ENNHRI advises on the need to ensure adequate resources for a future Swiss NHRI
In view of an upcoming decision by the Swiss parliament on the allocation of budget for a future National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in Switzerland, ENNHRI underlines the importance of ensuring adequate funding and resources for NHRIs. This is crucial to safeguarding the institutions’ independence and effectiveness.
In a statement, ENNHRI welcomes the Swiss Parliament’s decision to establish an institution with a view to accreditation as an NHRI in line with the UN Paris Principles. At the same time, it acknowledges concerns raised by civil society and the recommendations of international stakeholders regarding the adequacy of the financial resources allocated to the new institution.
In light of these, ENNHRI highlights that the requirement to ensure that NHRIs are provided with adequate funding and resources is well-rooted in international and regional standards.
The UN Paris Principles and the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) General Observation set out that NHRIs must be provided with an appropriate level of funding to guarantee their independence and ability to freely determine their priorities and activities. Indeed, the level of funding allocated must be based on objective criteria and must not limit an NHRI’s ability to carry out its work effectively. The recent Recommendation on NHRIs from the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers reaffirmed these standards.
ENNHRI calls on Swiss national authorities to commit adequate funding to allow the new institution to effectively and independently fulfill its mandate. Furthermore, it encourages members of parliament to consult the findings of civil society organisations and other experts in determining an adequate budget for the institution.
ENNHRI remains available to provide further clarity on the applicable standards and to support the establishment and functioning of a future Swiss NHRI in line with the UN Paris Principles.