Press Release

IACHR Convenes Public Consultation on IACHR-OHCHR Joint Action Mechanism to Contribute to the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

November 28, 2017

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Washington, D.C.—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) invite civil society organizations, States, and other users of the inter-American human rights system to participate in a public consultation on the IACHR-OHCHR Joint Action Mechanism to Contribute to the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. The consultation will take place on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at IACHR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In recent years, defending human rights in the Americas has become an extremely dangerous activity. Human rights defenders are victims of killings, criminalization, arbitrary detentions, threats, and attacks, among other acts of violence. The IACHR-OHCHR Joint Action Mechanism, which was launched on October 25, 2017, seeks to help protect human rights defenders in the Americas.

The main objective of the consultation is to analyze the principal factors and risk situations that the joint mechanism should target as a priority, and identify ways that civil society can collaborate and contribute to the mechanism’s operation. In terms of the methodology for the consultation, the event will begin with a brief introduction of the Joint Action Mechanism by representatives of the OHCHR Regional Offices for Central America and South America and representatives of the IACHR. Working groups will then discuss proposed main topics and prepare suggestions for collaboration. Each working group’s suggestions will be presented to all participants during a plenary session, which will systematize the set of proposals.

Those interested in participating should pre-register, using the registration form for the Forum of the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS Forum), during which this public consultation will take place. The deadline for registering is midnight, Eastern Standard Time, on Wednesday, November 29.

Any expenses for attending the public consultation in person must be covered by the organization or individual interested in participating.

For more details, see the invitation and the document on the IACHR-OHCHR Joint Action Mechanismto Contribute to the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (available in Spanish).

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. 191/17