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, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Ireland 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.

The Human Rights Trust Fund (HRTF) celebrates its 15th anniversary this year

This successful Trust Fund brings together a group of like-minded member states who pool their resources to support the Council of Europe’s European Convention for Human rights.

The HRTF allows the Council of Europe to support its member states in designing and implementing national measures required to execute the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, to remedy the consequences of human rights violations and stop repetitive applications before domestic courts.

The HRTF has so far provided funding to 51 Council of Europe projects, including multilateral initiatives that have benefitted all member states.

Since its creation in March 2008, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have contributed a total of approximately 22,7 million euros to the HRTF.

The HRTF was established as a joint initiative between Norway, the Council of Europe and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) in reaction to the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe who, at their Third Summit (Warsaw, 2005) stressed the obligation of all member States to accelerate and fully execute the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

At the Council of Europe Fourth Summit (Reykjavik, May 2023), the Council of Europe’s member states undertook to firmly recommit to the Convention system and to “scale up co-operation programmes to assist member States in the implementation of judgments, which may involve, as appropriate, States facing the same or similar issues in implementation, and increase synergy between the Department for the Execution of Judgments and the Council of Europe co-operation programmes”.

This important statement draws a strategic line in which the HRTF continues to have a crucial role to play.

 Contact the Secretariat of the Human Rights Trust Fund

"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