US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



USHRN calls for immediate payment of all UN member States’ dues to secure vital funding for human rights treaty bodies

Jun 3, 2019

PHOENIX - Following the announcement of funding cuts to multiple UN human rights treaty bodies, the US Human Rights Network released the following statement:

In April 2019, the Chairpersons of six out of ten United Nations human rights treaty bodies were informed that, due to severe budget cuts, their upcoming autumn 2019 scheduled review of states parties are likely to be cancelled. These cuts to funding are a result of unpaid dues by multiple UN member States, including the United States, and cuts to the budget for travel of UN human rights experts.

The treaty bodies are vital to the international, regional, and domestic human rights systems; they are the means through which States are held accountable to their human rights obligations. Cancellation of upcoming treaty bodies sessions is unprecedented. According to the OHCHR, “This means that reviews already scheduled with States, as well as consideration of complaints by individual victims of serious human rights violations - including torture, extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances – will not take place as scheduled. The cancellation of sessions will also have numerous other negative consequences, and will seriously undermine the system of protections which States themselves have put in place over decades[1].”

The ongoing work of UN human rights treaty bodies is essential to protecting the rights of marginalized individuals and groups around the world. These treaty bodies must be fully and immediately funded in order to implement their mandates and promote a rules-based international order. Member States’ lack of commitment to multilateralism and the protection of human rights, displayed in the failure to pay dues, is disturbing and unacceptable.

The US Human Rights Network calls on the US government and all UN member States to swiftly pay their dues to the United Nations. Delays in UN membership contributions cannot be tolerated; these funding cuts put human rights in the US and around the world at risk.

USHRN was one of 399 civil society signatories on a recent open letter to all member States, calling for the immediate payment of all unpaid dues and for a reprioritization of state accountability and UN human rights mechanisms. Read the letter here.

[1] UN budget shortfalls seriously undermine the work of the Human Rights Treaty bodies