Press Release

IACHR Opens Period of Consultation on Reform

August 25, 2012

Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) today opens a period of consultation on reforms to its Rules of Procedure, policies and practices, with a view to making its work more effective and to further strengthening its capacity to perform its principal function under the Charter of the Organization of American States, which is: “to promote the observance and protection of human rights" and "to serve as a consultative organ of the Organization in these matters.” The Commission’s goal is to carry out that mandate to the fullest.

Since the creation of the Inter-American Commission in 1959, a series of amendments have been introduced in the Commission’s Rules of Procedure with a view to improving the procedures followed with respect to the petition and case processes, requests seeking precautionary measures, monitoring the human rights situation in the member states, the Commission’s thematic approaches and other matters. Taking into account the recommendations of the Special Working Group of the OAS Permanent Council and the opinions of civil society, the IACHR decided, during its 144th Period of Sessions, to initiate a new study on the improvement of its methods, procedures and practices.

In this context, the Commission has elaborated a reform agenda that includes the following elements: Individual Petition System; Precautionary Measures; Monitoring of the situation of countries; Promotion; and Other aspects related to the strengthening of the system. The Commission presents five documents where each of these aspects is analyzed. At the end of each one, a form is included so that the actors of the inter-American system may send their comments directly to the IACHR. The persons with no access to the Internet may send their comments by mail, clearly identifying the Consultation Module to which they refer, to the address indicated below.

According to the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, “juridical and political institutions […] have as their principal aim the protection of the essential rights of man.” The Commission will have that aim in mind as it studies any proposals regarding its Rules, policies, and practices; any change or amendment will be based upon a fundamented conclusion as to how to improve the protection of human rights.

Seeking a complete level of transparency for all the process, the IACHR has decided that the comments that are received on this consultation will be published on webpages on the IACHR Website. This period of consultations will be open until September 25, 2012. Simultaneously, the regional seminars will continue to take place with participation of all actors of the system, constituting additional opportunities where the IACHR hopes to receive comments, opinions and input that will contribute to enrich this process.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

Address to send comments by mail:

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Comments to the Consultation Module Numer: (add numer and name of the module)
Organization of American States
1889 F Street NW
Washington, DC, 20006
United States of America

No. 108/12