Updated July 30, 2004

Archive of Meetings in the area of 
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms


Declaration of Nuevo Leon

"Access to information held by the State, subject to constitutional and legal norms, including those on privacy and confidentiality, is an indispensable condition for citizen participation and promotes effective respect for human rights. We are committed to providing the legal and regulatory framework and the structures and conditions required to guarantee the right of access to information to our citizens."

"We commit to increase access to and dissemination of information concerning our educational systems with the objective of improving their performance"

First Meeting of National Commissions for International Humanitarian Law of the Americas

The first Meeting of National Commissions for the Application of International Humanitarian Law of the Americas, as mandated by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), was held in Antigua, Guatemala, from August 27 to 29, 2003.  Representatives from the commissions and member states of the OAS met to analyze the performance of these commissions and to develop ways to strengthen cooperation amongst them; and respect for international humanitarian law.  They further received information regarding the upcoming XXVIII International Conference of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent.

The meeting was convened by the OAS Technical Secretariat for Legal Cooperation Mechanisms, the International Committee of the Red Cross, with the support of the Government of Guatemala. 

Regular Session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), located in Washington DC, is an entity of the Inter-American system for protecting and promoting human rights in the Americas. The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), which is made up of seven independent members that do not represent any country and that elected by the General Assembly. The IACHR holds regular sessions several times a year and at these meetings petitions of specific cases of violations of human rights are examined.

The Commission held its 115th special session in San José, Costa Rica on September 2 - 6, 2002. In this session, the Commission analyzed various matters concerning the situation of human rights in the Americas, including the continuous study and analysis of the draft of the report of the Commission on terrorism and human rights. During the 116th regular session, which was carried out on October 7 - 25, 2002, the Commission continued its study of numerous individual cases concerning violations of human rights and approved a total of 38 reports. In addition, the Commission began preparing its 2002-2003 Annual Report, to be presented to the General Assembly of the OAS during its thirty-third regular session to take place in Chile, in June 2003.

The most recent session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) was held between February 19 until March 7, 2003 in Washington DC. During this session, the Commission continued the study of numerous petitions and individual cases of alleged violations of human rights. Other matters studied were the right to the freedom of expression, the rights of indigenous peoples, and the situation of people infected with HIV/AIDS. The Commission adopted a total of 41 reports on the corresponding cases and individual petitions and granted 5 corrective measures. The next session of the IACHR will be held October7-24, 2003.

For more information on these sessions, click here.

"Guayaquil Consensus on Integration, Security and Infrastructure for Development" - Second Meeting of Presidents of South America 

On July 26 and 27, 2002, the Second Meeting of Presidents of South America was held in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. In this meeting the Presidents adopted the "Guayaquil Consensus on Integration, Security and Infrastructure for Development", where the Andean countries committed to promote and protect the freedom of opinion, speech and beliefs, and in particular, the free performance of the media with no political meddling or interference. The compromise was adopted in the Andean Letter for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, subscribed to within the framework of the Second South American Summit by Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela

The Heads of State instructed that the Third South American Conference on Migrations, to be held in Quito, next August 15 and 16, 2002, adopt an Action Plan on International Migration in South America to provide, among other purposes, the development of coordinated regional policies to protect the fundamental rights of South American migrants worldwide, especially in social security matters and including reciprocal consular assistance. It also pledged for the adoption of coordinated regional policies to combat the illicit trafficking of persons, and to work towards harmonization of the legislation on migration in the countries of South America.

For more information on the Second Summit of South American Presidents, please click here.

The Children's Rapporteur of the Inter-American Human Rights Commisssion (IAHRC) opens a workshop in Asuncion, Paraguay

On June 19, 2002, the Children's Rapporteur of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) opened a workshop on the role of the inter-American Human Rights system in promoting and defending the rights of children and youth in Asunción, Paraguay. It was inaugurated together with the Children and Youth Secretariat of Paraguay, as informed in a Commission's press release.

The workshop's objective was to analyse the inter-American System's work in promoting and defending the rights of children and adolescents. Government officials, public defendants, judges, lawyers, non-governmental organizations' representatives and members of civil society participated in the workshop.

Support for Inter-American Human Rights Instruments

On March 7-8, 2002, the meeting of experts on ‘Support for Inter-American Human Rights Instruments’ took place in the OAS.  The meeting included the participation of prominent jurists, experts on the subject and delegates from OAS Member States. Its main objective was to offer a forum for the exchange of opinions regarding the possibilities and actions to be taken in order to achieve the universalization of human rights in the hemisphere and its implementation.

The participants concluded that the development of the Inter-American system for the protection of human rights is progressively expanding and that the universalization of Inter-American instruments is an important contributing element to the legitimacy of the that system.  Moreover, delegates concluded that the absence of universalization does not impede the progressive development of human rights in those countries that have not yet ratified the afore-mentioned instruments.

Finally, it was recommended that the follow-up to this initiative take place within the OAS with the realization of other meetings that, like this one, would promote the exchange of best practices on the defense of human rights and contribute to the full participation of the countries of the Americas in the Inter-American system.

Seminar on Human Rights in the Dominican Republic 

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held a Seminar on the Inter-American Protection and Promotion of Human Rights System on August 23 and 24, 2001, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  It was held in response to an invitation of the Dominican Republic government and was attended by a Commission delegation integrated by the Commissioners Juan E. Méndez, Helio Bicudo and Julio Prado Vallejo and the lawyers Bertha Santoscoy and Raquel Poitevien. Parlamentarians, prosecutors, ombudsmen, judges, lawyers, law professors and students, together with policemen, correctional officers, ONG representatives and members of Civil Society were also present. 

The main objective of the seminar was to promote the respect and observance of human rights. The event brought up an intense debate within the ONGs on issues including prison conditions in the Dominican Republic, the migrant worker's situation and that of their families.

Seminar on Women, Poverty and Human Rights 

On August 22, 2001, Miguel Angel Rodríguez, the President of Costa Rica, inaugurated the three-day seminar, “Women, Poverty and Human Rights: in Their Own Words,” which was organized by several groups, including the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social, Costa Rica’s Ministry on the Condition of Women, the OAS and the OAS Social Network of Latin America and the Caribbean.  During the meeting, participants, which included public authorities and representatives on women’s issues and on the Welfare system from seventeen countries, considered a diverse agenda and discussed a series of projects destined to improve the situation of women in the hemisphere.

Seminar on Human Rights in Belize

On July 19-20, 2001, a regional seminar on Human Rights took place in Belize, in which the countries of the Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica and Suriname participated. The purpose of the seminar was to promote the system's instruments and mechanisms throughout the Caribbean region. Government officials, parliamentarians, businessmen, attorneys general, public defenders, judges, professors, psychiatrists and civil society representatives were among those who attended this meeting. The Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) hosted this event, with the support of Belize's government and the collaboration of the United Kingdom and the CARICOM Secretariat.

Updated July 30, 2004

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