Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
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Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Press Release 146/16


IACHR and Inter-American Court Present a Joint Proposal for the Financing of the Inter-American System of Human Rights


October 4, 2016

Washington, D.C. / San Jose, Costa Rica - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACourtHR) agreed on a joint proposal for the adequate and sustainable financing of the Inter-American System of Human Rights. The proposal seeks to adequate the budget so that the Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS) are the main financers of both organs of the system.

The joint proposal consists of an annual budget for the Inter-American System of Human Rights of 18,204,450 dollars, divided as follows: 11,228,250 dollars for the Commission and 6,976,200 for the Court. The goal is to have a budget that can guarantee the sustainability and predictability of the available funds for the two organs of the system, improving its capacity of planning and management. The proposal would increase the institutional capacity of both organs in accordance with their mandates.

“The Member States are responsible for endowing the two organs of the Inter-American Human Rights System with the necessary resources to thoroughly comply with their mandate with full autonomy and independence,” said the President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Commissioner James Cavallaro.

The President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Judge Roberto F. Caldas, pointed: “The goal is that the Inter-American System of Human Rights becomes increasingly less dependent on third parties contributions, for the effective fulfilment of its mandate.”

The proposal was presented to the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, on September 30, 2016. The General Assembly of the OAS held last June in Dominican Republic instructed the General Secretariat to, in consultation with the Commission and the Court, include on its 2017 Budget and Programme Proposal the actions to respond to the critical financial situation of said organs, and to present proposals to strengthen the financial sustainability in the medium and long terms. The OAS budget for 2017 will be approved by the Extraordinary General Assembly which will be having place in the OAS headquarters on October 31.

“We hope the joint proposal is adopted and that the States guarantee the financial sustainability of the regional system of human rights that they created, for the benefit of every person that inhabits our region,” said the President of the Court, Judge Caldas.

The joint proposal indicates that the eventual increase of the regular budget should not exclude the possibility for the Commission or the Court to receive voluntary additional contributions.

“The proposal we have presented does not cover what the financing of the organs should be in an ideal situation. It is an initiative adapted to the economic context the region is currently facing,” explained the President of the Commission, James Cavallaro. “But the approval of this proposal would mean a very significant step, as it would prevent another financial crisis next year,” he precise.

The joint proposal was elaborated by a Working Group made up by the Presidents of both Organs, Commissioners, Judges, and the Executive Secretariats. The Working Group was created during the Commission’s and Court meeting held in Mexico in August this year.

Letter IACHR/InterAmerican Court

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