Press Release

IACHR Thanks the United States for Additional Financial Contribution

October 26, 2016

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María Isabel Rivero
IACHR Press and Communication Office
Tel: +1 (202) 370-9001

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Washington, D.C – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) values and thanks the additional contribution of half a million dollars from the United States. On October 14, 2016, the IACHR received a letter from the United States announcing these additional funds, in addition to the extraordinary contribution of 2,115,506 dollars that the United States had already sent earlier this year.

“We are grateful and we value this contribution from the United States, as it enables us to continue strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights in the region,” said IACHR’s Executive Secretary, Paulo Abrao. “United States is the main donor of the IACHR, and annually finances activities which are basic for the Commissions’ functioning. This additional contribution is of special importance as it includes resources to initiate the participative construction of the Strategic Plan of the IACHR for the next four years,” he added.

The IACHR has an annual regular budget slightly over 5 millions of dollars, which is absolutely insufficient to comply with its mandate. The additional contributions from donors, including extraordinary contributions from OAS Member States, add between 3 and 6 million dollars per year. With the combination of these sources of funds, the IACHR is able to have a basic structure to process thousands of petitions and cases, analyze hundreds of urgent requests for precautionary measures, monitor the human rights situation in 35 countries under its jurisdiction, carry in loco and working visits, comply with the duties of training and promotion, elaborate country and thematic reports, provide special attention to the respect and guarantee of human rights of personas and groups in situations of special vulnerability through the Thematic Rapporteurships, and comply with other basic duties.
“The mobilization of resources from member States as an answer to the financial crisis we faced by mid-year was essential to overcome it. We were able to maintain our contracts and keep the installed work capacity, as well as reschedule the period of sessions, which will be held in Panama,” the IACHR’s president, Commissioner James Cavallaro, said.

On his part, the IACHR’s Vice-President, Commissioner Francisco Eguiguren, explained: “These new resources coming from the United States also enable us to announce an extraordinary period of sessions this year, in addition to the one being organized in Panama. This is good news as it will enable us to reschedule some of the activities and decisions that we could not carry out before due to the financial crisis.”

“The financial structural deficit is still out main challenge. But we identify a sincere disposition from OAS State Members to approve the concrete measures to have a long lasting solution on October 31,” Vice-President Eguiguren added.

On October 31, 2016, the Member States will approve the OAS budget for year 2017 in the extraordinary General Assembly scheduled for that purpose. The IACHR and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights presented a joint proposal to increase the budget for both organs of the Inter-American System of Human Rights. The Commission urges the Member States to approve the joint proposal, in order to guarantee the sustainability and financial viability of the Inter-American System of Human Rights in the short, medium and long term.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 158/16