Press Release

Call for Participation in Hearings Convened by the IACHR and Those Requested by States

February 24, 2017

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) calls for expressions of interest from civil society organizations that may wish to participate in the hearings convened at the IACHR’s own initiative, and in the hearings requested by States, during the 161st session of the IACHR.

The session will take place March 15-22 at IACHR headquarters. The hearings will take place March 17, 18, 20, 21, and 22. Attached to this press release is the complete schedule of hearings.

The hearings convened by the IACHR at its own initiative (ex officio hearings) are the following: Human Rights Situation of the Rapa Nui People in Chile; Regulatory Changes in Migration Matters in Argentina; and Impact of Executive Orders on Human Rights in the United States. The latter refers to three executive orders: “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States," and “Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects.”

The hearings requested by States are the following: Right to Truth and Report of Venezuela’s Commission for Justice and Truth; Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders in Honduras; Justice 2020 Program in Argentina; and Investigation of Attacks on Human Rights Defenders in Colombia.

Beginning today, the Commission is accepting expressions of interest to participate in the ex officio hearings and the hearings requested by States. Pursuant to Article 66 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, those interested must submit information indicating the identity of the participants and the purpose of their appearance. It is possible to request participation in more than one hearing. Expressions of interest should be sent by email to the following address: [email protected], no later than March 1 at midnight Eastern Standard Time. Please write “Hearings Participation Request” on the subject line of the email.

At a later date, the IACHR will announce the list of organizations convened to participate in the hearings. These organizations will have a combined total of 20 minutes to present any information they consider relevant. The expense of participating in the hearings must be covered by the organization or individual interested in participating.

In terms of organizations and individuals that are not called on to participate, the IACHR invites them to present in writing any documentation and information they believe is relevant to the subject matter of the hearing.

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. 019/17