Press Release

IACHR Concludes the On-Site Week of Its Second Week-Long Training Course for Human Rights Defenders at its Headquarters in Washington

December 27, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - On December 13, 2019, the IACHR concluded the on-site, in-person segment of its second training course for human rights defenders in Washington, DC.

Over the course of five days, some 30 participants shared their experiences and knowledge on the predicament of human rights defenders in the Americas with specialists from the Executive Secretariat. Those who attended discussed the petition and case system, precautionary measures, friendly settlements, the role of IACHR monitoring, and follow-up on recommendations.

Participants also attended presentations by teaching staff and representatives from civil society organizations about their experiences in the strategic use of the Inter-American System of Human Rights (IASHR). The course included practical workshops based on case studies, with support and guidance from IACHR experts.

As part of the course, the participants were able to attend presentations on the four reports that have recently been published by the IACHR: the report on Public Policies with a Human Rights Approach; the report on Violence and Discrimination against Women and Girls; the report on Protest and Human Rights by the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression; and the Report on Business and Human Rights by the Office of the Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights.

“This course is essential given the current context of criminalization and violence against human rights defenders, which is why it is of the utmost important to strengthen their capacities and provide them with tools on the mechanisms and standards of the Inter-American Human Rights System,” said Commissioner Francisco Eguiguren, the IACHR’s rapporteur on human rights defenders.

The second stage of the course entails attendees passing 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, on-site program.

The IACHR wishes to express its appreciation for the high levels of interest in this training course, as evidenced by the 841 applications that were received. This confirms how interested people are in the inter-American system and how committed they are to consolidating it in order to promote and guarantee human rights for all people living in the Americas. It also wishes to thank the Department of Social Services and Cooperation of the Government of the Balearic Islands (GOIB) for its support.

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. 336/19