IACHR

Press Release

IACHR and OHCHR make progress in joint actions within the framework of their joint mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders in the Americas

January 28, 2019

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María Isabel Rivero
IACHR Press and Communication Office
Tel: +1 (202) 370-9000
mrivero@oas.org

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Washington, D.C. - Within the framework of the 170th Regular Session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the IACHR and the Offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico held a meeting to evaluate the actions carried out in 2018 within the framework of their Mechanism of joint actions to contribute to the protection of human rights defenders in the Americas and to advance in the planning for 2019. In addition, a consultation of experts was held on experiences and good practices in the protection, prevention and investigation of crimes against human rights defenders in the region.

During the evaluation and planning meeting, the positive results achieved in 2018 from the planning carried out at the beginning of the year were highlighted, including the publication of joint communiqués, exchange of information, joint field visits, implementation of joint country strategies, monitoring of the implementation of precautionary measures, among others. Joint work flows and protocols were discussed and actions were agreed for the first half of 2019, including the launch of the Diagnosis on the situation of human rights defenders and the holding of a public hearing on the subject.

During 2019, progress will also be made on the preparation of a document on experiences and good practices in the area of protection and prevention, as well as investigation of crimes committed against human rights defenders in the region. In order to gather input for this document, a consultation of experts was held on December 2nd, with the participation of specialists from civil society, international organizations and States, where advances and good practices in the areas of prevention, research and protection were discussed, as well as the table of essential contents of the next document.

The IACHR and OHCHR remain committed to the effective functioning of the joint mechanism, an innovative initiative of the two bodies for the protection of human rights defenders, in a particularly difficult context for their work in the region.

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. 018/19