AG/RES. 1711 (XXX-O/00)
5 June 2000
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN THE AMERICAS:
SUPPORT FOR THE INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS, AND ORGANIZATIONS OF CIVIL SOCIETY WORKING TO PROMOTE AND PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE AMERICAS
(Resolution adopted at the first plenary session, held on June 5, 2000)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
HAVING SEEN resolution AG/RES. 1671 (XXIX-O/99), "Human Rights Defenders in the Americas Support for the Individuals, Groups, and Organizations of Civil Society Working to Promote and Protect Human Rights in the Americas," which instructs the Permanent Council to continue studying, in coordination with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the matter addressed therein;
HAVING EXAMINED the report of the Permanent Council on this matter;
That during the presentation of the 1999 Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) there was an exchange of opinions and points of view between the Commission and member states on the situation of human rights defenders in the region;
That in the above-mentioned Annual Report the IACHR stated that "in 1999, acts of intimidation, disappearances, and assaults, some leading to fatalities, continued to be perpetrated against persons and organizations engaged in the defense of human rights," expressed grave concern regarding this matter, and stated its view "that the member states should take the necessary steps to protect the life, personal security, and freedom of expression of those who work to ensure respect for fundamental rights, in accordance with the collective commitment expressed in OAS General Assembly resolution AG/RES. 1671 (XXIX-O/99)"; and
That the IACHR has been engaging in activities and adopting measures designed to protect the fundamental rights of the defenders;
That at the Summits of the Americas the Heads of State and Government affirmed that "respect for and promotion of human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all individuals is a primary concern of our governments"; and
That the OAS General Assembly has already stated its consistent views on this subject, reiterating its recommendation that the governments of member states "grant the necessary guarantees and facilities to enable nongovernmental human rights organizations to continue contributing to the promotion and protection of human rights, and that they respect the freedom and safety of the members of such organizations";
RECOGNIZING the important work, at both the national and regional levels, of human rights defenders in the Americas, as well as their valuable contribution to the protection and promotion of fundamental rights and freedoms;
CONCERNED over the persistence in the Americas of situations that directly or indirectly prevent or hamper the work of individuals, groups, or organizations working to protect and promote fundamental rights; and
AWARE of the importance of observing the essential aims, principles, and standards set forth in inter-American and international instruments on this matter,
1. To reiterate its support for the work carried out, at both the national and regional levels, by human rights defenders; and to recognize their valuable contribution to the protection, promotion, and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Americas.
2. To deplore acts that directly or indirectly prevent or hamper the work of human rights defenders; and to urge member states to intensify their efforts to adopt the necessary measures, in keeping with their national laws, to guarantee the life, personal well-being, and freedom of expression of human rights defenders, in keeping with internationally accepted principles and standards.
3. To invite the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to continue to pay due attention to the situation of human rights defenders in the Americas; and to request the Permanent Council to promote the examination of this matter in the context of the dialogue on strengthening and improving the inter-American human rights system.
4. To urge member states and the organs and agencies of the inter-American human rights system to intensify their efforts to publicize the inter-American instruments and resolutions of the Organization that protect and safeguard the work of human rights defenders, as well as the United Nations Declaration on the right and responsibility of individuals, groups, and institutions to promote and protect universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.
5. To instruct the Permanent Council to follow up on this resolution and to present a report on compliance.