Press Release

IACHR Releases Schedule of Public Hearings for 168th Period of Sessions, Calls for Participation in Hearings Convened on its Own Initiative or Requested by a State

April 11, 2018

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published today the schedule of the public hearings that are to take place during its 168th Period of Sessions, set to be held May 3-11, 2018 in the Dominican Republic. The IACHR would like to thank the Dominican State for the invitation to hold sessions in that country. Sessions held outside headquarters expand the IACHR’s public presence in the region, provide an opportunity for the Commission to get closer to the victims and to the peoples it serves, and enable a democratization of access to the Inter-American Human Rights System. During these sessions, the IACHR will hold public hearings and working meetings on all Member States except the Dominican Republic.

The IACHR convened three public hearings on its own initiative (ex officio) and would like to encourage the participation of civil society organizations who may wish to take part in any of them. The topics of these hearings are “The duty to protect human rights defenders in the context of the murders of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes in Brazil,” “The election process and its impact on the general human rights situation in Venezuela,” and “Religious freedom and the secular State in Latin America.”

In addition, pursuant to Article 61 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission convokes civil society organizations that may be interested in participating in the hearing “Human Rights Situation of Persons with Disabilities in Venezuela,” requested by the State of Venezuela.

As of today, the Commission welcomes expressions of interest in taking part in those hearings. Pursuant to Article 66 of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure, anyone interested must properly identify themselves and explain why they would like to take part in the hearings. Expressions of interest should be submitted via this system, before midnight on April 17, 2018 (time in Washington, D.C., where the Commission’s headquarters are located).

The IACHR will announce at a later date the list of organizations and persons summoned, who will need to cover any expenses they incur in to take part in the hearings. The IACHR invites any organizations and persons who are not summoned for these hearings to submit, in writing, any documentation or information they deem relevant to the topic of the hearing.

Pursuant to Article 68 of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure, the hearings will be public. Anyone interested may attend freely without prior registration, subject only to space restrictions in the hearing room.

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 and to defend 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. 080/18