Press Release

IACHR To Launch Report on Human Rights Situation in Venezuela

February 2, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will present a country report on the serious human rights situation in Venezuela. The report analyzes the impact that the severe weakening of democratic institutions has had on the Venezuelan people’s exercise of human rights and lays out the IACHR’s urgent recommendations to the State. The report is organized around four pivotal areas: democratic institutions; social protest and freedom of expression; violence and citizen security; and economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights.

The IACHR has been monitoring the context of widespread human rights violations in Venezuela with extreme concern. The IACHR Executive Secretariat set up a Rapid and Integrated Response Coordination Unit on Venezuela to gather information and coordinate the use of the Commission’s various mechanisms to address the serious human rights situation stemming from the political-institutional crisis in Venezuela, which worsened in 2017. In this context, the IACHR last year published 25 press releases on the consequences this crisis is having on the effective exercise of the Venezuelan people’s human rights, not only inside the country’s borders but for those who have moved to other countries. In addition, last year the IACHR granted 10 precautionary measures to protect a total of 31 individuals; held 10 hearings; and sent requests for information to the State regarding various situations of grave concern.

Since 2012, the IACHR has been requesting the State’s consent to conduct an on-site visit to the country, something that has been repeatedly denied. With the human rights crisis deepening, the IACHR again requested consent for such a visit through a communication sent to the State on April 10, 2017. Once again, consent was not granted, upon which the IACHR decided to prepare a country report based on the information received through its other mechanisms. This includes responses to requests for information that the IACHR made in August 2017 to the State and to civil society organizations during the preparation of its report. In addition, the report includes information the IACHR received in hearings, in which civil society and the State actively participated; information available from official, public, and news sources; information received through applications for precautionary measures and through the petition and case system; and the State’s responses to requests for information made under the powers established in Article 18 of the Statute of the IACHR, among other sources.

The report will be launched by the President of the IACHR and Rapporteur for Venezuela, Commissioner Francisco Eguiguren, at an event that will take place on February 12, 2018, from 12 to 1 p.m. at IACHR headquarters in Washington, D.C. Those present will also include the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Edison Lanza; the Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights, Soledad García Muñoz; and the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrão. Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity for the press to ask questions. This presentation will not have Webcast.

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. 018/18