Press Release

IACHR Announces Finalists for Position of Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights

May 23, 2017

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Buenos Aires — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) examined the applications it received for the position of Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights (ESCER), in the context of the competition announcement posted on February 16, 2017. The ESCER Special Rapporteur will be responsible for supporting the IACHR in the fulfillment of its mandate to promote and protect economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights in the Americas.

The IACHR chose five finalists for the position. In alphabetical order by their last name, they are Ligia Bolívar Osuna, from Venezuela; Ana María Díaz, from Colombia; Alexandre Brasil Carvalho da  Fonseca, from Brazil; Soledad García Muñoz, from Argentina; and Oscar Javier Parra Vera, from Colombia. On May 24, the IACHR received a letter from candidate Oscar Javier Parra Vera, notifying that he had decided to withdraw his postulation. The curricula vitae of the four finalists  were posted on this page of the IACHR website. (*)

“We are very pleased by the interest in this competition shown by individuals who are highly qualified and have extensive experience and knowledge in the issue of economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights,” the President of the IACHR, Commissioner Francisco Eguiguren, said. “We had to choose from among many excellent candidates, as is reflected in the quality of the finalists. The IACHR received 92 applications for this position.”

For his part, Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi said he was confident that the selection of someone who will work full-time to defend economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights will allow the IACHR to better address the major challenges the region faces in this area. “Issues such as poverty and extreme poverty, access to health and education, the human rights impact of pollution caused by extractive industries and other economic projects, and access to potable water and nutrition are just some of the matters this Special Rapporteurship will address. These are areas in which the countries of the Americas face enormous challenges, and I am confident that the creation of this Special Rapporteurship will become an important mechanism to strengthen the respect for and guarantee of these rights,” he said.

The process by which the Commission selects the Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights is governed by the applicable rules and regulations. The publication of the names of the finalists opens up a public comment period. Member States, civil society organizations, members of academia, and other interested individuals or organizations may send in their comments on the candidacies through June 15, 2017. The IACHR will receive comments through this system until June 15, 2017, at midnight (Eastern Daylight Time).

The IACHR hopes to complete the selection process in July 2017, in the framework of its 163rd session, which will take place in Lima, Peru. The person designated ESCER Special Rapporteur could start work on August 15, 2017. Pursuant to Article 15 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, the Rapporteur serves for a three-year period, renewable once, unless the mandate of the Rapporteurship terminates earlier.

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.


(*) The IACHR updated this press release on May 26, 2017, in order to inform on the withdrawal of the postulation of Oscar Javier Parra Vera.

No. 065/17