Press Release

IACHR Continues Work on the Participatory Development of its Strategic Plan and Invites Civil Society to Regional Consultations

January 19, 2017

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is continuing to work on its Strategic Plan for 2017-2020. The new plan will serve as the IACHR’s primary institutional management tool and will establish priority mechanisms designed to help the IACHR successfully carry out its mission and confront current and future challenges involved in addressing and protecting human rights in the Americas.

The Commission developed a methodology for participatory development to use in this planning process; this was presented officially by IACHR President James Cavallaro at a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) on October 19, 2016. To create opportunities for reflection and debate among key actors in the human rights arena, the IACHR decided to hold public consultations on the development of its 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. Participation by society will help to expand the analysis of the regional context, evaluate the plan’s proposals, and generate a more democratic and transparent culture within the institution.

The development of the new IACHR Strategic Plan consists of three stages that include the participation of civil society: a conceptual phase, a phase for designing the plan and developing concrete proposals, and a third phase involving discussion and approval.

The first phase included a questionnaire made available to civil society and to States so that they could provide initial contributions in advance of the preparation of the Strategic Plan. This consultation produced input on the effects, impacts, progress, and opportunities for improvement with respect to the previous Strategic Plan. The consultation also made it possible to identify challenges and establish priorities and issues for the IACHR to address in its new plan. By the end of this phase, the IACHR had received 49 responses to the consultation questionnaire. Based on that input, the IACHR prepared a Concept Note with guidelines for discussion of the Strategic Plan, and Member States provided comments and suggestions in meetings held in July of last year.

In the second phase, the Commission expanded the channels and mechanisms for listening and participation, to receive concrete proposals on the design and development of the Strategic Plan. In December 2016, during its 159th and 160th sessions, the IACHR held five workshops with experts, civil society, international organizations, the IACHR Executive Secretariat team, and the Commissioners. Workshops with experts, civil society, and States will continue to be held until the process is concluded. The Commission is currently working on the first draft of the document, which will be submitted for the third phase of validation of results.

The first draft of the Strategic Plan will be submitted to debate in four participative regional consultations with civil society and social and academic movements, per the following schedule:



Date of Consultation

North America

Washington, United States

February 10, 2017


Tegucigalpa, Honduras

February 17, 2017

South America

Lima, Peru

February 25, 2017


Kingston, Jamaica

March 3, 2017

Through the regional consultations, the Commission hopes to promote dialogue among the various social and academic actors interested in strengthening the inter-American human rights system; analyze the challenges and trends in human rights in the region over the next four years; and receive suggestions on concrete proposals that contribute to the design of the new Strategic Plan.

To take part in the participatory regional consultations, sign up here no later than February 5, 2017.

The IACHR appreciates the input, suggestions, and comments already provided by civil society, users of the inter-American system, academia, and representatives of States in previous stages of this process, and reiterates its willingness to establish constructive channels of dialogue among all those interested in strengthening the promotion and defense of human rights in the region. The Commission is seeking to develop this Strategic Plan with the broadest participation of all interested actors, taking into account all the input it receives and adopting, independently and autonomously, the decisions that will enable it to best fulfill its mandate, striving through everything it does to achieve the highest level of effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency.

A principal, autonomous body of the 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. 003/17