Press Release

The IACHR Updates the Goals of Its Specialized Academic Network, Continues to Work on Impact Observatory

July 22, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is updating and relaunching the Specialized Academic Network of the Inter-American Human Rights System to reflect the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission has also made progress with its Impact Observatory, a platform to encourage systematization, awareness, and reflection on the impact of IACHR actions to defend and protect human rights in the Americas.

During the first round of its Academic Network, the Commission has decided to focus on thematic research to assess IACHR impact on the protection of human rights.

The Academic Network was launched on April 15, 2019 to provide technical support for the work of the Commission in general and of its Thematic Rapporteurships in particular. In the context of the current pandemic, the IACHR decided to review this network and to relaunch its call to academics, refocusing it on the Commission’s impact on the protection of human rights.

The thematic research of participant institutions will need to use as a source of information the database of the IACHR’s System to Monitor Recommendations (SIMORE, by its Spanish acronym), the Commission’s annual, thematic, and country reports, and resolutions concerning precautionary measures, admissibility and merit reports, resolutions, and other available publications and sources. Research may involve thematic, national, or regional impact studies, or may focus on specific countries.

In the context of the IACHR’s Strategic Plan 2017–2021, the creation of this network seeks to contribute research and other joint activities to deepen knowledge and produce information aimed at promoting and protecting human rights in the Americas. It also seeks to further efforts to promote periodic dialogue with civil society and academia, as well as to develop formal strategic alliances with academic institutions who are actively researching the Inter-American Human Rights System.

This renewed call seeks to select academic projects aimed at producing materials on the work that the Commission and its thematic and special rapporteurships do to monitor, promote, and protect human rights, and/or activities to measure compliance with IACHR recommendations and decisions, as well as the impact and effectiveness of such recommendations and decisions (including measures adopted in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic). Further contributions could involve submitting information to the SIMORE database and mapping success stories, best practices, and lessons learned as Member States implement the Commission’s recommendations, among other aspects.

Thematic academic research on the impact of the IACHR developed by this network is to serve as a source of information and knowledge for the IACHR Impact Observatory. Through an academic committee, the Commission will select the most relevant research submitted by its Academic Network, so it may be published in the Observatory and posted on the IACHR channel (Canal CIDH).

The IACHR invites all the institutions who had already submitted their proposals to adjust and redesign their projects according to the new terms and conditions. The IACHR further invites institutions who did not respond to the previous call to participate in this new one if they think they have something to contribute. The Commission would like to thank the universities who responded to the original call for proposals.

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. 172/20