Press Release

IACHR Is Accepting Requests for Hearings for its 161st Regular Session

December 16, 2016

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System to submit requests for public hearings for the upcoming session English, French, Portuguese and Spanish

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will hold its 161st regular session at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., on March 15-22, 2017. The IACHR invites interested users of the inter-American human rights system to submit requests for public hearings for the upcoming session.

During the session, the IACHR will hold public hearings on the human rights situation in the hemisphere, as well as working meetings to follow up on precautionary measures and work toward friendly settlements. The Commission will also analyze and approve reports on cases and will hold meetings with human rights organizations from the region and with representatives of States.

All requests for public hearings and working meetings must be submitted via the system available on the IACHR website. The system will be available starting at 9 a.m. EST on Monday, December 19, until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, January 16*. The IACHR can receive requests for hearings on any member country of the Organization of American States (OAS), since this will be a regular session. This system is the only means to request a hearing, and it is available in the four official languages of the OAS: English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The Inter-American Commission holds several sessions a year at its headquarters. Since 2006, it has held three sessions per year, usually in March, July, and October. IACHR sessions have become forums that bring together hundreds of human rights defenders from the region, representing civil society organizations. At the last regular session there were more than 200 organizations, as well as State delegations made up of high-level human rights officials, among others.

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. 188/16

* This date was modified on December 23, 2016