Press Release

IACHR Calls for Specialized Academic Network for Technical Cooperation

April 15, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to deepen its ties and cooperation with academic institutions around the region, in the context of its 60th anniversary and its Strategic Plan 2017-2021. The IACHR is calling universities and other academic institutions who specialize in human rights to join the Specialist Academic Network for Cooperation with the IACHR, so they may provide technical support for the work of the Commission in general and of its Thematic Rapporteurships in particular.

The IACHR’s Strategic Plan sets priorities to ensure successful compliance with the Commission’s mission and to address current and future challenges in terms of enforcing and protecting human rights in the Americas. The Plan—focused on 5 strategic objectives and 21 work programs—is set to guide IACHR work until 2021. Program 12 in the Plan’s Strategic Objective 3 promotes the creation of a Specialized Academic Network that deals with the Inter-American Human Rights System. Such a network would be expected to contribute research and other joint activities to deepen knowledge and produce information aimed at promoting and protecting human rights in the region, and also to open up channels for regular dialogue with civil society and academia. It would further include formal alliances with academic institutions who are actively researching the Inter-American Human Rights System.

The creation of this Specialized Academic Network also seeks to support IACHR implementation of Program 5 in the Plan’s Strategic Objective 2, which aims to improve the Commission’s scope and impact in terms of monitoring human rights issues at the country level, with a thematic approach and articulating various functions and mechanisms. That program also seeks to map trends and structural issues related to human rights. A further goal of the proposed Specialized Academic Network would be to produce materials that support Special Program 21, focused on monitoring IACHR recommendations.

In that context, the call for a Specialized Academic Network seeks to select academic projects aimed at producing materials that provide technical support for the work of Thematic Rapporteurships, particularly their efforts to monitor, promote and protect human rights and their activities to measure compliance with IACHR recommendations and decisions, as well as the impact and effectiveness of such recommendations and decisions. Further contributions could involve submitting information to the database of the Impact Observatory of the Inter-American Human Rights System, which is currently being designed by the IACHR to map success stories, best practices and lessons learned as Member States implement the Commission’s recommendations, among other aspects.

Universities and other academic institutions will either need to identify the Thematic Rapporteurship they wish to provide technical support to or state their wish to cooperate with the recommendation monitoring section. The full details of how to join the Specialized Academic Network are available in the attached document.

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. 098/19