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

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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