Human Rights Trust Fund
A strong commitment by Council of Europe and CEB member states to human rights
The Human Rights Trust Fund (HRTF) was set up in March 2008 by Norway, initiator and a founding contributor, the Council of Europe and the CEB - Council of Europe Development Bank. Since its creation, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have also joined.
Its remit is to provide funding for states' efforts to meet their commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights and other Council of Europe human rights standards.
"Instruments such as the Human Rights Trust Fund are invaluable in order to help translate our human rights standards into practice. This Fund is an example of good financial practice, encouraging Member States to better participate in promoting the principles and values of the Council of Europe. Through this financial tool, the Council of Europe and the CEB can widen and enhance the impact of their action in this field and contribute to the efforts of Member States in complying with their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and other human rights instruments of the Council of Europe."
Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
“In my capacity as the Chair of the Assembly of Contributors of the Human Rights Trust Fund and as the Permanent Representative of Switzerland, one of the six donor countries to the Fund, I notice the unique and most useful contribution of the Human Rights Trust Fund (HRTF) to co-operation and dialogue with member states in my everyday work.
The Fund has played a valuable role in supporting member States to meet their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights thus avoiding new or repetitive cases being brought before the Court. The HRTF has also proved to be instrumental in taking the reform of the Convention system forward and has notably brought significant support to training professional groups on Council of Europe standards, including the integration of these standards in University curricula.
Today, together with the other five like-minded contributors – Finland, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom – I especially stress the importance of fully supporting national application of the Council of Europe human rights standards, which is an essential pillar of the unique structure of our organisation.”
Ambassador Markus Börlin, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Council of Europe, and Chairperson of the Assembly of Contributors of the HRTF
"The Human Rights Trust Fund is a unique and effective instrument to support the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights within the Member States of the Council of Europe. It aims, in particular, at strengthening the sustainability of the European Court of Human Rights... We hope others will join us as there is plenty to do to maintain and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms on our continent."
Ellen Berends, former Chairperson of the Governing Body of the HRTF and former Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the Council of Europe
"The participation of the CEB to the Human Rights Trust Fund is a clear sign of its strong attachment to the values promoted by the Council of Europe and particularly of its support for the European system of human rights protection. CEB's social mandate is intrisically linked to these values."
Rolf Wenzel, Governor of the CEB