Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
The IACHR is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (“OAS”) whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere. It is composed of seven independent members who serve in a personal capacity. Created by the OAS in 1959, the Commission has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Together with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“the Court” or “the I/A Court H.R.), installed in 1979, the Commission is one of the institutions within the inter-American system for the protection of human rights (“IAHRS”).
Full respect for human rights appears in several sections of the OAS Charter, underscoring the importance that the Member States attach to it. In the words of the Charter, “the true significance of American solidarity and good neighborliness can only mean the consolidation on this continent, within the framework of democratic institutions, of a system of individual liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man.” The Charter establishes the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) as one of the principal organs of the OAS whose function is to promote the observance and protection of human rights and to serve as a consultative organ of the Organization in these matters.
The work of the IACHR rests on three main pillars:
- the individual petition system;
- monitoring of the human rights situation in the Member States, and
- the attention devoted to priority thematic areas.