The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has the honor to
submit its report to the General Assembly, in compliance with the
provisions of Article 52 f of the Charter of the Organization of
This report contains
four “sections”: The first is a summary of the origin, structure and
competence of the Commission; the second contains the material that is
called for expressly in Article 9 (bis) of its Statute; the third
summarizes the other activities of the Commission during the year. In
addition, this Annual Report adds a fourth section on the development of
the situation of human rights in Uruguay and Paraguay, in accordance
with decisions of the eighth regular session of the General Assembly.
The Commission also decided, in view of its previous reports, to add
studies on the human rights situation in Chile and Panama in 1978 to
this fourth section.
Section One also includes a summary of the Commission’s budget
and an account of its relations with other organs of the system and with
similar regional and global agencies.
Section Two, in accordance with operative paragraph 4 of
Resolution XXII of the Second Special Inter-American Conference, is
divided into three parts: I – “A statement of progress achieved in
realization of the goals set forth in the American Declaration;” II
– “A statement of areas in which further steps are needed to give
effect to the human rights set forth in the American Declaration,” and
III – “Such observations as the Commission may deem appropriate on
matters covered in the communications submitted to it and in other
information available to the Commission.”
In order to prepare Part I of this Section, the Commission
requested the governments of the member states of the Organization to
transmit to it information on the progressive steps taken in the texts
of laws promulgated and of judicial decisions and administrative acts
issued during 1977 and 1978 in relation to the promotion and defense of
the rights and duties of man set forth in the American Declaration. The
Governments of Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica and Nicaragua
had sent information concerning their legislation on matters of human
rights, up to the time this report was prepared.
Section Three contains a detailed summary of the activities of
the IACHR in connection with its 43rd, 44th and 45th
sessions, which permits an analysis of the work accomplished by it
during the year 1978. In accordance with the desire expressed by the
sixth regular session of the General Assembly, the Commission has not
included in this report the information or denunciations being processed
(Resolution AG/RES. 246 (VI-0/76)).
Finally, in the last section, the Commission considered it proper
to include special reports on the development of the human rights
situation in Chile, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay since the date of the
most recent reports of the IACHR on those countries.