Rapporteur on the Rights of Women
Commissioner Roberta Clarke was elected by the General Assembly of the OAS during its Regular Period of Sessions, on November 12, 2021, for a period of four-year term, from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2025. An activist for social justice and gender equality, Roberta Clarke has led UN Women Regional Offices in East and Southern Africa, Asia Pacific, the Caribbean and Libya. Prior to her career at the United Nations, she practiced as a lawyer in Trinidad and Tobago. She has been engaged in civil society and the national and international levels including as the Chair, Executive Committee, International Commission of Jurists and President of the Coalition against Domestic Violence, Trinidad and Tobago. She is the Chair, Harassment Committee of the Caribbean Court of Justice. She is a citizen of Barbados.
2022 - 2023
Commissioner Julissa Mantilla Falcón was elected by the General Assembly of the OAS during its 49th Regular Period of Sessions, on June 28, 2019, for a four-year term from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2023. As a lawyer, she specializes in human rights and has a degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP), a diploma in Gender from the PUCP, and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) at the University of London. She worked in the Peruvian Ombudspersons Office and was in charge of gender issues in the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation in Peru. She has served as an international consultant on transitional justice for UN Women. She is a professor at the Law School and the master’s degree in Human Rights at the PUCP and at the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the American University’s Washington College of Law. She has lectured internationally and authored several academic publications. She is a citizen of Peru.
2016 - 2021
Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay was re-elected by the General Assembly of the OAS during its 49th Regular Period of Sessions, on June 28, 2019, for a further four-year term from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2023. She had previously been elected by the General Assembly of the OAS for a first term as a commissioner that also ran for four years, January 2016-December 2019. President Macaulay holds a bachelor of laws degree from the University of London and is currently an attorney in private practice. She serves as Mediator in the Supreme Court of Jamaica and as Associate Arbitrator, as well as serving as Notary Public. She served as a Judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights from 2007 to 2012, contributing to the formulation of the Court’s Rules of Procedure. She is an honored member of the Gender Justice Legacy Wall of notable women’s rights advocates who have brought about important changes, which was launched in December 2017 at the United Nations in New York, during the Assembly of Ministers. She took part in the reform and drafting of laws in Jamaica and is well known as a strong proponent of and authority on women’s rights. She is a citizen of Jamaica.
2012 - 2015
Tracy Robinson was IACHR Commissioner from January 2012 to December 2015. The Commission designated her as Rapporteur on the Rights of Women on January 27, 2012, until the end of her mandate as Commissioner. In her capacity as Rapporteur, she conducted visits to Suriname and Colombia to analyze the situation of the rights of women in that country, and she examined particularly the situation of women during the in loco visits to Dominican Republic, Honduras and Mexico. She also made presentations, participated in seminars and conducted joint activities with UN organs. Tracy Robinson is a lawyer and teaches Gender and the Law, Constitutional Law and Commonwealth Caribbean Human Rights, among other law subjects, at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.
2008 - 2011
Commissioner Luz Patricia Mejía was elected during the 37th regular period of sessions of the OAS General Assembly in June 2007 for the standard four-year term, which began on January 1, 2008. She was First Vice-Chair of the IACHR in 2008 and Chair in 2009. Luz Patricia Mejía is an attorney who graduated from the School of Juridical and Political Science at the Central University of Venezuela, where she studied Administrative Law. She was Director of Legal Counsel in Venezuela’s Public Ministry and previously worked in that country’s Public Defender’s Office, as Director of Legal Resources and later Director General of Legal Services. She was also in charge of carrying out the Defense Program as part of Venezuela’s Education-Action in Human Rights Program (PROVEA), and worked as an attorney with the Women’s Association for Reciprocal Assistance (AMBAR) and the Organization for Citizen Action against AIDS (ACCSI). She co-authored the Law for the Protection of Victims, Witnesses, and Others Involved in Judicial Procedures, as well as the Organic Law of the Public Defender’s Office and the Organic Law of Citizen Power. She has published research and specialized articles, and has lectured in courses and seminars.
2006 - 2008
Víctor Abramovich, a citizen of Argentina, was a Commissioner of the IACHR from January 2006 to December 2009. He served as Second Vice-Chair in 2007 and First Vice-Chair in 2009. He was Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from March 4, 2008, to December 31, 2009, and in that capacity he was a member of the IACHR delegation that carried out a visit to Bolivia in June 2008 to gather information for the report entitled Captive Communities: Situation of the Guaraní Indigenous People and Contemporary Forms of Slavery in the Bolivian Chaco. He also headed the IACHR delegation that conducted a field visit in connection with the provisional measures ordered for the members of the communities that constitute the Community Council of Jiguamiandó and the families of Curbaradó, in Chocó, Colombia. Víctor Abramovich also served as IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Women from March 1, 2006, to March 4, 2008. As First Vice-Chair, he participated in the onsite visit the Commission made to Honduras in August 2009 to observe the human rights situation in the context of the coup d'état of June 28, 2009, a visit that resulted in the publication of the report Honduras: Human Rights and the Coup d'État. Abramovich earned his law degree from the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), and he holds a master’s degree in international law from American University's Washington College of Law, in Washington, D.C. He has also completed numerous specialized courses in human rights in England and Spain. He has been Executive Director of Argentina’s Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS), a legal consultant to the Ombudsman’s Office of the city of Buenos Aires, and a consultant to the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR), among other positions. He is currently a Professor of Human Rights at the Faculty of Law of UBA and of the National University of Lanus, as well as a Visiting Professor at American University and at Ecuador’s “Simón Bolívar” Andean University, among others. Commissioner Abramovich is the author of several specialized publications, in particular on economic, social, and cultural rights.
2003 - 2005
Susana Villarán, a Peruvian citizen, was a Commissioner of the IACHR from January 2002 to December 2005. She served as Second Vice-Chair of the IACHR in 2005 and First Vice-Chair in 2004. She was the IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Children and Rapporteur on the Rights of Women. She participated in the onsite visit the IACHR carried out to Venezuela in May 2002, and conducted various visits as Rapporteur to countries, such as to Guatemala in July 2002 and September 2004, and to Colombia at various times between 2003 and 2005. As a Commissioner, she also carried out visits to Nicaragua, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Mexico, among other countries. During her time on the Commission, the report on the onsite visit to Guatemala was published: Justice and Social Inclusion: Challenges to Democracy in Guatemala (available only in Spanish). Other specialized reports were also done, such as the Report on the Demobilization Process in Colombia, published in 2004, and Violence and Discrimination against Women in the Armed Conflict in Colombia, published in 2006. Susana Villarán conducted research and consultation processes for the preparation of the report Access to Justice for Women Victims of Violence in the Americas. She has been a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, and she has served as Minister of Women and Human Development; as her country’s first Police Ombudsman; and as Executive Secretary of Peru’s National Human Rights Coordination Office (Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos). On October 3, 2010, she was elected Mayor of Lima, the first woman to be elected for this office since the foundation of the city, in 1532.
1994 - 2000
A Chilean citizen and expert in international law, human rights, and inter-American affairs, Claudio Grossman is Dean of the Washington College of Law at American University and the Raymond Geraldson Scholar for International and Humanitarian Law. He was a Commissioner of the IACHR from January 1994 to December 2001, and served two terms as Chair (1996 and 2001). He also served as the IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and he was the Commission’s first Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, elected during the 85th period of sessions of the IACHR (available only is spanish), held in February 2004. In that capacity, he was responsible for researching and drafting a report on discrimination against women, in fact and in law, in the Americas. That study included meetings of experts, consultations to the States, and other activities, which are detailed in Progress Reports published in 1995, 1996, and 1998. On October 13, 1998, the Commission approved the Report of the IACHR on the Status of Women in the Americas, which was carried out under Grossman's direction. In his capacity as IACHR Commissioner, Grossman participated in visits to Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela, among others. He has also participated in numerous field visits and electoral observation missions in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. He served as the Commission’s delegate in numerous cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In April 2010, Grossman was unanimously reelected Chairperson of the United Nations Committee against Torture, a position he has held since April 2008; he has been a member of the Committee since 2003. Claudio Grossman obtained his law degree from the University of Chile and his doctorate in law from the University of Amsterdam, Holland. He speaks Spanish, English, French, and Dutch, is the author of numerous books and articles on international law and human rights, and belongs to many associations, including the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, of which he is a board member. He has received numerous distinctions for his work in human rights and international law, including the Henry W. Edgerton Civil Liberties Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area, in recognition of exceptional lifetime achievements related to the advancement and defense of human rights and civil liberties.