Press Release

IACHR Launches New Website Section to Monitor Friendly Settlements

November 25, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced the launch of a new online section to follow up on the Friendly Settlement Agreements that are published on its website.

The friendly settlement mechanism is based on dialogue between victims and their representatives and states in order to reach agreements that allow comprehensive reparation to be made that meet the needs and interests of victims of human rights violations through non-litigious means. Once the IACHR has approved and published the friendly settlement agreement, a follow-up stage begins in which the implementation of the commitments set out in the agreement are monitored through a public process in which both parties take part until full compliance is reached.

To raise the profile of the individual and structural impacts of friendly settlement agreements and as part of the IACHR’s efforts to improve the transparency of its work, the organization has created a new section on its website to follow up on these agreements. This new section will provide detailed information on cases in which full compliance has been reached and also on cases in which reparation measures are still in the process of being implemented.

In the light of the provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights, since the year 2000, the IACHR has been following up on its decisions through chapter II G of its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States. This mechanism encourages both parties to participate in the process, which, in combination with other mechanisms such as working meetings and public hearings on the implementation of IACHR decisions, are the primary tools for promoting compliance with friendly settlement agreements.

Previously, agreements that had been fully complied with were removed from the Annual Report once their supervision was complete. However, the IACHR observed that this practice prevented people from accessing records on the progress that had been made on friendly settlements. In response, the IACHR set out to retrieve the archive of 58 friendly settlement agreements on which full compliance had been achieved, in order to make visible the victims reparation measures that have been adopted over the last two decades, on a permanent basis. In the future, the IACHR hopes to include cases that were published before the year 2000 in this archive, as these are not currently being supervised by the IACHR.

The new follow-up section on friendly settlements makes it easier to access information on cases in which implementation is still being supervised. A percentage indicator of progress is provided as a tool to complement the IACHR Annual Report and promote compliance with these agreements.

Through this initiative, it is also hoped that states will step up their efforts to fulfil the commitments they have taken on through the various agreements that the IACHR is supervising, which will help build trust in the compliance process with a view to expanding the friendly settlement procedure to a larger number of cases and thus combat procedural backlo

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. 311/19