Press Release

IACHR Invites Human Rights Defenders to Take Part in a Course on the Strategic Use of the Inter-American System of Human Rights

April 16, 2019

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Washington, DC—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced that the first session of the Training Course for Human Rights Defenders on the strategic use of the Inter-American System of Human Rights is now open for registration. The course will run from July 1 to 5 in Lima, Peru. The IACHR is grateful to the Department of Social Services and Cooperation of the Government of the Balearic Islands for its support for this course.

To acknowledge the importance of the work of human rights defenders in ensuring that human rights are fully exercised in the Americas and the risks that defenders are currently facing, the IACHR has addressed their predicament in recent years through two reports, “Towards Effective Integral Protection Policies for Human Rights Defenders” and “Criminalization of the Work of Human Rights Defenders.

The IACHR’s aim in implementing this course is to expand its work with human rights defenders in order to build on their capacities and deepen their knowledge of the strategic use of the Inter-American System of Human Rights.

The course is aimed at human rights defenders from member states of the Organization of American States. There are 30 places on the course. Priority will be given to: 1) people from countries regarding which the IACHR has received repeated reports of patterns of threats, harassment, violent attacks, and murders; 2) people belonging to groups that are particularly vulnerable and at risk: women, people of African descent, indigenous people, and LGBTI people; 3) defenders who work to defend the environment, land rights, and the rights of indigenous peoples.

The course is free of charge. Seven scholarships will be awarded to cover travel costs and accommodation during the in-person stage of the course in Lima.

The course is broken down into two stages. The first entails five days of in-person training in Lima, Peru, between July 1 and 5, 2019. The following topics will be covered: introduction to the Inter-American System and the predicament of human rights defenders in the Americas; the petition and case system; precautionary measures; friendly solutions; and the role of IACHR monitoring and follow-up on recommendations. During the second stage, August 8 to 23, 2019, the participants will pass on the course contents to their organizations or communities, with online support from IACHR experts. To guarantee a multiplier effect around the course contents, these must be shared with at least ten other people during a four-hour training session within 45 days of the in-person program in Lima.
Both stages of this process will take place in Spanish. Each participant will receive a certificate of participation that will be issued by the IACHR.

Defenders who are interested in taking part in the course must register through this system, between now and May 3, 2019 at midnight (time in Washington, D.C.). The IACHR will publish the results of the selection process on May 29.

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. 099/19