IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. / Geneva - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances signed a roadmap to strengthen and systematize cooperation mechanisms between the two systems to eradicate and prevent enforced disappearances, on December 16, 2021, during the 182nd Sessions of the IACHR.
The Roadmap seeks to improve cooperation between the two systems for the promotion and protection of human rights through their mandates, competencies, and specific mechanisms, in relation to enforced disappearances. It was signed by the President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Antonia Urrejola; its Executive Secretary, Tania Reneaum Panszi and by the President of the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances, Carmen Rosa Villa Quintana.
Promoting collaboration with the UN human rights system is one of the objectives of the IACHR's Strategic Plan 2017-2021, through its Program 13 "Cooperation and coordination with the universal human rights system and other international agencies". Likewise, the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council have issued several resolutions over the past decade stressing the importance of collaborating with regional human rights mechanisms.
"Enforced disappearances represent the most heinous, abject, and cruel of the many forms of human rights violations. Their persistence is unacceptable and reprehensible. Today we have more regulatory, technological, and scientific resources to prevent and eradicate this crime. However, this is not enough. […] Its complexity and seriousness pose immense challenges for humanity, against which we must unite and coordinate our efforts. […] The Committee considers it essential to implement official and systematic coordination mechanisms with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. For this reason, the roadmap we are signing today has great significance: it will not only strengthen the intervention of both human rights bodies, but also the will and commitment of what represents the conjunction of two systems, the regional and the universal human rights system," said the President of UN Committee, Carmen Rosa Villa.
On the matter, the IACHR President, Antonia Urrejola said, "This roadmap will contribute to strengthen and expand the efforts of the IACHR and the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances to eradicate this phenomenon that affects thousands of people in the region so families can alleviate their suffering and have certainty in knowing the truth about the whereabouts of their beloved ones".
Likewise, the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Tania Reneaum Panszi, highlighted the relevance that the Commission gives to the construction and consolidation of alliances and cooperation with key international actors such as the Committee and reaffirmed the rights that victims of forced disappearance have, "I would like to reaffirm the right of every person affected by forced disappearance to truth, justice and reparation, and to seek, receive and disseminate information to this end; rights that the Inter-American Commission considers fundamental, and has been strongly defending for the past decades."
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.
The CED is the body of independent experts that oversees the implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance by its States Parties. The Convention was designed to protect all persons from enforced disappearance, prevent the recurrence of this crime and provide support to victims and guidance to States on measures to be taken to promote the rights guaranteed in the Convention and to foster collaboration and assistance among States. The CED is composed of ten independent members who are elected by the States Parties in their personal capacity. They do not represent their countries of origin or residence.