IACHR

Press Release

IACHR Creates New Thematic Units and Announces New Distribution of Rapporteurships

May 24, 2017

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María Isabel Rivero
IACHR Press and Communication Office
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mrivero@oas.org

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Buenos Aires, Argentina – In the context of its 162nd session, being held in Argentina from May 21 to 26, 2017, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) today agreed to a new distribution of its thematic rapporteurships and country rapporteurships. In addition, pursuant to its Strategic Plan 2017-2021, the IACHR decided to create three new thematic units: Unit on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Unit on Memory, Truth and Justice; and Unit on the Rights of Older Persons. 

As of today, the thematic rapporteurships and units now fall under the responsibility of the following Commissioners:

  • Rapporteurship on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Francisco Eguiguren Praeli
  • Rapporteurship on the Rights of Women: Margarette May Macaulay
  • Rapporteurship on the Rights of Migrants: Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva
  • Rapporteurship on the Rights of Children: Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño
  • Rapporteurship on Human Rights Defenders: José de Jesús Orozco
  • Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty: James L. Cavallaro
  • Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination: Margarette May Macaulay
  • Rapporteurship on the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons: Francisco Eguiguren Praeli
  • Unit on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: Paulo Vannuchi. This unit will become the Special Rapporteurship on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights in July, when the IACHR selects the person to head it, through the public competition process now underway.
  • Unit on Memory, Truth, and Justice: Paulo Vannuchi
  • Unit on the Rights of Older Persons: Paulo Vannuchi
  • Unit on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Luis Ernesto Vargas

In addition, the IACHR decided that Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño and Commissioner Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva will be in charge of the Follow-Up Mechanism to Precautionary Measure 409/14, “Students of the rural school “Raúl Isidro Burgos,” and the recommendations of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI for its acronym in Spanish).

With regard to the Working Group of the Protocol of San Salvador, the IACHR named Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño as member and the Commissioner Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva as alternate member.

The IACHR also decided to distribute the country rapporteurships as follows:

  • Commissioner Francisco José Eguiguren Praeli: Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela
  • Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Dominica, United States, El Salvador, Guyana, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño: Cuba, Ecuador, México, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Suriname
  • Commissioner José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez: Colombia, Costa Rica, Grenada, Haiti, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi: Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru  
  • Commissioner James L. Cavallaro: Belize, Brazil, Canada, Honduras, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Commissioner Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva: Barbados, Chile, Guatemala, Dominican Republic  

The President of the IACHR is Commissioner Francisco Eguiguren, the First Vice-President is Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay, and the Second Vice-President is Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño. In addition to this board of officers, the other members of the IACHR are Commissioners José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, Paulo Vannuchi, James L. Cavallaro, and Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva, who is participating for the first time in an IACHR session, having been elected on May 10 of this year. The Executive Secretary of the IACHR is Paulo Abrão and the Assistant Executive Secretary is Elizabeth Abi-Mershed. The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression is Edison Lanza.

Commissioner Francisco José Eguiguren Praeli is a citizen of Peru. He was elected Commissioner on June 16, 2015, by the OAS General Assembly for a four-year term that runs from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2019. He has a law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, with a master's degree in Constitutional Law and a PhD in Humanities. He was Ambassador of Peru to the Kingdom of Spain from 2012 to 2014 and Minister of Justice. He is currently a legal consultant and adviser at both the national and international level, specializing in issues related to Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights. 

Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay is a citizen of Jamaica. She was elected Commissioner on June 16, 2015, by the OAS General Assembly, for a four-year term that runs from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2019. She holds a bachelor of laws degree from the University of London and is currently an attorney in private practice. She serves as Mediator in the Supreme Court of Jamaica and as Associate Arbitrator, as well as serving as Notary Public. She served as a Judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights from 2007 to 2012, contributing to the formulation of the Court’s Rules of Procedure.

Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño is a citizen of Panama. She was elected on June 16, 2015, by the OAS General Assembly, for a four-year term that runs from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2019. She has a degree in Philosophy, Letters, and Education, as well as in Law and Political Science. She joined the Special Commission for the 2011-2012 Constitutional Reforms in Panama and was a Justice of the Supreme Court from 2004 to 2009. She currently puts together teams of trainers in the Accusatory Criminal System for the Public Prosecutor’s Office and at the inter-institutional level. 

Commissioner José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez is a citizen of Mexico. He was elected in June 2009 by the OAS General Assembly, for a four-year term and re-elected for a second term that began on January 1, 2014, and will end on December 31, 2017. He earned a Doctor of Law degree with honors from UNAM, and a Master of Comparative Law from the University of California Los Angeles, as well as a Doctor Honoris Causa from San Martín de Porres University in Peru, and from the Autonomous University of Coahuila, Mexico. He is a researcher at the Legal Research Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He served as a Magistrate on Mexico's highest electoral courts.

Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi is a citizen of Brazil. He was elected in June 2013, for a four-year term that runs from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2017. He is a political and union consultant. He studied journalism at the University of São Paulo, where he earned a Master of Political Science degree. He served as Executive Secretary of the National Coordinating Committee of the Lula for President Campaign in 1994 and 2002. He was the President of the Human Rights Defense Council; the National Commission for the Eradication of Slave Labor; and the National Committee to Prevent and Combat Torture in Brazil. He was part of the team that conducted the investigation “Brazil: Never Again”; was a cofounder of the Cajamar Institute; and was a political adviser to the national office of the Workers Party of Brazil

Commissioner James L. Cavallaro is a citizen of the United States. He was elected in June 2013 by the OAS General Assembly for a four-year term that runs from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2017. He is a lawyer with an undergraduate degree from Harvard, as well as a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a PhD in Human Rights and Development from the Universidad Pablo de Olavide, in Sevilla, Spain. Currently, James L. Cavallaro is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and Founding Director of both the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic at Stanford and the Stanford Human Rights Center. He founded the Brazil-based Global Justice Center and served as Director of the Brazil offices of Human Rights Watch and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL).

Commissioner Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva is a citizen of Colombia. He was elected in May 2017 by the OAS General Assembly to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Commissioner Enrique Gil Botero on March 9, 2017. His term will end on December 31, 2019. He is a Doctor of Law and Social Sciences from Colombia’s Universidad Libre, with a specialty in family law from that same institution, and has a doctorate in private law and personal and family law from the Universidad de Zaragoza. He was a Judge on the Constitutional Court from March 2009 to February 2017. In 2014, he was designated President of the Constitutional Court.

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.

No. 066/17