Press Release

IACHR Announces Results of Participant Selection Process for Training Course for Human Rights Defenders

May 31, 2019

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Washington, DC—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has published the list of those who were selected to take part in the training course for human rights defenders. They were chosen based on the criteria published in the invitation for applications after a thorough review of each submission.

Some 2,953 applications were received from 23 countries in the Americas, which confirms how widespread public interest in the inter-American system is and how committed people are to consolidating the system to promote and guarantee human rights for all people living in the Americas.

In response to this, the IACHR has decided to double the number of places available on the course, which will now admit 60 human rights defenders.

Of the 2,953 applicants, 55% are from countries regarding which the IACHR repeatedly receives reports of patterns of threats, harassment, violent attacks, and murders. Some 53% of the applicants identify as women, 16% as indigenous people, 12% as LGBTI people, and 9% as people of African descent.

During the selection process, special consideration was given to the following groups 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) those who work to defend the environment, land rights, and the rights of indigenous peoples.

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, which will be held from 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 parts of the course will take place in Spanish and each participant will receive a certificate of participation that will be issued by the IACHR.

“We appreciate the interest people have shown in this course and hope that many of you will be able to take part in future IACHR training programs,” said IACHR executive secretary Paulo Abrão.

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.

Human rights defenders selected to take part in the course in Peru

No. 134/19