Nş 38/06






The President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Evelio Fernández Arévalos, underscored today the importance of actively promoting the benefits of the inter-American human rights system, “particularly at those levels where there is the greatest need for protection.”


At a ceremony held at the Organization of American States (OAS) at the close of the recent regular session of the IACHR, President Fernández Arévalos announced the publication of two volumes on the complaints brought by the Commission before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2004. The books were published with a special grant from the European Union (EU) to strengthen access to justice in the Americas.  The publications were presented to Ms. Despina Manos, a member of the delegation of the European Commission in Washington.


The activities funded by the grant, which totaled nearly $800,000, included in loco visits to six countries in the region in 2004 and 2005, the preparation of four reports and the creation of a database of cases and petitions.  The project implemented under the auspices of the European Union has also supported litigation before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights through the creation of a Court Group, which has constituted one of the most significant structural changes to the Executive Secretariat of the Commission in recent years. The Commission’s litigation work includes presenting adversarial cases and provisional measures, and the attendant follow-up.


Fernández Arévalos asserted that through this project the IACHR “was able to reinforce its mechanisms for visits, reporting, and bringing cases before the Inter-American Court so as to contribute to the promotion of access to justice, strengthening the rule of law and the consolidation of democratic institutions in the Americas by means of bringing laws and practices into line with international human rights protection instruments and by making integral reparations to victims of human rights violations.”


The project also has contributed to improved use of the inter-American human rights system, explained Fernández Arévalos, insofar as it has raised the profile of the work of the IACHR. He said that the number of petitions receive by the Commission had doubled in five years, from 658 in 2000 to 1,330 in 2005.


As he presented the new volumes to Ms. Manos, Fernández Arévalos underscored the importance of the support the IACHR receives from outside sources, which accounts for 44% of its budget.  


Washington D.C., October 27, 2006