Press Release

IACHR Drafts Country Report Concerning the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba

August 20, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to draft its eighth report on the situation of human rights in Cuba, after conducting a renewed assessment. The report’s main themes include the following: the constitutional and legal framework concerning human rights; the State’s institutions; political rights; access to economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights; freedom of expression; judicial independence and access to justice; violence and citizen security; and priority groups such as human rights defenders, Afro-descendant persons, women, LGBTI persons, persons deprived of their liberty, migrants and victims of human trafficking, and children and adolescents.

Throughout its history, the Commission has issued a total of seven country reports on Cuba—five concerning the situation of human rights in the country, and two about political prisoners and their families. The most recent of those reports was issued in 1983. Since then, the IACHR has continued to monitor the situation of human rights in Cuba through its various mechanisms, which have included granting precautionary measures, issuing press releases, and addressing Cuba in Chapter IV of its annual report every year since 1985.

The Commission stresses that it has repeatedly requested the Cuban State’s consent to conduct an in loco visit to the country, but has never received a reply. Given this lack of consent, the upcoming IACHR report will be based on efforts to monitor the overall situation of human rights over the period 2017–2019 through data gathered in hearings, information available from other public sources, and the IACHR’s own precautionary measure mechanism, petition and case system, and interviews. On July 2, the IACHR asked the Cuban State for input toward this report, allowing one month for submission of any such information.

The Commission stresses its request for the State’s consent to an in loco visit to Cuba.
To draft this report, the IACHR asks civil society to submit information concerning the relevant period and the stated main themes. The Commission will continue to accept this information for a month, counted from August 20.

With this country report, the IACHR intends to make the situation of human rights in Cuba more visible, and to issue recommendations to the Cuban State, as a technical support tool to achieve respect for human rights in general (including civic liberties, and measures to ensure the free movement of ideas and thought, and to enable the free and equal political participation of all Cuban citizens).

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. 205/19