Press Release

IACHR Holds the Second Working Meeting on the Implementation of Human Rights Public Policies in the Dominican Republic

November 27, 2018

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Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held on November 20 - 21, 2018, the Second Working Meeting on the Implementation of Human Rights Public Policies in the Dominican Republic. Within the framework of this Working Group, working meetings were held between representatives of the State and civil society organizations on migration, nationality, women and gender equality, equality and non-discrimination. The delegation of the Commission was composed of Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay, President of the IACHR and Rapporteur on the Rights of Women; by Commissioner Luis Ernesto Vargas, Country Rapporteur for the Dominican Republic; by the Executive Secretary, Paulo Abrão; and specialists of the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR.

The Commission thanks State authorities, as well as civil society of the Dominican Republic, for all the support and facilities provided for the realization of the Second Working Group. Likewise, the IACHR emphasizes that in the course of the last year it has had the opportunity to hold a frank and productive dialogue with the State and civil society on three occasions, the first one during the 2017 Work Visit, then during the first Working Group in July 2018 and now with the second Working Group.

The Commission welcomes the State's commitment to advance human rights public policies with the participation of civil society, as well as the information provided in the Second Working Group, which contributed to a constructive dialogue on the progress and pending challenges regarding the 12 topics of attention of the Working Group and the commitments assumed in the framework of its first edition.

The Commission also celebrates the positive evaluation by the State and civil society of the installation of the two Working Groups in 2018, which have served to renew and promote dialogue between different actors. As a result of this Second Working Group, the IACHR highlights the creation and consolidation of this space for the participation of civil society together with State authorities to address proposals in relation to the defined issues of attention. The IACHR also celebrates the commitment expressed by both the State and civil society to hold internal meetings in the Dominican Republic on the defined issues of attention.

On the implementation of the Working Group, Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay, President of the IACHR, reiterated "For us it is extremely important to be here in Santo Domingo to collaborate directly with the Dominican State and civil society in the advancement of solutions that guarantee the effective enjoyment of the human rights of all people in the Dominican Republic."

For his part, Commissioner Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva, Country Rapporteur for the Dominican Republic, stressed that "This second Working Group has given us an important opportunity to follow up on the dialogue initiated in Washington, to know the actions undertaken by the State since then and to reach agreements on future commitments that will make possible the development of policies and their effective implementation, as well as to give continuity to the dialogue between civil society and the State at a national level, which should be directed towards the effective enjoyment of rights humans of all people in the Dominican Republic."

The Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrão, remarked that "One of the positive aspects of the Working Group is precisely the presentation of more regular and updated information on human rights policies and measures that are taking place in the Dominican Republic. In turn, the Working Group has served as a complementary tool within the framework of the follow-up strategy of the recommendations of the IACHR, in accordance with its 2017-2021 Plan." Likewise, he reiterated that "At the end of its period of operation, the IACHR will publish a report on the results achieved regarding the 12 points of attention addressed in the Working Group."

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. 253/18