IACHR Holds Fifth Dialogue with National Human Rights Institutions from the Americas

October 17, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held the fifth round of talks with National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) who have signed the Commitment Statement for technical cooperation with the Commission. The event—held on October 6 in Barranquilla, Colombia—sought to enable an exchange of information concerning progress and pending challenges in the promotion and defense of human rights, as well as to strengthen cooperation measures and to identify new possibilities in this field.

The talks were led by Commissioner Julissa Mantilla Falcón (IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Women and on Memory, Truth, and Justice) and by Commissioner José Luis Caballero Ochoa (IACHR Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and Justice Operators and on Human Mobility). The gathering brought together representatives of NHRIs from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay.

Based on each organization's experience, there was an exchange of best practices, challenges, and opportunities for joint action with the IACHR. Participants discussed various themes and addressed the role of NHRIs to strengthen democratic institutions and human rights, as well as discussing prevention mechanisms and public policies to ensure early protection for human rights.

In compliance with its Strategic Plan 2023–2027, the IACHR seeks to strengthen its ties with national institutions, in order to improve bilateral information and communication channels. The Commitment Statement for technical cooperation and for the creation of the Mechanism for Points of Contact between the IACHR and National Institutions—adopted in 2018 and signed by 12 NHRIs to date—lays the groundwork for joint efforts in the Americas.

The IACHR stresses how important it is to continue to create platforms for cooperation with NHRIs and to strengthen ties between these institutions and the Commission. The IACHR further notes the relevance of ensuring an institutional set-up that promotes the independence and autonomy that are trademarks of these institutions, in keeping with the Paris Principles, so they may do their work effectively.

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. 247/23

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