Press Release

IACHR Invites Participation in an Expert Regional Consultation on Combating Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Other Forms of Intolerance

November 6, 2018

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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 academics, activists, and civil society organizations that are active within the inter-American human rights system to take part in a regional consultation on human rights mechanisms in the Americas to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance. The consultation will be held on Saturday, December 8, 2018, from 9 AM to 6 PM at the IACHR headquarters in Washington, DC, and will focus on racism and the racial discrimination that affects people of African descent in the Americas.

The overall aim of the consultation is to improve cooperation between inter-American and international human rights mechanisms in order to develop concrete proposals for cooperation to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related forms of intolerance, among other things. The methodology for the consultation will be four panel discussions over the course of the day, followed by interactive discussions. A moderator will facilitate these discussions between experts on regional human rights mechanisms. There will be a review of these discussions at the end of the day and specific topics will be put forward for debate during the international consultation that will take place in 2019.

This regional consultation seeks to generate debate on good practices, challenges, and the lessons learned in the struggle against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related forms of intolerance in the Americas and the measures that should be taken to improve the effectiveness of inter-American human rights mechanisms as part of the process of monitoring the Durban Declaration and the ensuing program of action.

Likewise, the regional consultation will allow the civil society organizations, experts, and activists taking part to contribute to the debate through their deeper vision of the specific ways that each region can combat racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia. The issues to be discussed during the consultation include the participation of people of African descent in politics; special measures and affirmative action; and racial bias within police and criminal justice systems. There will also be a discussion of the opportunities for collaborating with international mechanisms to fight racism and the challenges these may pose.

Those interested in taking part in the event must apply in advance using the registration form. The deadline for registering is November 18, 2018,* at midnight EST, and those selected will be informed by Tuesday, November 20.

The selection criteria established by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) are geographic representation; the profile of the candidate organization; and the organization’s capacity for and experience of mainstreaming the issues mentioned above. Travel and accommodation costs and other expenses for taking part in the consultation shall be financed by the organization or individual themselves. The sessions will be held in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Consult the concept note on regional human rights mechanisms in the Americas to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance.

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.


* The deadline was modified and this press release was changed on November 14, 2018, to reflect the new deadline.

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