National School “The budgetary analysis and the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights”

Friday 16 August 2013

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Authorship: Colectivo de Abogados “José Alvear Restrepo” (CCAJAR), Instituto Latinoamericano para una Sociedad y Derecho Alternativos (ILSA), and the Plataforma Colombiana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PCDHDD).

Editorial and Canal: CCAJAR.

Type of document: News.

Language: Spanish.

Subject: Collective rights.

Keywords: Human rights, Economic, social, cultural and environmental rights and human rights international treaties.

Countries and Regions: Colombia.

The Latin American Institute for a Society and Alternative Rights (ILSA), the Lawyer Collective “José Alvear Restrepo” (CCAJAR) and the Colombian Platform of Human Rights, Democracy and Development (PCDHDD), the Latin American Institute for a Society and Alternative Rights (ILSA), are inviting social and popular organizations, nongovernmental organizations, ecclesiastic organizations and academic and research institutions to take part in the National School “The Budgetary Analysis and the Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights” to take place in Bogota, Colombia, September 10 – 15.

The international obligations of the State with the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights to respect, fulfill and protect exert a direct effect on the allocation of public resources for its satisfaction. Without a proper budget, the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights will just be an illusion.

Several questions might emerge: How is the budget for the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights allocated?, Does this allocation pay respect to the international obligation the State has with the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights?, How can anyone demonstrate that the State is violating these international obligations due to a lack of allocation for the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, or due to a decrease in the budget or due to a sub-implementation of the resources?. ¿How is it possible to undertake a technical follow up to the budget from the human rights defender organizations?

It is true that most of the social struggles waged in Colombia contemplate within its vindications the allocation of fair budgets for the rights, and there are valuable social experiences on the incidence in participatory budgets during the last two decades, but the civil society organizations have not been able to master a working line on the analysis and follow up of said budget which will allow us to confront the violations that in this field take place.

The “budgetary analysis” is done to determine, year after year, how much and how a government is investing on the rights, and if this expenditure it does satisfies or not the obligations imposed by international treaties regarding human rights.

It also allows knowing if this expenditure is respecting the principle of progressivity as instructed by PIDESC. It helps in observing which the expenditure priorities of the government are and if they fulfill the human rights commitment; it facilitates to know the inequities in public allocations and to detect restrictions faced by local governments to implement social policies, such as for example, the limitations imposed by performance plan or they are due to corruption problems, etc. Based on these findings, progress can be made when demanding coherent human rights which are based in the field of public finances.

Whenever a social organization working in the defense of the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights is able to demonstrate, comparatively, that the budget for a year has been reduced when compare to another year, and it is able to articulate the mathematical demonstration of the budgetary reduction with an analysis base don rights, saying for example, that the State is not fulfilling the principle of progressivity, the reasoning for the violations of the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights turn even more powerful, and the relation with public officials, on this issue, aims at more concrete protection measures.

It is important to revise the accumulated and the experience existing among different organizations defending the economic, cultural, social and environmental rights, in several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, which have incorporated to its actions the budgetary analysis and follow up work. Those having outstanding experiences in budgetary analysis and the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights include Fundación Fundar of México [1] and the Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ) from Argentina.

It is worthwhile to mention the work done by the Inquest on the Open Budget by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) [2] which examines the publication by the governments of eight key budgetary documents in different countries all around the world. The information contained on these documents helps the civil society to understand the budgetary proposals and how they are implemented, as well as to getting involve in the debate around the budget.

Refer to: [1] https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/ht... .

[2] http://internationalbudget.org/wp-c... .

*To deepen on the analysis of articulations between the demands of the economic, social cultural and environmental rights and the budgetary work analysis, please refer to the document “ The Accounts of Dignity: a guidebook to use budget analysis in the promotion of human rights, Mexico” (Las Cuentas de la Dignidad: Una guía para utilizar el análisis de presupuestos en la promoción de los derechos humanos. México).

Available at: http://www.fao.org/righttofood/KC/d... .

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