Press Release

IACHR visits Barbados, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica

February 22, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is conducting a promotional visit to Barbados, The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, with a delegation led by the President, Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, who is also the Rapporteur on the Rights of Children and Adolescents, and by Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay, Rapporteur on the Rights of Women and on the Rights of People of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination, as well as Country Rapporteur for The Bahamas. The visit takes place from 20 to 27 February 2019.

The purpose of this promotional visit is to promote the Commission's mandates, strengthen knowledge of the mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights in the inter-American system, and strengthen dialogue with key actors working in the field of human rights in these countries. In addition, this visit is an opportunity for the Rapporteurs to promote inter-American standards and recommendations of the IACHR related to the eradication of violence and discrimination against women, girls and adolescents. In this regard, the IACHR will meet with representatives of the State, civil society, international organizations, and experts with a view to establishing a dialogue and identifying future lines of work on the main issues of concern in each country, as well as taking cognizance of good practices in the States visited.

"This visit is a great opportunity to continue strengthening ties with the countries of the Caribbean region, to have a constructive dialogue to promote the guarantee and protection of human rights, and to make available to the States our willingness to offer technical and specialized cooperation in the matter," said the President of the IACHR, Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño. "With these activities we are reaffirming our commitment to promote human rights throughout the region. In Barbados, this was the first visit of the Commission in 53 years and we are grateful for the welcome we have received from State authorities and representatives of civil society organizations. With respect to Jamaica, we continue to build an enriching dialogue and diverse joint actions, supported by the interest and commitment of the State and by the active participation of Jamaican civil society," she added.

Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay commented: "It is essential that the Commission continue to deepen its work in the Caribbean region and with this series of promotional visits we hope to give continuity to the spaces for dialogue with States and with all the actors interested in these countries. In Trinidad and Tobago as well as in the Bahamas, representatives of the State, experts and civil society organizations form a vibrant community, key to advancing in the guarantee and protection of human rights in compliance with inter-American standards in this area. As for our special interest in the situation of the rights of women, girls and adolescents, this visit represents an exceptional opportunity to get closer to the officials of those States with responsibilities in these areas of work, and to strengthen links with the Academic and civil society sectors.”

The Commission underscores that this promotional visit is in compliance with the objectives established by the IACHR in its Strategic Plan 2017-2021. In this plan, the Commission decided to "devote special attention to capacity-building work in the Caribbean," considering that this region of the Americas requires special efforts to promote knowledge and use of the Inter-American Human Rights System; to strengthen state capacities in the implementation of inter-American recommendations and standards; and to deepen working ties with civil society. In addition to this, the Commission's strategic plan includes the definition of an advocacy strategy in accordance with its mandates to advance technical cooperation activities in the areas of development and human rights with the Caribbean States, as well as the implementation of special projects with emphasis on issues related to democratic institutions, public institutions in the areas of human rights, security and violence, and the strengthening of social actors, among others. In addition, the IACHR plans to continue its advocacy work through working visits in the region, as well as through the programming of events within the framework of its sessions.

The Commission thanks the States of Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and The Bahamas for their interest in continuing the dialogue with the IACHR and their commitment to the defense of human rights. The IACHR would also like to thank international organizations and civil society organizations for their support for this mission and for the information shared with the delegation.

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. 039/19