Press Release

IACHR and I/A Court H.R. Complete Third Inter-American Human Rights System Forum

7 de november, 2019

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Washington, D.C./San José, Costa Rica/Quito, Ecuador – The Third Forum of the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS Forum) was held on November 6–7 at the facilities of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador in Quito, with the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Ecuador as its main organizer and sponsor.

The IAHRS Forum focused on the 60th anniversary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and on the 40th anniversary of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This initiative sought to reflect on the historical impact of these institutions’ work and to promote debate on the region’s current and future challenges, the system’s effectiveness, and other key issues on the human rights agenda for the Americas, through constructive exchange among States, civil society, international organizations, universities, social and trade-union movements, and the public at large.

Day 1 of the event started with an opening address with the title The Historical Impact of the Inter-American Human Rights System: 60 Years of the IACHR and 40 Years of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. IACHR President Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, I/A Court H.R. President Judge Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot , and Ecuadorian Attorney General Íñigo Salvador were all in attendance. Later, a panel discussion was held to address the challenges ahead for the Inter-American Human Rights System.

Day 2 included a panel discussion on the experience of monitoring and enforcing IAHRS recommendations and decisions, and another one on building spaces for participation and dialogue between States and civil society to ensure protection for human rights.

In the afternoon, on both days, civil society organizations and the IACHR held 20 activities on the sidelines of the event, including workshops, roundtable discussions, debates, and consultations with human rights experts. These activities addressed the following issues, among others: migrant and refugee children, the right to prior consultation and consent, corruption and human rights, the environment, human rights and climate change, violations of the right to housing, violence and discrimination against women and girls, religious freedom, and freedom of expression.

“[The IAHRS Forum] has been a great opportunity to listen to all voices and to keep consolidating our ties with civil society organizations and other key stakeholders who contribute to the work of the two human rights institutions in the Americas,” said Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, President of the Inter-American Commission. “This Forum has allowed us to reflect—along with key stakeholders and from various perspectives—on the work of our inter-American system (bearing in mind that victims are the raison d’être of both the Commission and the I/A Court H.R.) and to promote and disseminate the culture of human rights in the region,” said Judge Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot, President of the I/A Court H.R.

The IACHR and the I/A Court H.R. appreciate the sponsorship of the Office of Ecuador’s Attorney General, whose support was essential for this important initiative to materialize. They also wish to thank the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador for its huge cooperation in hosting the Third Forum of the Inter-American Human Rights System.

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.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I/A Court H.R.) is an autonomous judicial institution that aims to enforce and interpret the American Convention on Human Rights. The I/A Court H.R. is composed of seven judges chosen by the OAS General Assembly for their personal profile, among jurists with the highest ethical standards and proven competence in human rights. States have the obligation to abide by the court’s decisions.

No. 289/19