Press Release

IACHR Thanks Contributions to Overcome Financial Crisis

September 8, 2016

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) values and thanks the special financial contributions made by Argentina and Mexico to help overcome the current financial crisis the Commission faces. If the IACHR receives all the contributions announced by several formal letters of commitment before September 30, it will be able to reschedule the period of sessions of the second semester of the year, which is currently suspended.

On August 26, 2016, the IACHR received a letter from Argentina announcing an extraordinary contribution of 200,000 US dollars, in addition to the 83,000 dollars it already donated and to an additional 117,000 dollars previously announced r, all to be disbursed this year. This makes Argentina the main donor to the IACHR among the Latin American countries in 2016, with a total of 400,000 dollars adding up the amount received and announced. On September 8, 2016, Mexico sent an extraordinary contribution of 50,000 US dollars.

Additionally, the Commission is currently in conversations with the United States on a possible contribution of 100,000 dollars (in addition to the 2,483,146 dollars that it contributed earlier this year) and with the European Union delegation in Mexico, about the possibility of a contribution of 50,000 euros. Conversations are also ongoing with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and with the Alliance for Migrations in Central America and Mexico (Alianza para las Migraciones en Centroamérica y México, CAMMINA), for a contribution of 100,000 dollars each.

If the IACHR receives these funds before September 30, it will be able to reschedule the period of sessions of the second semester, currently suspended. In this case, the sessions and hearings would take place between the last week of November and the first week of December of this year. In addition, the staff contracts expiring September 30 and November 30 would be renovated.

The IACHR values and thanks the contributions received since the announcement of the crisis: 1,800 dollars from Antigua and Barbuda, 43,000 dollars from Argentina (in addition to the 40,000 sent earlier this year), 100,000 dollars from Colombia, 150,000 dollars from Panamá, 50,112 dollars from Peru (in addition to the 5,000 sent earlier this year) and 20,000 dollars from Chile (in addition to the 60,000 dollars sent earlier this year, plus the financing of the Extraordinary Period of Sessions held in Santiago in June). The total amount of voluntary financial contributions received since the announcement of the crisis has been 415,000 dollars.

Throughout the year, while facing this crisis, the Inter-American Commission continued to receive and process petitions, cases and precautionary measures, monitoring the situation of human rights in the OAS member countries, and carrying out the other aspects of its mandate. Notwithstanding, the regular budget of the IACHR of less than 5 million dollars annually, which represents 6% of the regular budget of the Organization of American States (OAS), continues to be insufficient to carry out the mandate assigned by the Member States. Accordingly, the Commission urges the Member States to increase the annual regular budget in the General Assembly to be held in October in order to approve the OAS budget for 2017. The budget for next year should ensure the financial viability and sustainability of the Commission in order to guarantee that the financial crisis of 2016 does not recur.

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. 129/16