Press Release

IACHR Presents its Annual Report

March 17, 2016

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) today presents its 2015 Annual Report, which offers all users of the inter-American human rights system accessible, comprehensive, and relevant information concerning the Commission’s work and resources. The publication of this report seeks to promote compliance with the Commission’s decisions, ensure accessibility to victims, give an accounting of the petition and case system, and report on the human rights situation in the region.

The report has an introduction and six chapters. In the introduction, the IACHR analyzes the status of ratification of inter-American instruments. Chapter I gives a general overview of the Commission’s activities during the year. Chapter II provides an accounting of how cases, petitions, and precautionary measures have been handled. It includes a system of interactive graphs, which displays general information for the region and also makes it possible to select a country or group of countries to access information concerning petitions, cases, and precautionary measures and to do year-to-year comparisons.

Chapter III covers the activities of the Thematic Rapporteurships. It provides detailed information concerning the ongoing work carried out by the seven members of the Commission, in their capacities as Thematic Rapporteurs. It also covers the thematic and country reports approved in 2015 and information on all the promotional activities carried out by the IACHR.

Chapter IV.A provides an overview of the human rights situation in the hemisphere in 2014, derived from the Commission’s monitoring work. In this section, the topic of the access to water is studied, with an analysis of the problems that hamper or prevent access to water fit for human consumption in the Americas, under the understanding that access to water is necessary to enforce basic rights such as the right to life and to personal integrity. In addition, in this section the IACHR studies that due to the arbitrary and excessive use of force on the part of State agents in the Americas during the year 2015, hundreds of persons throughout the Americas have lost their lives and suffered violations of their integrity.

On its part, Chapter IV.B includes special reports the Commission considers necessary regarding the human rights situation in the Member States. In the Annual Report for 2015, the IACHR analyzes the situation in Cuba, Guatemala and Venezuela. This section has been prepared in accordance with the specific criteria and methodology laid out in detail in the IACHR Rules of Procedure. These reports are based on publicly available information and are sent to the States in question so that they have an opportunity to respond and provide additional information.

Chapter V contains a follow-up of recommendations issued by the IACHR in its Country Report on Colombia, “Truth, Justice and Reparations: Fourth Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Colombia”, published in 2013.

Chapter VI includes information on the current structure and personnel of the IACHR, staff training, financial resources and budget execution, resource mobilization and project management, and technology advances. It also lays out the challenges the Commission faces in terms of human and financial resources.

All thematic and country reports approved during 2015 by the IACHR are part of the annual report, and are published as annexes.

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 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. 037/16