IACHR announces its new composition starting in 2022

January 6, 2022

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Washington D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announces new composition and institutional cycle. As of January 1, 2022, Commissioner Roberta Clarke and Commissioner Carlos Bernal Pulido will join the IACHR. In addition, Commissioner Joel Hernández García was reelected by the OAS General Assembly and will continue to serve his term from 2022-2025. Likewise, Commissioners Margarette May Macaulay and Esmeralda Arosemena de Trotiño, re-elected in 2019 for a second four-year term, as well as Commissioner Julissa Mantilla and Commissioner Stuardo Ralón Orellana, whose terms will continue until 2023.

The transitional Board of Directors will be formed by Commissioner Julissa Mantilla, interim President; Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay, interim First Vice President; and Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, interim Second Vice President. In accordance with the Commission's Rules of Procedure, the Board of Directors is appointed on the first day of the first Session of the year, which in this case will be March 7, 2022.

The new Commissioner Roberta Clarke is a citizen of the Republic of Barbados and was elected during the 51st Session of the OAS General Assembly in November 2021 for a four-year term from January 2022 to December 2025. In her professional career, Commissioner Clarke has led UN Women's regional offices in East Africa and South Africa, Asia Pacific, the Caribbean and Libya. She has also worked with civil society at the international and national levels, and has been an activist for social justice and gender equality. The new Commissioner Carlos Bernal Pulido is a citizen of Colombia, also elected by the OAS General Assembly for the same period, and has been a visiting professor and researcher at various prestigious universities in Germany, Australia, Colombia, the United States, France and the United Kingdom. He has authored books and published in journals on topics such as the protection of human rights and democratic constitutionalism.

In addition, the Commission announces the new distribution of country and thematic rapporteurships:

  • Commissioner Julissa Mantilla: Rapporteur for Women; Memory, Truth and Justice; Argentina; Barbados; Brazil; El Salvador; and Uruguay.
  • Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay: Rapporteur for People of African Descent; Rights of Older Persons; Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Canada; Dominica; Dominican Republic; and St. Lucia.
  • Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena: Rapporteur for Children and Adolescents; Indigenous Peoples; Guatemala; Mexico; Nicaragua; and Venezuela.
  • Commissioner Roberta Clarke: Rapporteur for LGBTI Persons; United States; Guyana; Jamaica; and Panama.
  • Commissioner Joel Hernández: Rapporteur for Human Mobility; Human Rights Defenders; Belize; Bolivia; Chile; Colombia; and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
  • Commissioner Stuardo Ralón: Rapporteur for Persons Deprived of Liberty; Cuba; Ecuador; Haiti; Paraguay; Peru; and Suriname.
  • Commissioner Carlos Bernal: Rapporteur for Persons with Disabilities; Costa Rica; Grenada; Honduras; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and Trinidad and Tobago.

The IACHR also announces that it will hold three regular sessions in 2022. The 183rd Session will be held from March 7-18; the 184th Session will be held from June 6-17; and the 185th Session will be held from October 24-November 4. The format and location of the sessions will be informed in due course, depending on the status and progress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the beginning of this new cycle, the mandate of the first and historic Board of Directors made up of women, including former President Antonia Urrejola, former First Vice President Julissa Mantilla and former Second Vice President Flávia Piovesan, came to an end. The IACHR thanks them for their hard work on the board, and recognizes their dedication and struggle to protect the human rights of the people of the region.

In particular, the IACHR thanks Antonia Urrejola for her dedication and leadership as Chair and Commissioner during the past four years, and highlights her tireless work for the victims in Nicaragua, as well as her legacy in the area of indigenous peoples' rights and for guaranteeing the right to memory, truth, and justice for victims and family members in the hemisphere. It also thanks Flávia Piovesan for her great work as Commissioner during the last four years and for her contributions to the defense and protection of the rights of LGBTI persons, as well as for the constitution of the Academic Network, the Impact Observatory and the adoption of the Principles of Academic Freedom. The Commission thanks both professionals for their commitment to victims and their contributions to the Inter-American Human Rights System.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate arises from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission is mandated to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The IACHR is composed of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 004/22

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