The National Human Rights Institute, according to Law No. 20,405, fulfills the following functions detailed below:
- Prepare an annual report on their activities, the national human rights situation, and make recommendations for their due protection and respect. Said report must be presented to the President of the Republic, the National Congress, and the President of the Supreme Court. Additionally, to the UN, the OAS, and human rights defense organizations.
- Communicate to the Government and various State agencies their opinion on human rights situations that occur in our country. For this, reports from the relevant agency can be requested.
- Propose to the State agencies measures to favor the promotion and protection of human rights.
- Promote that national legislation, regulations, and practices are harmonized with international human rights treaties ratified by Chile; and that are in force so that their application is effective.
- Initiate (within the scope of its competence) legal actions before the Courts of Justice, which can be complaints about crimes such as crimes against humanity, torture, the disappearance of persons, etc.
- Present protection or protection resources.
- Guard and preserve the records gathered by the National Commission on Political Prison and Torture (Valech I), Presidential Advisory Commission for the Qualification of Disappeared Detainees, Political Executives and Victims of Political Prison and Torture (Valech II). In the case of the latter, send the documentation to the Courts of Justice that request it.
- Collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other related public services to prepare reports on the subject that must be presented to the UN or the OAS.
- Cooperate with the UN and other related regional institutions or those of other countries to promote and protect human rights.
- Promulgate knowledge of human rights, promote their teaching at all educational levels, including the Armed Forces training, carry out research, publish, award prizes, and promote a culture of respect for human rights in the country.
* The custody of the documentation referred to the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Rettig Commission) is the responsibility of the Human Rights Program of the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security.
The Institute is directed by a Council made up of:
- Two councilors appointed by the President of the Republic, who must come from different regions of the country.
- Two councilors elected by 4/7 of the senators in office.
- Two councilors elected by 4/7 of the deputies in office.
- A councilor appointed by the deans of the Faculties of Law of the universities of the Council of Rectors and of the autonomous universities.
- Four councilors elected by institutions for the defense of human rights.
- The members of the Council will elect from among them and by absolute majority a director, who will also be the director of the Institute.
Deputies, senators, mayors, councilors, regional councilors, judges, prosecutors of the Public Ministry, officials of the State administration, members of the Armed Forces, Carabineros, and the PDI may not be councilors.
In addition, there will be a National Advisory Council in which social and academic organizations dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights will be represented. This entity must provide advice to the Council of the Institute.
To know all the functions of the INDH, download Law No. 20,405.
Download Here (Law 20405).
Functions of the INDH Council
The functions of the INDH Council are according to Law 20,405, and the Operating Regulations of the National Human Rights Institute Council are:
I. Article 8 of Law 20,405.
Article 8.- It will correspond to the Council:
- Dictate the Bylaws of the INDH Corporation and its amendments.
- Present to the President of the Republic, the National Congress, and the President of the Supreme Court the annual report established in Article 3, No. 1 of Law 20,405.
- Issue a statement about the consultations that the President of the Republic, the National Congress, or the Courts of Justice make within their powers’ framework.
- Issue its pronouncement about the matters indicated in Law 20,405.
- Approve, at the Director’s proposal, the plans, and programs of action of the Institute for the fulfillment of its mission.
- Request from State administration agencies the information and antecedents necessary for the knowledge on a question that belongs especially to its competence.
- Commission one or more councilors or the Director to receive, outside of their workplace, information regarding their competence.
- To pronounce on the budget management report that the Director must present annually.
- To dictate all the internal rules for its operation, including those related to its internal organization, and resolve any matter necessary for the proper development of the Institute’s work. Likewise, dictate a general norm in the matter of personnel that regulates the labor relations that link the Institute with its workers, which must contain standards on how the nominations and the provision of vacant positions will be made, the promotion mechanisms, job performance qualifications, and training systems.
II. Article 6 of the Operating Regulations of the National Human Rights Institute Council.
Article 6 Attributions:
To complement the functions established in the Law and the Statutes, the Council will correspond to:
- Remove the Director by founded resolution agreed by the majority of at least seven members of the Board, in an extraordinary session specially cited for this purpose, by the majority of its members. Once said removal is verified, a new election will be held for the time remaining to the end of the mandate. In this case, the removed Director will maintain the status of counsilor for the time remaining to fulfill his / her mandate.
- Establish the necessary mechanisms to maintain a permanent presence of the Institute in the country’s regions, in the form and modality that the Council determines.
- Follow up on the recommendations and/or particular observations made to the State of Chile by conventional organizations and by other instances of the United Nations and the Organization of American States in the area of human rights.
- Recommend one or more Councilors to be the spokesperson for the Institute, in situations and in the manner determined by the Council.