No. 34/02



At the invitation of the Government of Haiti, extended pursuant to OAS Permanent Council resolution CP/RES. 806, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will visit Haiti from August 26 through 29, 2002, to observe the general situation of human rights in that country.  On August 22 and 23, 2002, the IACHR will participate in the Training Seminar on the Inter-American System for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, organized by the Haitian Bar Association, the Ombudsmanís Office and the OASí Special Mission in Haiti.


The IACHR is a principal organ of the Organization of American States (OAS) whose function is to promote and protect human rights throughout the hemisphere.  The Commissionís seven members are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and serve four-year terms.  The functions and authorities of the Commission emanate from the American Convention on Human Rights and the OAS Charter, both of which Haiti has ratified.


The Delegation from the IACHR will be composed of Mr. Clare Kameau Roberts, a member of the Commission and its Rapporteur for Haiti ; Mr. Eduardo Bertoni, the Commissionís Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression ; Raquel Poitevien, Human Rights Specialist on Haiti, and Christina Cerna, Principal Human Rights Specialist with the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR.  During the course of its visit, the Commission will confer with the highest-ranking government authorities and will meet with various sectors, among them the following : the political parties, human rights organizations, church representatives, grassroots groups, journalists and representatives of the media, alleged victims of human rights violations and others.  The Commission will also meet with the Group of Friends of Haiti and representatives of international organizations.


The Commission is grateful for the cooperation and facilities afforded by the Haitian Government and by nongovernmental organizations, civil society institutions and international organizations in preparation for its visit.  It again wants to underscore its willingness to cooperate with the democratic governments of the hemisphere in promoting and protecting human rights.


Washington, August 20, 2002