Cristosal, with the support of the independent congressional representative Leonardo Bonilla, presented a piece of correspondence seeking to include in the 2019 budget the financing of care for victims of forced displacement. This financing includes humanitarian, legal, psychological, and health assistance. In addition, this financing allows the hiring of technical personnel to strengthen the Direction of Victim Care, creation of shelters, resources for work in the municipalities for the development of local protection systems, and technical assistance for the creation of protocols.
According to Julio Magaña, Cristosal’s strategic litigation coordinator, the need to promote this initiative arises because the current budget does not include any specific item to cover humanitarian assistance to people displaced by violence. Although there are other similar initiatives, the problem is that around 90% of their budgets are allocated to salaries and administrative expenses of the government entities in charge. Celia Medrano, regional director of programs, assured that funds must go directly to the victims.
The independent congressional representative, Leonardo Bonilla, stressed that, although there is already a forced displacement bill, it does not have any budget for its operation. “We have seen how civil society organizations have been the ones who have had to assist the victims and guarantee the fulfillment of their human rights. A responsibility that is proper to the Salvadoran state,” Bonilla said.
This piece of correspondence will be addressed to the Finance Commission within the framework of the sentence that the constitutional court issued in July of this year, in which the Salvadoran State is ordered to take measures to address cases of forced displacement due to violence before January 2019. Five months after the ruling, Cristosal has presented a draft law, and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security will propose a general law on victims, including victims of forced displacement.