Press Release

IACHR Presents Annual Report to General Assembly

June 8, 2011

San Salvador, El Salvador - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) yesterday presented its 2010 Annual Report to the 41st General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), which is taking place in El Salvador under the theme of "Citizen Security in the Americas."

"The IACHR has highlighted the duty of the States to adopt public policies on citizen security that guarantee to the population the effective enjoyment of its human rights related with the prevention and control of violence and crime. Such policies must incorporate international human rights standards both as guidelines and inviolable limitations to State interventions, in order to avoid the commission of abuses in the activities of control and repression of violence," the Commission's First Vice-Chair, José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, told the General Assembly.

"Public policies on this subject must ensure democratic governance of citizen security, be the result of political and social consensus, and be subject to a constant process of assessment and accountability," Orozco said. This issue was addressed by the IACHR in the Report on Citizen Security and Human Rights, which was prepared in conjunction with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNICEF, and published in 2010.

The IACHR Annual Report presented to the General Assembly consists of five chapters that recount the activities carried out by the Commission and its Rapporteurships in 2010 and provide information on the processing of petitions and cases and the granting of precautionary measures throughout the year. In addition, Chapter IV contains special sections on the human rights situation in Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, and Venezuela, countries the IACHR believed warranted special attention in 2010. The States were identified based on the application of criteria adopted in 1997. Finally, Chapter V of the Annual Report follows up on recommendations made by the IACHR in various reports on Haiti, a country the IACHR continues to follow closely.

On another point, the Vice-Chair said: "The Commission hopes that the Member States’ commitment toward improving the inter-American system and, in particular, toward the work of the Commission will be reflected in the allocation of additional resources for its operations, in the ratification of inter-American human rights instruments by all States, in their compliance with the recommendations and decisions of the system’s bodies, and in the strengthening of the independence and autonomy of the inter-American human rights system." He added that ongoing dialogue among the States, civil society, and the bodies of the inter-American system is essential to meet this objective.

The First Vice-Chair of the IACHR expressed the Commission's appreciation to the governments of OAS member countries that contributed funds to the IACHR in 2010: Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and the United States. He also thanked the observer countries that supported the Commission’s activities: Spain, Finland, France, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, and the European Union. Finally, Orozco recognized the contributions the Commission received from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Population Fund, the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights, Save the Children/Sweden, and the University of Notre Dame.

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 human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 55/11