Rapporteur on the Rights of Afro-Descendants and against Racial Discrimination
Commissioner Gloria de Mees was elected by the General Assembly of the OAS during its 53th Regular Period of Sessions, for a four-year term from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2027. She is a human rights lecturer at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname. Her focus, as a legal expert, included the Collective Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, and Human Rights of Older Persons. Standing out in her human rights career are advising nationally on the Inter-American Human Rights System, legislation and policy, in addition to advocating for the rights of marginalized communities. In this sense, she was a member of the Group of Experts advising the National Assemblée of the Republic of Suriname on the Bill on Collective Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples; she served as the Secretary of the Bureau of the Agent of State to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; she has also been actively involved in the formulation of the Bill establishing the National Human Rights Institute as well as in the drafting of country reports for reporting to several UN Treaty Bodies. She is a citizen of Suriname.
2022 - 2023
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
Rose-Marie Belle Antoine was the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination. She was designated for this function on January 26, 2012 and her mandate as Rapporteur finished when her term as Commissioner ended, on December 31, 2015. Rose-Marie Belle has dual citizenship of Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. She was elected at the 41st OAS General Assembly in June 2011 for the standard four-year term, which began on January 1, 2012. She is a lawyer and holds the Chair as Professor of Law at the University of the West Indies specializing in human rights, financial law, comparative law, administrative law, public service law, discrimination law and labour law. She has also lectured abroad, including in the United States. Antoine has substantial international consultancy experience. She has served as senior legal advisor to virtually all of the governments of the Commonwealth Caribbean and to governments outside of the region, such as the UK, Venezuela, USA and Canada, and to several international and regional organizations. These include the European Union, UNICEF, UNIFEM, the ILO, the IADB, the World Bank, and the OAS, among others. She is an award-winning author who has written eight books and numerous reports and articles and drafted laws on a wide range of topics, including discrimination, constitutional reform, public service reform, juvenile justice, mutual legal assistance, women’s rights, health, sexual harassment, trafficking in persons, labour law, free movement of labour, HIV, financial law, anti-drug trafficking and anti-corruption. Antoine is both an Oxford Commonwealth Scholar and a Cambridge Pegasus Scholar, holding a doctorate from Oxford University, an LL.M. from Cambridge and an LL.B. from the University of the West Indies. Professor Antoine also holds diplomas and certificates in international human rights from the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
2010 - 2011
María Silvia Guillén, a citizen of El Salvador, was Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination from January 29, 2010 to December 31, 2011. She was elected Commissioner by the Permanent Council of the OAS in an ordinary session held December 3, 2009. This election was held in accordance with Article 11 of the IACHR Statute. María Silvia Guillén was elected in order to complete the term of Commissioner Florentín Meléndez, whose resignation took effect on December 31, 2009. Commissioner Guillén is Executive Director of the Foundation for Studies on the Application of Law in El Salvador (FESPAD) and an Alternate Judge of the Central American Court of Justice. She is also a member of the Pro Remembrance Human Rights Working Committee of El Salvador and the Salvadoran Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Commissioner Guillén has also served as a member of the El Salvador Supreme Court of Justice's Commission of Inquiry into Irregular Diplomas, the Court of Appeals for the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, and the Special Commission for a comprehensive assessment of the Attorney General's Office. She has been a Professor of Law at the university level and teaches in FESPAD's Legal Update Training Project. She has been a consultant and researcher for various organizations, including the United Nations, the Arias Foundation, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and FIAN International. She graduated with a law degree from the University of El Salvador.
2005 - 2009
Sir Clare K. Roberts, a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, was Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination from the creation of the Office in 2005 , until the end of his term as Commissioner, on December 31, 2009. Sir Clare conducted a visit to Colombia in May 2007 in order to receive information on the situation of Afro-descendants in that country, and supervised the elaboration of the observations on that visit , published in March 2009. Clare Roberts took office as an IACHR Commissioner in 2002 and stayed for two consecutive terms, of four years each. He was the President of the Commission in 2005. Before joining the IACHR, he was an Independent Senator of Antigua and Barbuda, as well as Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs between 1994 and 1997. He has been an international legal consultant for several public and private organizations, and he is also a Member of the International Bar Association and the Inter-American Bar Association, as well as an Associate Member of the American Bar Association.