Organisation of American States: Autonomy and Independence of the IACHR Must be Guaranteed

26/08/2020
Press release
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FIDH and its member organisations in the Americas reject all actions aimed at undermining the autonomy and independence of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and, in that sense, receive with dismay the decision of the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, abstaining from advancing the process of renewing the mandate of the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrão.

Mr. Almagro’s decision strongly affects the independence and autonomy of one of the OAS’ main organs, on the one hand, by ignoring IACHR’s rules of procedure and the decision of the Commission’s plenary, which in January of this year had voted unanimously for the renewal of the Executive Secretary’s mandate; and, on the other hand, the fact of expressing his refusal to renew Mr. Abrão’s contract on his last day, leaves the IACHR without a person in charge of the Executive Secretary de facto, which results in a serious obstacle to the work of the IACHR.

The FIDH and its member organisations in the Americas reject the communication addressed to the Secretary General by the OAS’ legal affairs secretariat, noting that IACHR’s rules of procedure do not bind the Secretary General, as they seek to dissociate not only the Secretary General from his obligations, but can also be used by the States to disassociate themselves from the procedures before the Inter-American Human Rights System.

Therefore, our organisations warn about the consequences that this type of intromission may have over the work of the IACHR and recall that the OAS must first and foremost be the guarantor of the independence and the autonomy of the IACHR, as a pillar to continue advancing in the observation and defence of human rights in the Americas.

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  • Co-signatories

    Signatory organizations:

    - IDHEAS-Litigio Estratégico en Derechos Humanos, A.C - México

    - Movimento Nacional de Direitos Humanos-MNDH - Brasil

    - Programa Venezolano de Eduación – Acción en Derechos Humanos – PROVEA

    - Observatorio Ciudadano - Chile

    - Justiça Global - Brasil

    - Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (LIMEDDH) - México

    - Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos - CMDPDH - México

    - Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) - USA

    - Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) - Argentina

    - CEDAL-Centro de Derechos y Desarrollo - Perú

    - Comisión de Derechos Humanos de El Salvador (CDHES) - El Salvador

    - Acción Ecológica - Ecuador

    - Centro de Acción legal en Derechos Humanos (CALDH) - Guatemala

    - Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH-RD) - República Dominicana

    - Centro Nicaragüense de Derechos Humanos (CENIDH) - Nicaragua

    - Centro de Políticas Públicas y Derechos Humanos - Perú Equidad

    - Centro de Investigación y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos – CIPRODEH - Honduras

    - Corporación Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo CCAJAR - Colombia

    - Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH) - Perú

    - Réseau National de Défense des Droits Humains (RNDDH) - Haití

    - Comisión Ecumenica de Derechos Humanos (CEDHU) - Ecuador

    - Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras -
    COFADEH - Honduras

    - Fundación regional de Asesoria en Derechos Humanos - INREDH - Ecuador

    - Liga Argentina por los Derechos Humanos - Argentina

    - Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) - Estados Unidos

    - ILSA - Colombia

    - Comité de Acción Jurídica - CAJ - Argentina


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