The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) 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 American States.


This report contains five chapters and has been prepared in accordance with Resolution 331 (VIII-O/80) of the General Assembly and Article 59 of the new Regulations of the Commission.


Chapter I is a brief summary of the Commission’s origin and juridical bases.  It also contains the discussion of the development of the Commission as an organ of the Inter-American System.  The chapter also contains a brief account of the Commission’s relationship with other organs of the Inter-American System and regional and global institutions of a similar nature during 1982 and 1983.


Chapter II refers to the “General Human Rights Situation in the Member States” analyzing materials relative to the right for life, personal liberty, protection against arbitrary detention, justice and due process, religious freedom, the freedoms of investigation, opinion, expression and diffusion of thought as well as political rights.  It is necessary to emphasize that the Commission, on adopting the format contained in this chapter, in which it refers generally to specific problems that have occurred during the year covered by this report, is fulfilling General Assembly Resolution Nº 718 adopted during the last General Assembly.


In Chapter III the Commission has prepared a study of those areas in which the member states should take measures to assure greater respect for human rights in keeping with the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the American Convention on Human Rights.  The Commission refers particularly in the chapter to the phenomenon of disappeared/detained persons, torture, social, economic and cultural rights and the problem of refugees in America.


Chapter IV presents resolutions on individual cases. This chapter contains several resolutions adopted by the IACHR regarding specific cases presented to it, which the Commission processed in accordance with its Regulations.


Lastly, Chapter V refers to the activities undertaken by the Commission during the period covered by this report.  Emphasis is placed on the Commission’s principal activities, as well as the subjects it dealt with and the most important measures taken during its various sessions.


In addition, it includes a summary of the on-site observations carried out in Guatemala and Suriname, the participation by the Commission in the twelfth regular session of the General Assembly, and the resolutions adopted by that body concerning the work of the Commission in the field of human rights.  It also contains a request for an advisory opinion to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights formulated by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, regarding the interpretation of Article 4.2 of the American Convention and the public hearing that was carried out for this purpose.


Likewise, it describes in general terms the follow-up visits to Nicaragua and Honduras by the Executive Secretariat of the Commission regarding the quest for a friendly settlement to the situation of the Nicaraguan citizens of Miskito origin.


Finally, the Commission wished to inform the General Assembly that during the course of the forthcoming year it will approve a general report on the human rights situation in Cuba.


The Commission notes that it has received information from several governments, which has been taken into account in the general analysis of the human rights situation in those respective countries as well as in the preparation of this report.


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