Press Release

IACHR Announces New Forms of Coordination with the UN’s Human Rights Bodies and other Regional Mechanisms

February 21, 2018

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Bogota, Colombia - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presented its initiatives to improve coordination and complementarity with other regional and global institutions and mechanisms to protect human rights, during a videoconference with the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights noted—as it addressed the Advisory Committee of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council on Tuesday, February 20 in Geneva, Switzerland—that collaboration with the Universal Human Rights System and with Regional Human Rights Systems is one of the five goals of its new Strategic Plan.

In the context of Resolution 32/115 of the Human Rights Council, the Advisory Committee is drafting a report with the aim of strengthening the available regional mechanisms and promoting the creation of similar mechanisms in regions that currently lack such oversight bodies. The Council will also need to address specific recommendations for collaboration between the United Nations and regional human rights mechanisms like the Inter-American Human Rights System.

IACHR Executive Secretary Paulo Abrão explained various activities that the Commission and its Rapporteurships have conducted jointly with the Universal Human Rights System. He mentioned, among others, UN participation in IACHR public hearings, joint press releases, the adoption of joint work plans and priorities, and the development of a joint action mechanism to protect human rights defenders in the Americas.

The IACHR’s Executive Secretary explained that the Commission’s Strategic Plan featured the creation of so-called Rapid and Integrated Response Coordination Units (RIRCUs), as a tool to address the serious human rights situation and any crises that might arise in countries in the region that require a fast, well-articulated response. The creation of such units also seeks to ensure timely, comprehensive action in serious and urgent situations, in cooperation with various actors including the Universal Human Rights System. Faced with questions from several United Nations experts, the Executive Secretary explained that RIRCUs are activated in urgent human rights situations, and he mentioned as an example their importance for IACHR monitoring and defense actions concerning Venezuela.

One important aspect of the dialogue between the two institutions addressed the chance to expand the integration of the systems to follow up on recommendations, and also the option of promoting more platforms for substantial dialogue on jurisprudence and standards concerning international human rights protection.

The Advisory Committee was created, in keeping with Resolution 5/1 of the Human Rights Council, as a hub for ideas and debate about the Council, and to work at its direction. Its current members—with the years when their mandates are set to expire—are: Ibrahim Abdulaziz Alsheddi (Saudi Arabia, 2018); Mohamed Bennani* (Morocco, 2020); Lazhari Bouzid (Algeria, 2019); Mario Luis Coriolano (Argentina, 2018); Ion Diaconu* (Romania, 2020); Karla Hananía de Varela* (El Salvador, 2019); Ludovic Hennebel (Belgium, 2020); Mikhail Lebedev* (Russian Federation, 2019); Xinsheng Liu (China, 2019); Ajai Malhotra (India, 2020); Kaoru Obata* (Japan, 2019); Mona Omar (Egypt, 2019); Katharina Pabel (Austria, 2018); Elizabeth Salmón (Peru, 2020); Dheerujlall Baramlall Seetulsingh (Mauritius, 2020); Changrok Soh* (Korea, 2020); Imeru Tamrat Yigezu (Ethiopia, 2018); y Jean Ziegler. Read more on www.ohchr.org.

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. 033/18