Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Responding to reports that the Trump Administration is considering cutting US funding for the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights, Democratic leaders have released a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling for continued support for this critical human rights institution. This letter follows another from former US IACHR members -- including President Trump's own nominee to the Commission -- that also calls for continued support. The controversy began when nine US senators urged withdrawal of funding because of their concerns about the IACHR's position on women's reproductive rights.
Just three years ago, the IACHR came through a serious financial crisis that threatened its basic operations. The IACHR recovered, but since the new Administration took office, the US government has failed to show up for several IACHR sessions that concerned US policies. Perhaps not coincidentally, in recent weeks, the IACHR has been active in scrutinizing the treatment of human rights defenders at the US-Mexico border and has called on the US to take steps to address the issue.