IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Women's Rights Defender M.A.C. in Haiti

September 2, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 43/22 on August 30, 2022, to grant precautionary protection measures in favor of M.A.C. in Haiti, in the belief that she faces a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to her rights.

According to the request for these precautionary measures, the beneficiary, identified as a Haitian women's human rights defender, is at risk after being subjected to threats and harassment in her search for justice for the sexual violence she allegedly suffered. The Inter-American Commission is sorry that the State failed to provide the information that was requested from it in compliance with Article 25.5 of the IACHR's Rules of Procedure.

After assessing the legal and factual allegations submitted by the party that requested these precautionary measures, the IACHR considers that the information it has received shows prima facie that M.A.C. is in serious and urgent danger of suffering irreparable harm to her rights to life and personal integrity.

To assess the risks faced by women human rights defenders, the Commission takes into consideration the fact that acts of targeted and random violence against women defenders are influenced by their gender, and that, in retaliation for their work, they are particularly exposed to various forms of violence—including sexual violence—and to violence against their families, beyond other hurdles that jeopardize the work of all defenders.

Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission granted these precautionary measures and asked the State of Haiti to take the following action:

  1. Adopt any measures necessary—with a gender perspective—to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of M.A.C.
  2. Take any measures necessary to enable M.A.C. to do her work as a human rights defender without being subjected to intimidation, harassment, threats, or any other acts of violence for doing such work
  3. Come to an agreement with the beneficiary and her representative concerning any measures that need to be taken
  4. Report on any actions adopted to investigate the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of these precautionary measures, in order to prevent such events from happening again in the future

The fact that these precautionary measures have been granted and their adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights and other applicable instruments.

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. 195/22

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