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The Inter-American Commission's Human Rights Defenders Unit
Friday, 18 April 2008 10:51

 

Mr José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez.

During its 141st session, in March 2011, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights created the Office of the Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders. The role of Rapporteur is currently held by Mr José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez

 

The mandate was created in response to significant petitioning, and in the interest of giving greater visibility to the important role that human rights defenders and justice operators play in building a democratic society in which the rule of law is in full effect. Through its various tasks, the Office of the Rapporteur closely follows the situation of all persons who work to defend rights in the region, including the situation of justice operators.

Functions of the Office

For more information, visit the official website.

Petitions and Cases

The Office of the Rapporteur provides support in the specialized analysis of petitions presented to the IACHR regarding alleged violations of the rights of human rights defenders and of those who have a role in the justice system.

Precautionary and Provisional Measures

In the case of petitions involving grave and urgent situations that violate defenders' or justice operators' human rights, the IACHR may ask States to adopt urgent measures to prevent irreparable harm. It may also request information from the State and issue recommendations regarding the situation that was reported.

 

In addition, in the case of extremely grave and urgent situations, the IACHR may ask the Inter-American Court to order States to adopt provisional measures to prevent irreparable harm.

Currently, around one third of the precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission every year are intended to protect the life and integrity of human rights defenders and justice operators in the region.

Specialised Studies

The Office of the Rapporteur supports the Commission by preparing studies on the situation of human rights defenders and justice operators and particularly on the obstacles they face in carrying out their work. These studies also aim to help identify and develop international standards for the protection of human rights defenders and justice operators, as well as to provide guidance to the States in terms of appropriate compliance with their international obligations.

Visits to States

With the prior consent of the State, the Office may carry out visits to countries in the region. During these visits, the Office of the Rapporteur establishes contacts with government authorities and civil society organisations. These visits enable the IACHR, and specifically the Office of the Rapporteur, to learn more about the problems that affect human rights defenders and justice operators in the region and make recommendations to the States with the aim of ensuring the enjoyment and exercise of human rights.

Other Activities

The Office of the Rapporteur participates in promotional activities related to the protection of defenders' and justice operators' human rights. For example, it participates in seminars, conferences, special meetings, and workshops on the situation of human rights defenders and justice operators, mechanisms for their protection, and the international obligations assumed by the States, among other activities.

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 14:41
 

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