CHRI's mandate is to promote awareness of and adherence to the Harare Principles, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognised human rights instruments and declarations made by the Commonwealth Heads of Governments as well as domestic instruments supporting human rights in the Commonwealth.

CHRI believes that the promotion and protection of human rights is the responsibility of governments but that the active participation of civil society acting in concert is vital to ensuring rule of law and the realisation of human rights.