AG/RES. 1671 (XXIX-O/99)
7 June 1999
"HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN THE AMERICAS"
SUPPORT FOR THE INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS, AND ORGANIZATIONS
OF CIVIL SOCIETY WORKING TO PROMOTE AND
PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE AMERICAS
(Adopted at the first plenary session, held on June 7, 1999,
and pending review by the Style Committee)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
HAVING SEEN the Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, particularly Chapter VII, "Recommendations to Member States in Areas in which Steps Need to Be Taken towards Full Observance of the Human Rights Set Forth in the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man and the American Convention on Human Rights"; and
That the heads of state and government affirmed in the Declaration of the Second Summit of the Americas, held in Santiago, Chile, in April 1998, that "respect for and promotion of human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all individuals is a primary concern of our governments";
That the member states of the Organization of American States, in adopting declaration AG/DEC. 16 (XXVII-O/98), "Reaffirmation of Caracas," at the regular session of the General Assembly, held in Caracas, Venezuela, in June 1998, reaffirmed their determination to continue to strengthen and fine-tune the inter-American system for the promotion and protection of human rights;
That the General Assembly, through resolution AG/RES. 1044 (XX-O/90), adopted on June 8, 1990, reiterated "the recommendation made in prior years to the governments of the member states that they grant the necessary guarantees and facilities to enable nongovernmental human rights organizations to continue contributing to the promotion and protection of human rights, and that they respect the freedom and safety of the members of such organizations";
That in its 1998 Annual Report, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recommends that the member states take all necessary measures to protect the physical integrity of human rights defenders and to ensure they can work under appropriate conditions;
RECOGNIZING the important work of individuals, groups, and organizations of civil society (henceforth "Human Rights Defenders") and their valuable contribution to the promotion, observance, and protection of fundamental rights and liberties and the effective elimination of human rights violations at the national and/or regional levels,
CONCERNED at the situations that have arisen in the Americas that directly or indirectly prevent or hamper the work of Human Rights Defenders at national and/or regional level;
AWARE of the importance of observing the essential purposes and principles established in the Charter of the Organization of American States and in the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, as well as the provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights and the other instruments for the promotion and protection of human rights of the inter-American system; and
MINDFUL of the principles established in the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, on December 9, 1998,
1. To recognize and support the work carried out by Human Rights Defenders and their valuable contribution to the promotion, observance, and protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in the Americas.
2. To urge member states to persist in their efforts to provide Human Rights Defenders with the necessary guarantees and facilities to continue freely carrying out their work of promoting and protecting human rights, at the national and/or regional levels, in accordance with internationally recognized principles and agreements.
3. To deplore acts that directly or indirectly prevent or hamper the work of Human Rights Defenders, at the national and/or regional level, and to urge member states to continue taking the necessary steps to guarantee their life, liberty, and integrity.
4. To encourage the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to continue promoting and protecting the fundamental rights of Human Rights Defenders.
5. To request the states and the agencies of the inter-American human rights system to intensify their efforts to publicize this resolution, the American Convention on Human Rights, and other inter-American instruments in this field, as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups, and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
6. To instruct the Permanent Council to continue studying, in coordination with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the matter addressed in this resolution and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its thirtieth regular session.[OAS General Assembly/tracker.htm]