Sixth International Course on Public Human Rights Policies Completed

June 2, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The sixth edition of the International Course on Public Human Rights Policies—jointly sponsored by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and MERCOSUR's Institute of Public Policies on Human Rights (IPPDH)—has been completed.

This edition of the course brought together 100 people selected among more than 3,000 applicants. Participants included public sector workers in charge of designing, directing, implementing, and evaluating public policies, as well as members of civil society organizations, social movements, and academics from Member States of MERCOSUR and the Organization of American States (OAS).

The first stage of the course took place over the period February–April and included an optional workshop to specialize in the Inter-American Human Rights System. Later, May 29–June 2, a mandatory in-person week was held at the IPPDH headquarters in Buenos Aires, in the facilities of the Space for Memory and Human Rights (the former ESMA illegal detention facility), with 56 participants from 15 countries in the Americas in attendance.

Networking opportunities were supplemented with theory and practice sessions with experts in public policy evaluation, in indicator systems, and in the specific principles of a rights-based approach to policy, in an effort to complete the academic content of the course in person. There was also a panel discussion on participation in public policies that involved activists and representatives of civil society organizations along with course participants. Participants submitted final assignments with hypothetical public policy proposals with a human rights perspective.

There were also two thematic panel discussions that were remotely open to the general public. On May 29, the panel discussion "Progress and challenges concerning public policies on human rights in the Americas" was held, with opening remarks from IPPDH Executive Director Remo Carlotto and from Norma Colledani, Coordinator of the IACHR's Section on Public Policies and Technical Cooperation, as well as a lecture from Argentina's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Santiago Cafiero.

On June 1, the closing panel discussion took place, with the title "Human rights and democracy: Lessons from the past and challenges for the future." This discussion brought together Inter-American Court of Human Rights Magistrate Verónica Gómez; Ernesto Lejderman, a member of the organization Relatives of Persons Who Went Missing or Were Detained for Political Reasons; María Adela Antokoletz, a member of the Latin American Federation of Associations of Relatives of Detainees Who Went Missing While in Detention; and IPPDH Executive Director Remo Carlotto. Norma Colledani, of the IACHR, moderated discussions.

The International Course on Public Human Rights Policies seeks to train relevant actors from all over the region to integrate a human rights approach into public policy. The dynamics of this exchange among participants from public sectors, academia, and civil society enables a platform to academically reflect on challenges, hurdles, resources, and opportunities related to the task of strengthening public institutions and policies with a human rights perspective.

This was the sixth edition of the course, first held by the IPPDH in 2016, and it was also the fourth consecutive edition that the IPPDH and the IACHR hosted jointly in the context of their cooperation agreement.

A principal, autonomous body of the 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.

The IPPDH is a technical research institution active in the field of public policy on human rights. Its strategic guidelines are approved by MERCOSUR's Meeting of High Authorities on Human Rights (RAADH, by its Spanish acronym), to support compliance with and enforcement of human rights, which are regarded as central axes for integration within MERCOSUR. Its structure was designed to carry out research, training, and consulting tasks for public-policy formulation, and to provide support for communications concerning human rights.

No. 111/23

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