The Human Rights Trust Fund

A strong commitment by Council of Europe and CEB member states in favour of human rights
   

Establishment

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.

Purpose

The Fund finances activities that support member states’ efforts in implementing the European Convention on Human Rights ("the Convention”) and other Council of Europe human rights instruments and contributes to strengthening the sustainability of the European Court of Human Rights, by:

preserving and promoting common fundamental values concerning human rights, democracy and the rule of law

ensuring effective mechanisms for verifying the compatibility of legislation and administrative practice with the Convention, including ensuring effective domestic remedies

facilitating the implementation of national measures to prevent or redress violations of human rights.

The Human Rights Trust Fund projects contribute to ensuring :

that effective remedies exist for anyone with an arguable complaint of violation of the Convention

that there are domestic procedures that comply with procedural obligations under the Convention to conduct effective investigations and handle cases of serious violation of the Convention

that there are effective mechanisms for verifying the compatibility of draft legislation and administrative practice with the Convention

that adequate organisation, operation and infrastructure of administrative and judicial public services exist.

“The Human Rights Trust Fund continues to serve the needs of Council of Europe Member States by providing tailor-made project funding to support the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The six donors – Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands and the UK – consider the Fund to be a valuable contribution to the Council of Europe’s efforts to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to improve national governments’ capacities to meet their obligations under the Convention, ultimately reducing the number of cases that will be submitted to the European Court of Human Rights. We hope that others will join this small donor group, to expand the Fund’s potential reach.”

Matthew Johnson, Chairperson of the Governing Body of the HRTF, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the Council of Europe


"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


"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