IACHR Monitors Appointment of New Ombudsperson in Bolivia

May 5, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is monitoring the process of selecting and appointing the new ombudsperson of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The role of the Ombudsperson's Office as a national human rights institution is crucial for rights to be upheld, promoted, and protected in the country. The appointment process shows the State's commitment to constantly strengthening the Ombudsperson's Office, so the Commission stresses how important it is for the selection to ensure the institution's independence and impartiality.

The call for candidates to lead the Ombudsperson's Office and their assessment were launched on March 15, 2022, in keeping with the rules set by the Plurinational Legislative Assembly for the selection and appointment process. This process is being supported and monitored by civil society and is set to end with the appointment of a new ombudsperson in a session of the country's Plurinational Legislative Assembly that has been scheduled for May 5, 2022.

The Commission stresses that the independent work of the Ombudsperson's Office is crucial in Bolivia, particularly given the impact of the serious human rights violations described in the final report drafted by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts for Bolivia. It is also important given the need to create platforms to build consensus and foster dialogue that acknowledge diversity in Bolivian society and remain sensitive to this diversity. The Ombudsperson's Office is strategically relevant, because its mandate enables itóamong other thingsóto report events that might not be reported by victims, out of fear, stigma, ignorance, or the risk of revictimization.

The IACHR reminds the State of the need to step up its efforts to ensure that the Ombudsperson's Office can do its work independently and in keeping with the Paris Principles. This means it is crucially relevant for the ombudsperson to have been chosen through a legitimate appointment process. Finally, the Commission stresses its commitment to continuing to work with the Plurinational State of Bolivia and the country's Ombudsperson's Office in keeping with the IACHR's mandate to promote and defend rights.

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. 093/22

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