Press Release

IACHR Convenes Hearings on Strengthening of the Inter-American System on Human Rights

October 10, 2012

Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) convenes hearings on the process to strengthen the inter-American system on human rights, to be held on October 30, 2012, at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), during the 146th ordinary Period of Sessions of the Commission.

The IACHR is currently dedicated to considering a reform to its rules, policies and practices, in the framework of the process for strengthening the inter-American system of human rights, and will adopt those reforms that help improve the protection of the fundamental rights of persons. In this context, the Commission is currently considering, in an open-minded and constructive spirit, the report of the Special Working Group to Reflect on the Workings of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) with a view to Strengthening the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS), adopted on June 5, 2012, by the OAS General Assembly held in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Furthermore, the IACHR is organizing subregional forums and academic events. These events have been attended by experts, representatives of the Member States, civil society organizations and victims of violations of human rights who have utilized the inter-American system, generating rich exchanges of ideas, perspectives and opinions on this reform process.

In the framework of this constructive dialogue with all the actors of the inter-American system, the Inter-American Commission is organizing additional events for exchanges with different actors and international bodies. In this opportunity, the IACHR convenes two hearings on October 30, 2012, in the Hall of the Americas, in the OAS Main Building. Both hearings will be public. Therefore, those persons interested in entering the room to follow these hearings in person do not need to register previously, as there is no registration process for the general public. The hearings can also be followed by Webcast through the IACHR Webpage.

In the first hearing, the IACHR will listen to the OAS Member States on the process to strengthen the Inter-American System of Human Rights. On September 24, 2012, the IACHR Executive Secretary invited the OAS Member States to this hearing, during his presentation before an extraordinary session of the Permanent Council of the Organization. The Commission is also in the process of sending letters to each of the 35 Member States. This hearing will take place from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

The hearing from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm convenes the civil society of the Americas. The organizations that would like to participate with presentations in this hearing must send a request, so that the IACHR may distribute the time of the hearing equitably among all the participants. The requests should be sent to the Commission before October 23, 2012.

Those persons and organizations that may face obstacles to travel to the OAS headquarters may participate through a recorded presentation in a video of a maximum length of three minutes. To the extent possible, and according to the number of persons and organizations that request participation, the IACHR will make every effort to organize the hearing in such a way so that the videos are part of it. In any case, all the videos and written presentations to be presented to the IACHR will be published on a Webpage on the IACHR Website, under the section “Strengthening Process.”

All parties interested in participating should send a letter to the mail [email protected] before October 23, 2012, with the sentence “Registry Participants Strengthening Hearing” in the subject line. It is requested that the videos be submitted in mp4 or wmv format, recorded on a DVD, and be sent to the following address: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Ref: Video Hearing on Strengthening, 1889 F St. NW, Washington DC 20006, USA.

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 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. 122/12