Press Release

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

September 12, 2019

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced that the second 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 December 9 to 13 in Washington DC, United States.

To acknowledge the importance of human rights defenders’ work 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 training course is to expand its work with human rights defenders so as 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 60 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, namely Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil; 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 free of charge. Seven scholarships will be awarded (one for each of the countries listed above) to cover travel costs and accommodation during the in-person stage of the course in Washington, DC.
The course is broken down into two stages.

1) A five-day in-person stage in Washington DC, from December 9 to 13.

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.

2) A knowledge transmission exercise in which participants 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 60 days of the in-person program in Washington, DC.

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.


Registration: September 12 to 27, 2019

Selected participants notified by email: October 20, 2019

In-person training: December 9–13, 2019

Knowledge transmission stage: December 16, 2019, to February 28, 2020

The deadline for completing this registration form is September 27, 2019, at 11:59pm (EST).

This training program is being implemented with the support of the Department of Cooperation at the Advisory on Social Affairs and Sports of the Government of the Balearic Islands.

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.


This press release was modified on 13 de setembro de 2019.

No. 224/19