Fifth National Meeting of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists
On June 22, 2012, an attorney from the rapporteurship took part in the "Fifth National Meeting of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists," organized by the Solidarity Network Decade against Impunity A.C., the Human Rights Program of the Ibero-American University of Mexico City, and the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center. At the meeting, he gave a presentation on the contents of the Second Report, with special emphasis on international protections for human rights defenders.
American University's Washington College of Law
On June 13, 2012, an attorney from the rapporteurship took part in an academic panel discussion in Washington D.C. entitled "A Look at the Recent Political Work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights," organized by American University's Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. He took the opportunity to present the contents of the Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders. Also participating in this panel were the Deputy Executive Secretary of the IACHR and other attorneys in the IACHR Executive Secretariat.
Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Bajo Aguan, Honduras
From May 28 to 30, 2012, staff from the IACHR Executive Secretariat participated in the public hearing and the international academic seminar on "The Situation of Human Rights Defenders of the Peasant Communities of Bajo Aguan," which took place in Tocoa, Colon, Honduras. The IACHR human rights specialists assisted to the public hearing and made presentations on the inter-American human rights system and on the precautionary measures mechanism.
Presentation in Mexico
On May 22, 2012, Commissioner Orozco presented the Second Report in Mexico City, at the Institute for Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). On that same day, an attorney in the Rapporteurship and a female attorney in the IACHR's Court Group held a workshop on mechanisms for protecting human rights defenders. Participating in it were several civil society organizations and human rights defenders from various parts of the country.
Presentation in Guatemala
On May 17 and 18, 2012, the Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders, accompanied by an attorney from the rapporteurship, took part in the Forum "Challenges in Protecting Human Rights Defenders in Middle America," organized in Guatemala City, Guatemala by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Guatemala, Protection International, the Human Rights Defenders Protection Unit in Guatemala (UDEFEGUA), and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). In connection with that presentation, Rapporteur Orozco explained the mechanisms for protecting defenders provided by the inter-American system and then formally presented in Guatemala the Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas.
Presentation in Geneve
Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas
March 6, 2012
The Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas was presented March 6, 2012, in Geneva, in the context of the sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Human Rights Defenders, Commissioner José de Jesús Orozco, and the IACHR Executive Secretary, Santiago A. Canton, were in charge of the presentation in a seminar with the participation of the UN Rapporteur on this issue, Margaret Sekaggya. The seminar was organized by the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR).
The Report presents updated information on the situation of defenders in the region and on the applicable standards of international law. Moreover, it provides a follow-up to the first report, published by the IACHR on March 7, 2006.
IACHR Press Release on the Report Presentation in Geneva (html)
ISHR Press Release on the Geneva Event organized for the Presentation of the Report (pdf)
Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas (pdf)
Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas (Word)
Meeting of Human Rights Defenders in Latin America
December 5 and 6, 2011
On December 5-6, 2011, the IACHR Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, and the Executive Secretary, Santiago Canton, participated in the “Meeting of Human Rights Defenders in Latin America”. The meeting was organized by the Center for Legal and Social Studies (Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, CELS) at the University of Buenos Aires' Law School, in Argentina.
Representatives of human rights organizations from 14 countries of the Hemisphere attended the meeting and exchanged ideas and points of view on the challenges that human rights defenders face in their activity. Also, human rights defenders discussed proposals on strategies to promote and protect their rights. In this context, the Rapporteur shared with the attendants the preliminary conclusions of the "Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas".
Workshop on Protection Mechanisms of the Inter-American System
December 7, 2011
On December 7, 2011, the Rapporteurship held a workshop for the staff at the Public Defender's Office of Argentina on the Inter-American System's mechanisms of the protection of human rights defenders. Among the participants of the workshop were Stella Maris Martinez, Public Defender of the Nation, and José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, Rapporteur of human Rights Defenders of the IACHR.
Workshop on criminalization of human rights defenders in Latin America
A lawyer from the Rapporteurship, Angelita Baeyens, participated in a workshop on the criminalization of the activities of human rights defenders in Latin America, which took place on April 28, 2011 in Brussels, Belgium. The workshop was organized by several non governmental organizations, such as the Observatory of Human Rights Defenders of the OMCT and FIDH, Peace Brigades International, Copenhagen Initiative for Central America and Mexico –CIFCA-, CIDSE and FIAN.
Informal meeting of the Rapporteurship on Human Rights Defenders and civil society
On April 13, 2011, the Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, and two lawyers of the Rapporteurship, Angelita Baeyens and Jorge Meza, met with representatives from civil society organizations and human rights defenders of Mexico in an informal meeting to discuss about the activities of the Rapporteurship and the concerns and expectations of human rights defenders in that country. The meeting took place in Mexico D.F.
Seminar “International Mechanisms and Experiences for the defense of the Defenders of Migrants’ Human Rights in Mexico”
The Rapporteurship participated in a Seminar on international mechanisms of protection for migrants’ human rights defenders in Mexico. The event took place in Mexico D.F. on April 11 and 12, 2011 and was organized by Project Counselling Service-PCS- and Colectivo Ansur with the financial support of Ford Foundation, Office for Mexico and Central America and ICCO, Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation.
Read the program (only available in Spanish)
Launching of the updated report of the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The IACHR Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, participated in the launching of the 2010 updated report on the situation of human rights defenders in Mexico of the Office in Mexico of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which took place on November 24, 2010 in Mexico D.F and was presided by Javier Hernandez Valencia, Representative in Mexico of the High Commissioner.
International Forum on the Criminalization of Human Rights Defenders
A specialist attorney from the Unit participated in the International Forum on the Criminalization of Human Rights Defenders and Social Protest, which took place April 19-21, 2009, in the city of Chilpancingo, in Guerrero, Mexico.
Release of the Report on Human Rights Defenders
In 2006, the Unit's activities revolved around disseminating the Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas; to this end, forums, roundtables, and formal and informal presentations were organized in various countries of the region. In El Salvador, the IACHR presented the report to organizations of human rights defenders from various Central American countries and to Salvadoran authorities, as part of the program of activities planned to coincide with a special session of the Inter-American Court in that country. The report was also launched in Guatemala, during a special session of the Commission in that country, and in Peru, during a working visit by the IACHR. The report was also the focus of presentations and programs at such institutions and organizations as American University, the Carter Center, and the Woodrow Wilson Institute. This last event included the participation of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Hina Jilani. The Unit also took part in a roundtable discussion of the report in an event held during a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Participants included representatives of some States, a representative of the Council of Europe, and the UN Secretary General's Special Representative on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders.
Seminar in Brazil on Protection of Defenders
The Unit participated in the "Methodological Seminar for Defining a National Program for Human Rights Defenders," which took place November 28-30, 2005, in the city of Brasilia, Brazil. The purpose of the seminar was to exchange ideas and proposals for policies, strategies, programs, and action plans designed to address the protection needs of human rights defenders in Brazil.
First Meeting of Central American Human Rights Defenders
From August 31 to September 2, 2005, the Unit participated in the First Meeting of Central American Human Rights Defenders in the city of Antigua, Guatemala. In addition to receiving information on the needs and complaints of the participating organizations, which represented organizations from eight countries of the region, the Unit gave a workshop on the mechanism of precautionary measures and its importance for the protection of human rights defenders.
Seminar in Norway
On May 25-27, 2005, the Unit participated in the Seminar on Human Rights Defenders in Oslo, Norway, organized by the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. During the event, the Unit provided information on the Commission’s work in this area and exchanged views with the United Nations Special Representative on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders of the African Commission, and the Personal Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. This meeting provided an excellent opportunity for coordination and the exchange of information with the three institutions.