Press Release

IACHR Adopts General Guidelines on the Follow-up of Recommendations and Decisions, as Well as Resolution 2/19 on the Creation of an Impact Observatory

December 23, 2019

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General Guidelines on the Follow-up of Recommendations and Decisions

Resolution 2/19 on the Creation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Impact Observatory

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is adopting its General Guidelines on the Follow-up of Recommendations and Decisions, as well as Resolution 2/19 on the Creation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Impact Observatory.

Both documents were approved during the IACHR’s 173rd Period of Sessions, held at the Commission’s headquarters in Washington, D. C., on September 23–October 2, 2019. They seek to ensure compliance with the IACHR’s mandate and to implement the Commission’s Strategic Plan 2017–2021. The two documents are the outcome of a process that included consultation and debate involving experts in various forums throughout the year.

The General Guidelines establish methods, procedures, and protocols that are homogeneous, measurable, and specific and that facilitate and refine efforts to assess comprehensive compliance with the IACHR’s decisions and recommendations. This document describes the general guidelines of the process to monitor the Commission’s decisions and recommendations, as well as the legal mandates on which this process is based. It also explains the kinds of measures adopted and recommended by the IACHR through its petition and case system, its precautionary measures, and its monitoring system, as well as the categories for analysis it adopts to assess compliance with its decisions and recommendations, the tools it uses in monitoring processes, and the criteria that may lead such processes to be declared complete. The Guidelines also spell out the pathways and channels for participation available to petitioning parties, victims, civil society organizations, and national human rights institutions, which include the special monitoring mechanisms implemented by the IACHR. The Guidelines further develop the goals of the Inter-American System for Monitoring and Following Up on Recommendations (SIMORE, by its Spanish acronym).

“The adoption of these Guidelines helps to strengthen IACHR monitoring efforts, in order to promote comprehensive compliance with the Commission’s decisions and recommendations,” said the IACHR’s President, Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño.

On the 60th anniversary of the IACHR’s creation, Resolution 2/19 on the Creation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Impact Observatory was also adopted. The Impact Observatory will be a public, dynamic, and interdisciplinary platform to encourage systematization, awareness, and reflection on the impact of IACHR actions to defend and protect human rights in the Americas. In this context, the creation of this Observatory seeks to ensure a more systematic impact of IACHR action and highlight its transformative effects; to encourage synergies with other initiatives and promote dialogue and other interactions with strategic stakeholders and with other parties in the Inter-American Human Rights System more generally; to develop products and activities linked to IACHR impact; to improve methods to measure IACHR impact; and to encourage memory concerning that impact.

“The work of the IACHR throughout its six-decade history has had a very significant impact on countries in the Americas,” said Commissioner Antonia Urrejola. “This collaborative, interdisciplinary tool to reflect on the IACHR’s transformative effects will target a broad audience, including State actors, civil society organizations, victims of human rights violations, academic sectors, and the media,” said Commissioner Flávia Piovesan.

IACHR Executive Secretary Paulo Abrão noted that “the IACHR has been implementing its Special Program to Monitor Recommendations (Program 21) in the context of its Strategic Plan 2017–2021” and stressed that “the General Guidelines and the Impact Observatory are two key initiatives in these efforts to improve objectivity, effectiveness, and transparency within the Inter-American Human Rights System.”

The IACHR calls on the Member States of the OAS to continue to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with the IACHR, in order to improve the implementation of the decisions and recommendations issued by the Commission’s different mechanisms and to ensure impact that transforms the situation of human rights for all people in the Americas.

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. 332/19