Nº 19/00 


The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (“the Commission,” “IACHR”) decided at its 108th Regular Session to hold two Regional  Seminars  on the Inter-American System on Human Rights in the Caribbean Region in the year 2001, in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, (Inter-American Institute) San Jose, Costa Rica, the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, United Kingdom, and Caribbean Human Rights Network (Caribbean Rights),  Barbados.  One Seminar will be held in the Eastern Caribbean and the other in the Western Caribbean. 

The Government of Grenada has offered to host the first Seminar.  Grenada was the eleventh State in the Americas, and the first country in the English Speaking Caribbean to deposit its instrument of Ratification, on July 18, 1978, which brought the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights into force. 

The first Seminar will be held from February 1 to February 2, 2001, in Grenada. This is the first Human Rights Seminar that will be held in the Caribbean Region by the IACHR on the Inter-American human rights system and co-sponsored by the Inter-American Institute, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and Caribbean Rights. 

The aim of both Seminars is to promote the Inter-American human rights instruments and mechanisms in the Caribbean region.  Participants at the seminars are expected to include: state officials, attorneys-general, solicitors general, national human rights commissioners, parliamentary commissioners, ombudsmen, Director of Public Prosecutors, Public Defenders, Judges, Members of the Bar and legal, law professors, law students, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, psychiatrists, physicians and physician assistants, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, and other members of civil society. 

The Inter-American Commission is the principal organ of the Organization of American States (“OAS”) entrusted with the authority to promote, protect, and defend human rights in the Americas, and serves as a consultative organ to the OAS in these matters. The IACHR derives its authority from the OAS’s Charter, its Statute, the American Convention on Human Rights, the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, and its Regulations. The Commission analyzes individual petitions and cases under the American Convention on Human Rights ("the American Convention") from the countries that have ratified that instrument, and under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man ("the American Declaration") from the other Member States of the OAS. The Commission also studies the human rights situation in the countries of the Hemisphere, examines specific issues within its sphere of competence, prepares and publishes the corresponding reports. The IACHR comprises seven Commissioners who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence. 

          The Inter-American Commission wishes to thank and commend the Government of Grenada for extending an invitation to the Commission to host the first Seminar in Grenada, and to assist the IACHR in facilitating the Seminar. 

The Inter-American Commission also extends its thanks to the Inter-American Institute, the Commonwealth Secretariat and Caribbean Rights for its collaboration in the proposed Seminars. 


Washington, D.C., December 8, 2000