María Isabel Rivero
IACHR Press and Communication Office
Tel: +1 (202) 370-9001
San José, Costa Rica / Washington, D.C.—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights agreed to keep working together in 2017 so that the inter-American human rights system can increasingly function in harmony and continue to expand the effectiveness and scope of the protection of people in the Americas.
The two bodies reaffirmed their joint proposal to achieve a structural solution to fund the inter-American human rights system, fostering greater predictability and planning into the future so as to ensure autonomy and independence of action. The Inter-American Court and Commission renew their hope that the next General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS)—scheduled for mid-year in Mexico—will come to a definitive and comprehensive solution, building on the discussions that began last year.
“We hope that this year the OAS General Assembly will approve this increase in the regular-fund budget to ensure the sustainability and available funding for the inter-American human rights system, strengthening its planning and management capacity,” said the President of the IACHR, Commissioner James Cavallaro. “The approval of this proposal will make it possible to increase institutional capacity without having to depend on donations and without being forced to devote part of our human resources to external fundraising,” he added.
For his part, the President of the Inter-American Court, Judge Roberto F. Caldas, called on the States Parties to the OAS to embrace this proposal, “which seeks to strengthen the institutional pillars of the inter-American system to give greater human rights protection to its citizens.” He stressed that the proposal “entails a long-term solution that ensures the independence and autonomy of the IACHR and the Inter-American Court, both essential elements for the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law in the Americas.”
The proposal was forged by the Joint Working Group created by the Commission and the Court in August 2016 and made up of the Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Executive Secretaries of both bodies. This Working Group will continue to meet throughout 2017 to coordinate on other substantive issues. Its next meetings will take place in Washington, D.C., on April 26; and by mid year in Mexico, in the framework of the OAS General Assembly. In addition, the full Commission and Court will hold a joint meeting in September in Mexico, with the participation of all judges and commissioners, to evaluate the progress made on the current agenda for dialogue and approve new issues of coordination for the next cycle.
A principal, autonomous body of the 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.