The IACHR has worked for decades to respect and guarantee economic, social, and cultural rights in the region. In 2012, the Commission created a Unit on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was initially headed by Commissioner Rose-Marie Belle Antoine (Saint Lucia) and which since January 2014 was headed by Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi (Brazil).
In its bid to deepen the work on the matter, the numerous demands of civil society organizations and also many States, the IACHR decided to create a Special Rapporteur for these rights in 2014. In April of that same year, the process began to through the opening of a special fund to collect the resources necessary for its financing.
Having identified the resources for its implementation, in 2017 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) opened the call for a public contest for the position of Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights (REDESCA), adding the rights Environmental to the mandate. The DESCA Special Rapporteur is responsible for supporting the IACHR in fulfilling its mandate to promote and protect economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights in the Americas.
As stated by the President of the IACHR, Commissioner James Cavallaro: "With the creation of the REDESCA Special Rapporteur, the Inter-American Commission seeks to strengthen and deepen its work in defense and protection of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights". For his part, Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi highlighted: "This is a step of great importance in the history of the IACHR and in the history of human rights in the region".
For his part, the Executive Secretary, Paulo Abrão, thanked those who in one way or another provided their support to reach this goal. "This achievement is the result of the efforts of many social activists and also coincides with an aspiration of the States of the region", he pointed out "This was a pending issue for the Inter-American Human Rights System, which is to balance its thematic reports. Now a set of new possibilities is opening up to build new inter-American standards, to update the Commission's thematic agenda and, fundamentally, to broaden its social scope".
On July 5, 2017, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) selected Soledad García Muñoz for the position of First Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights (REDESCA). The Commission forwarded the name of the selected person to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), who approved her with her appointment. In accordance with Article 15 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, Soledad García Muñoz was appointed for a period of three years. On February 19, 2020, the IACHR decided to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur until August 28, 2023.
Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights