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IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C.- On the international Human Rights Day, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presents its Strategic Plan for the period 2023–2027, a roadmap for its work over the coming years that focuses on protecting everyone in the Americas.
Fifty-three years after the approval of the American Convention on Human Rights, the Commission stresses its commitment to promoting respect for and enforcement of the human rights of groups, communities, and peoples in the Americas, paying particular attention to those who have historically suffered exclusion.
To draft its third Strategic Plan, the Commission adopted an inclusive, intersectional, and differentiated approach, considered various contexts, and listened to users, civil society organizations, experts in human rights and the inter-American system, and Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS).
The Commission conducted 32 consultations to hear opinions and suggestions concerning priority issues, likely challenges for the next five years, and strategic action required in the current context and in the future. An online consultation was held, along with 10 regional forums with States and civil society, 12 consultations about priority issues and groups, five internal workshops for the IACHR team, one workshop for donor institutions, and one workshop with OAS institutions. Overall, these activities brought together 2,663 individuals, 26 Member States, and 585 civil society organizations.
Based on these events, the Commission systematized and assessed more than 5,000 opinions, suggestions, and recommendations on the operations of its own mechanisms, the impact of its decisions, the challenges for the coming years, and innovative action that should be integrated into the Strategic Plan. This process confirmed the priority groups and themes that are already contemplated in the IACHR’s 13 thematic and special rapporteurships and in the cross-cutting issues of the current plan and added an extra theme concerning human rights in the digital sphere.
To deepen the analysis, the IACHR also looked at the results of an independent assessment of the current Strategic Plan, set to end in December 2022. This assessment found that the Plan was very effective, fostered a results-based management culture, enabled well-coordinated work to fulfill its mission, and helped to modernize the IACHR and to ensure sustainability in its results.
The new Strategic Plan is based on a theory of change that defines the changes the Commission wants to see in the short, medium, and long term, as well as the results it hopes to achieve through its own actions, with the strategic vision of a scenario in the Americas that is democratic, inclusive, and committed to protecting the human rights of all persons and all peoples in the region, enabling them to live with dignity, equality, and justice.
The new Strategic Plan sets nine strategic objectives and 34 programs focused on achieving results in the medium term: improving the protection and defense of victims of human rights violations; increasing respect for and enforcement of human rights by States in the Americas; and improving the institutional culture with a human rights focus.
All this will require increased access to inter-American justice for individuals, with an emphasis on streamlining processes and improving access mechanisms; expanding friendly settlements; assessing differentiated risks in precautionary measures; and strengthening efforts to monitor recommendations and the Inter-American SIMORE. All this is to be achieved through multi-level dialogue with States.
In order to ensure that States in the Americas improve their respect and
enforcement of human rights, the IACHR will strengthen its monitoring strategies
to help to prevent human rights violations and to identify structural factors
that enable discrimination and violence against individuals who suffer
exclusion, by developing risk analysis and information management methods. This
new Strategic Plan improves the agenda for dialogue with States through elements
like training and technical cooperation. It also seeks to improve ties with
national human rights institutions, civil society organizations, and other
non-State agents with an impact on the enjoyment of human rights.
The Commission will continue to prioritize the Caribbean and Central America, as well as the promotion of human rights in the digital sphere and in the use of technology. It will further focus on strengthening the rule of law, democratic institutions, and the balance of power between branches of government, as well as prioritizing economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights, freedom of expression, and access to information.
The IACHR hopes to improve the institutional culture with a focus on gender, intersectionality, and results-based management. The aim is to increase access to inter-American mechanisms, improve human resource management and the work environment, enable user-friendly communications, ensure continuity to assist people who turn to the IACHR, improve accountability and transparency in institutional processes, and ensure innovation, modernization, and continued technological progress.
The Commission is very grateful to all the experts and representatives of civil society, social movements, academia, OAS institutions, and States who took part in this process, which provided a plurality of voices and ensured a democratic, transparent process.
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.