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Annex to Press Release 41/18: IACHR Wraps Up 167th Session in Colombia

April 6, 2018

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Washington, D.C.— The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held its 167th session in Bogotá, at the invitation of the State of Colombia, from February 22 to March 2, 2018. This annex to Press Release 41/18—IACHR Wraps Up 167th Session in Colombia—contains summaries of the hearings that were held, as well as a list of the working meetings and academic and promotional events that took place.

Gender and Sexual Diversity Policies in Paraguay

The participating civil society organizations claimed that there have been setbacks in the country’s gender and sexual diversity policy, for example a resolution issued by the Ministry of Education and Science prohibiting the dissemination and use of materials related to what the State erroneously calls “gender ideology” in educational institutions. The organizations expressed their concern that policies for women are not applied to trans women, and that policies are lacking for bisexual and lesbian women. They asked the IACHR to request that the State revoke the resolution in question, integrate comprehensive sex education into the curriculum, and enact a law against discrimination of the LGBTI population. The State said that the Ministry of Women has an institutional strategic plan, and listed the progress made through its actions in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The IACHR underscored the importance of comprehensive sex education for children and adolescents, as well as policies on inclusion of sexual diversity.

25 Years of the Truth Commission in El Salvador

The organizations noted that 25 years after the Truth Commission was established, there are still major challenges in terms of compliance with its recommendations and the debt owed to victims. They stressed that although the Constitutional Chamber had declared the Amnesty Law to be unconstitutional, serious challenges remain related to corruption, impunity, and the ongoing use of the armed forces in public security tasks. And, they said, there are still hold-ups in matters related to truth, justice, and full reparation for victims. The organizations suggested that the justice component is stalled because of the armed forces’ failure to collaborate in providing information. The representatives of the State maintained that consolidation of peace continues to be a priority, and to that end it has pursued policies such as that of locating the disappeared. The State reported that a unit had been created in the Public Prosecutor’s Office to prosecute crimes from the armed conflict. The IACHR took note of the challenges ahead, the progress made, and the need to establish cooperation ties.

Situation of the Cultural Rights of Indigenous Women in Guatemala

The organization that requested the hearing claimed that there is a failure to recognize indigenous women’s right to collective intellectual property, as it is impossible for them to patent their textile designs and pieces. Participants said that the women are harmed by companies that appropriate their designs, devaluing their art. They also alleged that they suffer double discrimination, both racial and patriarchal, and asked for public policies that would enable them to receive a cultural and patrimonial fee. For its part, the State recognized the problem and reported that there is draft legislation that seeks to recognize and protect the right in question. It proposed that a working committee be set up, with real and effective participation of the communities, to come up with a solution, and proposed that the IACHR involve the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in this issue, since this is an international business matter. The Commission recognized the State’s legislative efforts and asked the State to speed up passage of a law that recognizes the Mayan women leaders’ copyrights to their creations as an essential step.

Protection of Land and Environmental Defenders in the Andean Region

The organizations that requested the hearing talked about the repeated human rights violations against human rights defenders in the context of extractive projects in countries in the Andean region. They claimed that there are patterns in the way that laws in those countries are enforced and interpreted to favor extractive projects and hurt communities and rights defenders; in the excessive use of force by public and private security forces; and in the stigmatizing discourse against communities and rights defenders, who are characterized as opponents of development or as internal enemies, which further encourages and exacerbates the attacks. Finally, they presented a series of recommendations to the Commission related to the specific risk factors faced by environmental rights defenders. For its part, the Commission requested more information concerning the role of business and private security and the role of State actors, as well as details about these patterns.

Measures of Compliance with Decisions of the Inter-American Human Rights System in the Dominican Republic

During this hearing, the creation of a “Roundtable on the Implementation of Public Policies on Human Rights in the Dominican Republic” was announced, involving the Dominican State, civil society organizations, and the IACHR. The purpose is to establish a mechanism to follow up on measures adopted in relation to acquisition of nationality, migration, policies to combat all forms of discrimination, and policies on women’s rights and gender equality. The participating organizations presented information on the Dominican State’s current status of compliance with the recommendations made by the bodies of the inter-American human rights system and expressed their willingness to participate in the roundtable. The Dominican State expressed its clear desire to work toward the establishment of a fruitful dialogue that will make it possible to advance in the implementation of the recommendations through the roundtable announced at the hearing.  

Allegations of Human Rights Violations in the Post-Electoral Context in Honduras

The organizations that requested the hearing denounced irregularities in the electoral process and violations of the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression due to excessive and disproportionate use of force, as well as obstacles to the exercise of the right to defend human rights. They claimed that in response to public protests over these incidents, the State has imposed repression in a context of militarized citizen security, arbitrary detentions, threats, torture, false accusations, and persecution of demonstrators and human rights defenders. They indicated that the response of the justice system to these situations has been negligent or lacking. For its part, the State stressed that the violence in the demonstrations caused serious damage to State property and often ended in looting and criminal acts. The State committed to investigate the incidents to punish those responsible. The Commission said that it has been following this situation and noted that this year it will be conducting an on-site visit to the country.

Situation of Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women and Girls in the Americas

The participating organizations expressed their concern about the prevalence of obstacles that women, girls, and female adolescents face in the region in terms of their sexual and reproductive rights. Through an analysis of the situation in Canada and in Central America, the organizations talked about the lack of public policies to promote comprehensive sex education; the disturbing statistics on sexual violence; the lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services; cases of forced sterilization; and high maternal mortality rates. They also stressed the particular impacts on girls and adolescents, such as forced motherhood and teen pregnancies. Finally, the participants pointed to the total criminalization of abortion in some countries in the region, as well as the failure to implement the legal frameworks related to this issue. The IACHR reaffirmed its commitment to the protection of sexual and reproductive rights.

Regulation of Gun Sales and Social Violence in the United States

The participating organizations addressed the impact of weak gun control laws on the extremely high levels of gun violence in the United States—where an average of 92 individuals are killed per day by firearms—as well as in other countries of the hemisphere, where U.S.-sold guns are implicated in a high number of homicides and other crimes. The organizations called for the Commission to hold follow-up meetings with affected families and communities, and to draft a report on gun violence in the United States. For its part, the State recalled that under the Second Amendment, as interpreted in D.C. v. Heller, the individual right to own firearms is protected, though regulations may be placed on the sale and carrying of arms. In this regard, the Commission noted that the State is obligated to protect rights, including the right to life, and act with due diligence to prevent their violation, including by private actors.

Human Rights Situation of Persons Affected by the Cancellation of TPS (Temporary Protected Status) and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in the United States

The participating organizations addressed the impact of the cancellation of the TPS and DACA programs on the beneficiaries, their families, and communities, and called for a permanent solution to regularize the migration status of those groups. Speakers highlighted how a loss of status would affect their rights to work, health, social security, freedom of movement, and access to justice, and how deportations could cause family separation and the de facto deportation of children of beneficiaries, as well as endanger beneficiaries deported to countries where they have no family or other social ties. The State recalled its sovereign right to govern its borders and establish criteria for admitting foreigners. The Commission questioned whether the doctrine of estoppel applies given the representations, implicit and explicit, that the State has made in extending TPS and DACA status to beneficiaries over many years. It likewise highlighted the violations of rights that could be occasioned by an eventual deportation.

Business and Human Rights in Venezuela

The organizations that requested the hearing indicated that the responsibility for violating human rights can belong not only to States but to individuals and companies. They stressed that legislative reforms must be implemented to ensure accountability of companies and effective redress for victims. They also urged the IACHR to develop standards on this subject and effective mechanisms to guarantee human rights in these contexts, considering the impact of transnational business activities. The State indicated that it is necessary to move past the concept of the State as the only actor responsible for human rights violations and reiterated its support for the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights that came out of the United Nations and for the intergovernmental group working on the creation of a binding treaty. It also expressed its commitment to prepare a National Action Plan on this subject.

Right to Food and Health in Venezuela

The participating organizations denounced the systematic violations to the population’s right to health, consisting of prolonged shortages of medicine, insufficient and deteriorating medical infrastructure, the impossibility of receiving essential medical treatment, and the lack of public information. With respect to the right to food, the organizations said that there is a high rate of malnutrition in the population and that corruption and impunity are so entrenched that they are undermining food production and hindering access to food. They said they were especially concerned about the high risk faced by populations in a vulnerable situation, such as pregnant women, children, and older people, among others, due to the current economic and social crisis. For its part, the State argued that the main problems in terms of guaranteeing these rights have to do with unilateral sanctions imposed on Venezuela. The IACHR recommended that the State accept international aid and urged the State to publish official information and grant its consent for an on-site visit.

Citizen Security and Institutions in Venezuela

The participating organizations asserted that the Venezuelan State has adopted a repressive policy toward the population which includes abusive measures such as illegal searches, arbitrary detentions for political reasons, excessive use of force, and improper use of the criminal justice system. They referred to the arbitrary detentions of students, human rights activists, politicians, and National Assembly deputies, as well as the acts of torture committed against detainees. They also denounced the use of the military criminal jurisdiction to prosecute civilians. The organizations emphasized the violations to due process and the failure to investigate complaints made by detainees. The State, for its part, maintained that there are no peaceful anti-government demonstrations in the country, but that these are violent, and that it has used legal force to control them. The Commission requested information about the legal and factual situation involving the detainees.

Human Rights Situation of Women in Ecuador

The IACHR reported that the State had excused itself from participating in the session and that it had pointed to legislative developments related to the rights of women. The Commission regretted the State’s absence, noting that hearings are of utmost importance. The organizations that requested the hearing expressed their concern about the many obstacles women face in terms of access to justice and drew attention to the criminalization of abortion and home births, which affects women in a vulnerable situation. They underscored the prevalence of killings of women because of their gender and the increase in disappearances of women, primarily young women. Women from the LGBTI community continue to be victims of discrimination and violence. The organizations asked the State to conduct a serious and diligent investigation into these grave cases of human rights violations. The Commission noted its concern regarding the information it received, a concern aggravated by the State’s absence, and called for the State to allow an on-site visit to the country.

Situation of the Right to Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press in South America

The organizations that requested the hearing reported on the situation regarding freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. They indicated that in Ecuador, the number of attacks on the press went down in 2017 with the change in government, though there are still restrictions; most of the cases identified, they said, involve freedom of expression on the internet. They also talked about the serious political and social situation in Venezuela and reported that journalists are highly restricted in their access to public information. They also denounced the proliferation of cases in Peru involving judicial harassment of journalists who work in the interior of the country. The organizations asked the IACHR to request information from the State of Bolivia about the adoption of rules and regulations that could lead to the economic suffocation of media outlets, a situation that was discussed in the hearing. The IACHR requested further information regarding the criminalization of journalists who investigate corruption.

Digital Intelligence, Cybersecurity, and Freedom of Expression in the Americas

Organizations from the region raised challenges related to the collection of digital evidence in criminal proceedings, the violation of the right to privacy and to freedom of expression through digital surveillance, and the cybersecurity agenda. They added that access to data across borders should comply with the privacy standards of both the country requesting the information and the respondent country. They cautioned that under the cybersecurity agenda, some countries in the region are discussing vague laws that punish speech that may be protected by freedom of expression and are blocking online content. They also cautioned about the lack of an independent mechanism to investigate the Pegasus case on surveillance and malware used against journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico. The participating organizations also talked about the dynamics of machismo-based violence, which is also expressed on the internet against women journalists and high-profile women.

Human Rights Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

The participating organizations spoke about the alarming rates of indigenous youth suicides, as well as the need for a national data system on suicide, a national prevention strategy, and programs and services for First Nation children and families. They requested the IACHR to reconvene in a year to evaluate the progress made by the State. The organizations updated the IACHR on the slow progress in compliance with a decision by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to end inequalities in First Nations services and called on the State to implement the Spirit Bear Plan. They also discussed the discriminatory effects on indigenous youth of emergency medical evacuation without parental accompaniment and the lack of enforcement of Jordan’s Principle. The State, for its part, acknowledged that indigenous suicide had reached "epidemic proportions" and spoke about the recent steps the government had taken.

Human Rights Situation of Children and Adolescents in Cuba

The State of Cuba prohibited the people who were going to participate in this hearing from leaving the country. To protect the safety of these individuals and prevent possible reprisals against them, the hearing was held in private; therefore, no video is available. The hearing was held with virtual participation from Cuba, and the IACHR received information of great concern about the human rights situation of children and adolescents in the country. The Inter-American Commission urges the State of Cuba not to take any type of reprisals against individuals and organizations that use the mechanisms available through the inter-American human rights system. It reiterates its willingness to open a channel of dialogue with the authorities with the aim of providing support, within the framework of its functions and mandate, to improve the human rights situation in that country.

Human Rights Situation of Persons Deprived of Liberty in Nicaragua
 
The organizations that requested the hearing talked about the main rights violations faced by persons deprived of liberty in prisons and police station lockups in Nicaragua. Among these violations, they cited overcrowding, deplorable detention conditions, negligent medical attention, failure to comply with release orders, inefficient social reintegration programs, and obstacles to the implementation of alternative measures. They also expressed their concern over allegations of torture and mistreatment, the lack of independent mechanisms to investigate such allegations, and the lack of access by human rights organizations to detention centers. Both the organizations and the IACHR regretted the State’s failure to appear at the hearing. The Commission expressed its concern over the failure to comply with release orders, the denial of access to detention centers by civil society organizations, and the lack of independent mechanisms to investigate torture and other mistreatment.

Human Rights Situation of Afro-Descendant Youth in the Context of Drug Policies in Brazil

The organizations that requested the hearing denounced the human rights violations that occur in the context of drug policies in Brazil. They said that these violations disproportionately affect people of African descent, as is evident in the massive incarceration numbers, and have a disproportionate impact on women. The organizations also pointed to the repressive policy launched by the mayor’s office in São Paulo, in the area known as Cracolandia; this includes an overt police presence, the mass displacement of drug users, and the use of mandatory incarceration against them. The organizations stressed the need to develop programs that take a cross-cutting approach, implement harm reduction policies, and decriminalize drug possession and use. The State presented some of its initiatives that focus on protecting people living on the street, reducing violence against Afro-descendant youth, and launching an Intersectoral Management Committee focused on drug users.    

Allegations of Extrajudicial Executions by the Police in Brazil

The participating organizations maintained that there is a systematic practice of extrajudicial executions in Brazil. Drawing on examples of emblematic cases known as the “Parque Bristol Massacre” and the “Carandiru Massacre,” the organizations laid out patterns of impunity and deliberate action by the police to hinder clarification of the facts. They also stressed that mechanisms to control criminal acts committed by the police are ineffective, whether these involve internal oversight by the police themselves; external, by the Public Prosecutor’s Office; or judicial oversight. The organization Mães de Maio said the lack of training of State officials to deal with the mothers of the killed youth generates their re-victimization. The State asserted that activities have been held to train law enforcement professionals and that accusations of homicides by Rio de Janeiro police officers have been investigated. The IACHR expressed its concern regarding systematic extrajudicial executions and their impact on Afro-descendant youth. It asked the State to fulfill its obligations to investigate and punish the perpetrators and provide redress to the victims.  

Human Rights Situation of Persons Deprived of Liberty in Brazil

The participating organizations indicated that the National System to Prevent and Combat Torture, established under a 2013 law, does not function properly and that abuses continue to occur in detention centers, due to the absence of relevant state mechanisms and the lack of resources for such mechanisms to operate. The State indicated that policies have been implemented to prevent torture, such as the 2017 Federal Pact to Prevent and Combat Torture, which was created to promote interstate coordination. The State recognized the challenges involved in implementing state mechanisms, due mainly to the lack of respective legislation. The IACHR expressed its concern over the loss of public resources stemming from unnecessary incarceration. It requested information about protocols to prevent abuse of the prison population during riot control and about mechanisms that exist to present complaints related to human rights violations.

Internal Displacement and Human Rights in the Americas

In the context of the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, national human rights institutions from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Ecuador, and Chile, along with civil society organizations, informed the IACHR about the serious situation of internal displacement in countries of the Americas, especially because of violence, megaprojects, and natural disasters. They expressed concern regarding the lack of a diagnostic assessment, statistics, legislation, and focused public policies. The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Cecilia Jiménez Damary, and the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) pointed to some good practices in the region, such as measures adopted in Colombia and the creation of an assessment and special authorities in Honduras. Finally, the IACHR expressed its willingness to provide technical assistance for an effective response to protect the human rights of those who have been internally displaced.

Human Rights Situation of Trans Persons in Argentina

The organization that requested the hearing expressed its concern regarding various problems that persist in relation to the respect for and protection of the rights of the trans population in Argentina. A report called Esperando a la muerte [“Waiting for Death”] was presented; it addresses the recurring institutional violence against trans persons, their excessive incarceration, the lack of job inclusion, the lack of access to education, the need to train public officials, and the failure to implement effective public policies to protect the trans population. For its part, the State of Argentina referred to legislative frameworks related to marriage equality and the gender identity law and the current need to bring about cultural change, and said it is necessary to continue working with civil society to achieve these goals. The IACHR stressed that serious violations of trans persons’ human rights continue to exist in the region and that public policies must be developed for their protection throughout the hemisphere. 

Situation of the Right to Protest in Argentina

Civil society denounced that the right to protest had been weakened in the country. The organizations pointed to the disproportionate use of police force to clamp down on demonstrations, the criminalization of protesters, and the stigmatization of social movements, among other factors. They said that members of the press experienced violence and arbitrary detention in the context of covering protests. The State affirmed that the right to peaceful public protest is fully guaranteed and rejected the notion that protest had been criminalized. It indicated that the intervention of law enforcement in last December’s demonstrations came about in response to acts of violence and serious disturbances, and that it had taken administrative steps and was cooperating with the justice system to determine any responsibility on the part of the police. The IACHR emphasized that States have the obligation to facilitate protest and to ensure that journalists can do their work when covering them. It also requested further information about the protocols in place to regulate police intervention in these situations.

 Allegations of Impunity and Lack of Independence of the Judiciary in Haiti

The organizations that requested the hearing discussed the prevailing impunity for human rights violations that have taken place in Haiti from the Duvalier era to the present. They also emphasized that the State institutional framework is lacking, especially when it comes to the judiciary, which they consider to be biased and inaccessible. They also referred to the importance of the Inter-American Commission’s pronouncements on Haiti in the past and expressed their concern regarding the State’s lack of commitment to the inter-American human rights system. The State did not send representatives to this hearing, for which the Commission expressed deep regret. The IACHR reiterated its commitment to monitor the human rights situation in Haiti continuously and closely and to promote actions to establish a dialogue with the State.

Human Rights and the Independence of the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Peru

The organizations that requested the hearing presented information on constitutional complaints filed against key actors in the justice system, such as the Attorney General and justices of the Constitutional Court, and said these complaints were arbitrary and violated due process requirements. Specifically, the organizations suggested that such complaints are intended to hinder actions by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the context of investigations into a widespread corruption network which reportedly involves various actors from the Peruvian political class. They denounced the political use of constitutional charges and the manipulation of the National Council of the Judiciary, which has the prerogative to remove and disqualify justice system operators. For its part, the State maintained that the threat of removing these individuals from office does not violate the American Convention on Human Rights and that formal due process requirements are being respected.

Human Rights and the Pardon of Former President Fujimori in Peru

The participating organizations expressed their concern over the impact of the pardon and right of grace granted to former President Alberto Fujimori. They stated that this constitutes an arbitrary measure, that it prevents the enforcement of appropriate punishment of the top person responsible for grave human rights violations in Peru, and that it violates victims’ rights to truth and to effective protection of the court with respect to the crimes that remain to be investigated, creating a context of impunity. For its part, the State questioned the IACHR’s jurisdiction to convene the hearing and said there was no incompatibility between the power to grant a humanitarian pardon and the requirements of constitutional justice in Peru, or with applicable instruments of international law. The IACHR underscored the disproportionality between the decision to grant the pardon and the right of the victims, and it urged the State to adopt measures that promote victims’ right to justice, a necessary condition for there to be effective reconciliation.

Follow-Up Mechanism on the Ayotzinapa Matter

The relatives of the disappeared and their representatives asked for a moment of silence to honor the death of Minerva Bello, the mother of one of the missing students. They expressed their appreciation to the IACHR and complained that the State had failed to meet 80 percent of the timeline established in April 2017. They stated that 41 months after the events in question, little progress had been made. They presented some specific points and additions to the timeline, a document on additional lines of investigation, and a statement of intention for the Mexican State to attend to the victims and family members in line with the Diagnostic Assessment of Psychosocial Impacts. The State reaffirmed its commitment to the Follow-Up Mechanism, recognizing that additional efforts are needed. The State said it will review the proposals put forth in the spirit of moving forward on all the issues, with the aim of arriving at conclusions this year. For its part, the IACHR sought to clarify information about the investigation and the obstacles related to identifying and punishing those responsible, carrying out the search, and finding out the truth about what happened.

Human Rights and the Internal Security Law in Mexico

The organizations stated that the Internal Security Law was approved even though it had been rejected by national and international human rights organizations and by various sectors in the country. They emphasized that the militarization of public security functions is incompatible with international obligations, perpetuates an ineffective model of violence reduction, subordinates the actions of civilian commands to military control, and increases human rights violations. The State indicated that the law was adopted at the request of the states and that it seeks to establish clear criteria for assisting the civilian authorities in internal security functions. It indicated that the law is not yet being enforced, while its constitutionality is in the process of being determined. The IACHR expressed its concern, given that military training is incompatible with citizen security tasks, and over the lack of accountability. The IACHR accepted the organizations’ petition about the possibility of asking the Inter-American Court for an Advisory Opinion on security models.

Business and Human Rights: Input for the Preparation of Inter-American Guidelines

The participating organizations underscored the importance of the IACHR’s decision to address the issue of business and human rights. They stressed the need to reinforce regional standards to ensure, in a way that is binding, that local legal frameworks and mechanisms are designed to prevent human rights violations in the context of business activities; ensure effective accountability of States and businesses; and provide adequate redress to victims. They also underscored the State’s obligation of respect and due diligence, as well as the urgency of addressing the extraterritorial enforcement of these obligations and the particular risk and vulnerability faced by certain groups due to business activities. Finally, they underscored their concern about the so-called corporate takeover of the State, the inadequacy of voluntary responsibility schemes, and the asymmetry of power when it comes to these economic players. 

The following working meetings were held on compliance with recommendations related to precautionary measures:

  • PM 600-15 – Angel Omar Perdomo, Venezuela
  • PM 69-12 – Leonel Asdrúbal Dubón Bendfelt et al., Guatemala
  • PM 416-13 – Members of the Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y la Justicia, Honduras
  • PM 412-17 – 450 People Displaced from El Petén, Guatemala
  • PM 112-16 – Relatives of Berta Cáceres et al., Honduras
  • PM 535-14 – Persons in Immigration Detention at the Carmichael Road Detention Center, Bahamas
  • PM 376-15 – Irene Cuevas, Argentina
  • PM 197-10 – Communities of San Juan Copala, Mexico
  • PM 409-14 – Students from the “Raúl Isidro Burgos” Rural School, Mexico
  • PM 271-05 – Community of La Oroya, Peru

Working meetings were held on petitions and cases in different stages of negotiation and implementation of friendly settlement agreements:

  • C-12.934 – Frank Guelfi, Panama
  • P-12.213 – Aristeu Guida Da Silva y Familia, Brazil
  • C-1014-06 – Antonio Jacinto Lopez, Mexico
  • C- 12.854 – Ricardo Javier Kaplun, Argentina
  • P-850-15 – Pueblo Ayoreo, Paraguay (Signature of document in the working meeting)
  • C-12.629 – Indigenous Community Kelyenmagategma, Paraguay
  • C-13.399 – Arnaldo Javier Córdoba y D., Paraguay
  • P- 12.956 – F.S., Chile

The Commission values de opportunity to make progress in the processes of negotiation of friendly settlements that allow the victims to reach an integral reparation for the related human right violations.

The following academic and promotional events were held:

  • New Frontiers in Inter-American Standards for the Protection of Human Rights
  • Launch of the report “Toward a Comprehensive Policy to Protect Human Rights Defenders”
  • Workshop on National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights
  • Economic Actors and Transitional Justice
  • Consultation of Experts with Commissioners on the Rights of Women, Girls, and Adolescents
  • Meeting of Experts: Freedom of Expression and Women

Bilateral Meetings

The IACHR also held bilateral meetings on the rights of women, girls, adolescents and afro-descendants during the Period of Sessions in Bogota. In particular, the President of the Commission held a bilateral meeting with Dubravka Šimonović, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, in order to strengthen strategic cooperation in addressing violence and discrimination suffered by women in the Americas. Additionally, the IACHR met with several civil society organizations regarding sexual and reproductive rights of women and the situation of sexual violence prevalent in the region. On March 2, the IACHR participated in a public event held within the framework of the GQUAL campaign that promotes gender parity in instances of international justice.  On March 5th, the President and Rapporteur also held a meeting with Afro-Colombian civil society organizations to discuss the implementation of the peace accords and current challenges in regards to violence and discrimination.

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 and to defend 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. 041A/18