The Forum will operate within the context of the following general principles, which inform its objectives:

  • “Inclusiveness”: The Forum is intended to be an ‘inclusive’ body of Commonwealth NHRIs and other national accountability mechanisms with a human rights mandate.
  • “Complementarity and non-duplication”: The Forum is based on the principle of offering complementarity and support to existing national, regional and international bodies, systems and processes and intends to carry out its activities on the principle of non-duplication.
  • “Strategic”: The Forum will be strategic and focused in its approach and will seek to identify its comparative advantages (in keeping with the above principle of complementarity). In terms of sharing expertise, information and best practice, the Forum will facilitate and maintain a ‘two way’ mutually supportive relationship with and between the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth NHRIs, as well as member governments for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Commonwealth.

It is envisaged that the Forum will progressively evolve in furthering its objectives.