK and United Nations about what is or is not being done to protect human rights.
Commissioners and Staff
The Equality and Human Rights Commission consist of a board of Commissioners as well as an office team.
The EHRC commissioners are appointed under Schedule 1 (section 4) of the Commission for Equality & Human Rights Ordinance 2015 on the recommendation of the Judicial Services Committee (JSC). The EHRC Chair, Deputy Chair and Commissioners are appointed for a minimum period of no less than 2 years or more than 5 year term but can be reappointed by the Governor following recommendations by the JSC. EHRC Commissioners are advocates in the promotion and protection of human rights on St Helena, engaging fully in collective consideration of all issues as well as acting in good faith and in the best interest of the commission.
The EHRC Office team works with the Commissioners to fulfil the goals and objectives of the Commission. The Office Team are responsible for the daily running of the Commission.
To meet the team click here. https://sthelenaehrc.wordpress.com/team/
The Paris Principles
The Paris Principles (“Principles Relating to the Status of National Human Rights Institutions”) are the international minimum standards for effective and credible NHRIs. The Paris Principles were developed at a UN-sponsored meeting held in Paris in October 1991, which brought together representatives of existing national human rights institutions (NHRIs) to define guidelines for the establishment and operations of NHRIs. The Equality and Human Rights Commission continues to strive towards these expectations.
The PANEL Principles
A human rights based approach empowers people to know and claim their rights. It increases the ability of organisations, public bodies and business to fulfil their human rights obligations. It also creates solid accountability so people can seek remedies when rights are violated.
The PANEL principles are one way of breaking down what a human rights based approach means in practice.
Participation – People should be involved in decisions that affect their rights
Accountability – There should be monitoring of how people’s right are being affected, as well as remedies when things go wrong
Non-Discrimination and Equality – All forms of discrimination must be prohibited, prevented and eliminated. People who face the biggest barriers to realising their rights should be prioritised
Empowerment – Everyone should understand their rights, and be fully supported to take apart in developing policy and practices which affect their lives
Legality – Approaches should be grounded in the legal rights that are set out in domestic and international law
The Equality and Human Rights Commission offers free and confidential service to members of the public who may have any human rights inquires or complaints of human rights violations. All inquires and complaints will be treated with the highest regard and consideration, both Commissioners and Staff have signed a strict Confidentiality Policy as well as they must adhere to Section 8 of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights Ordinance 2015.