THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
HAVING SEEN the Annual Report of the Permanent Council to the General
Assembly (AG/doc.4265/04 add. 3 corr. 1) as it pertains to this topic and
resolution AG/RES. 1920 (XXXIII-O/03), “Human Rights Defenders: Support for the
Individuals, Groups, and Civil Society Organizations Working to Promote and
Protect Human Rights in the Americas”;
CONCERNED that situations persist in the Americas that, directly or
indirectly, prevent or hamper the work of individuals, groups, or organizations
working to promote and protect fundamental rights;
CONSIDERING that member states support the work carried out by human rights
defenders and recognize their valuable contribution to the promotion,
observance, and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the
Americas, and to the representation and defense of individuals, minorities, and
other groups of persons whose rights are threatened or violated;
TAKING NOTE of the statement issued in 2003 by the Inter-American Court of
Human Rights, in its decisions granting provisional measures, on the importance
of the work of human rights defenders to the development of democracies in the
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the work accomplished by the Unit for Human Rights
Defenders of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the member
states’ replies to the questionnaire drawn up by that Unit with a view to
preparing a comprehensive report on the subject; and
UNDERSCORING that the performance by human rights defenders of their tasks
contributes actively to strengthening democratic institutions and improving
national human rights systems,
1. To reiterate its support for the work carried out, at both the national
and regional levels, by human rights defenders; and to recognize their valuable
contribution to the promotion, observance, and protection of human rights and
fundamental freedoms in the Hemisphere.
2. To condemn actions that directly or indirectly prevent or hamper the work
of human rights defenders in the Americas.
3. To encourage human rights defenders to continue to work selflessly for the
enhancement of national human rights systems for the consolidation of democracy,
in a manner consistent with the principles contained in the United Nations
Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
4. To urge member states to continue stepping up their efforts to adopt the
necessary measures to safeguard the lives, freedom, and personal safety of human
rights defenders, and to conduct thorough and impartial investigations in all
cases of violations against human rights defenders, ensuring that the findings
thereof are transparent and publicized.
5. To invite the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to conclude its
comprehensive report on the situation of human rights defenders in the Americas,
in keeping with resolution AG/RES. 1842 (XXXII-O/02), for presentation to the
Permanent Council and consideration, if possible, in the second half of 2004.
6. To request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to:
a. Continue to give due consideration to this matter at the level it deems
b. Continue intensifying its dialogue and cooperation with the Special
Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Human Rights
c. Include in its annual report a section on the work of the operational unit
in this field of the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR.
7. To invite member states to promote the dissemination and enforcement of
the instruments of the inter-American system and the decisions of its bodies on
this matter, as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Right and
Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and
Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
8. To invite member states to consider the preparation and implementation of
national plans to apply the principles contained in the United Nations
Declaration mentioned in the preceding paragraph, for which purpose they may
also request the advisory services of the Inter-American Commission on Human
9. To urge member states that have not yet done so to reply to the
questionnaire prepared by the Unit for Human Rights Defenders of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
10. To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly, at
its thirty-fifth regular session, on the implementation of this resolution,
which will be carried out in accordance with resources allocated in the
program-budget of the Organization and other resources.