Resolution regarding the remunerating of the IEC Underlag till styrelsemöte 1-2 december 2008

The International Council

INSTRUCTS the International Executive Committee to commission a study into the question of remunerating the IEC and submit a proposal on the issue to the International Council Meeting of 2011.

Explanatory note

At every International Council Meeting the International Executive Committee is elected and tasked with providing leadership for the movement and serving as the voice of the membership until the next ICM. During this period the IEC is responsible for, among other things, the global strategic direction and development of Amnesty International which includes implementing the International Strategic Plan, ensuring sound financial management as well as prioritizing and monitoring the work of the International Secretariat.

While the organization has grown and become increasingly professional, the decision-making structures have not changed in order to cope with the challenges posed by this growth. This means that the already large amount of work required of the IEC has become even larger. However, despite the crucial importance and the demanding nature of the work carried out by the IEC, it is presently done without any compensation and the members of the committee are therefore expected to perform these duties in their leisure hours. It is our belief that remunerating the IEC would better reflect the demands currently placed on the committee as well as alleviating some of its workload.

Remuneration would also mean that persons, who may consider to stand as candidates but do not do so because of time constraints, may be able to stand for election in the future. The current situation may hamper further efforts to increase diversity at the highest leadership levels of the movement. Such a widening of the possible recruitment base for the IEC could encourage persons from all backgrounds to stand and therefore increase the choice available to sections and thus also strengthen the democratic process as well potentially increasing the diversity of the IEC. This would also apply to persons who presently are hindered for financial reasons. Moreover, remuneration could remedy the high turnover of committee members and thus facilitate longer terms of office and consequently a higher degree of continuity in the strategic decision-making.

Finally, criticism may be directed towards the potential costs involved. This will of course have to be considered by those tasked with studying the matter. However, considering the size of the international budget, possible remuneration of the IEC should not be dismissed out of hand.

There are at least two further potential arguments against the remuneration of the IEC. One is that such a system would affect the impartiality of its members. The other is that remuneration would risk creating a two-tiered membership, with a small elite receiving money for work which other active members do voluntarily.

These are fair arguments, however they would appear to depend on how much compensation the IEC members would receive. The amounts involved will be a critical issue for the study to analyse. There is no question in the minds of the resolution's authors of the IEC receiving full salaries. The remuneration would rather go some way towards compensating members for that amount of time which they otherwise would be devoting to their regular jobs. Thus, the amounts in question should not affect the IEC members' judgement, nor should they create any feeling of added status. The compensation is simply a recognition of the workload the rest of the movement places on them.