Nº 18/04

IACHR to conduct on-site visit to haiti


          At the invitation of the Government of Haiti, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will conduct an on-site visit to the Republic of Haiti from September 1-3, 2004 in order to observe and receive information concerning the human rights situation in the country.


          The IACHR is an organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), with principal responsibility for promoting the observance and protection of human rights in the Hemisphere. The seven members of the Commission are elected in their personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly for a four-year term. The Commission’s terms of reference are derived from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights, treaties ratified by the Republic of Haiti.


          The IACHR Delegation will consist of: Commissioner Clare K. Roberts, First Vice-President and Rapporteur for Haiti; Brian Tittemore, Senior Human Rights Specialist, Bernard Duhaime, OAS Associate Staff Member and Professor of Law at the University of Quebec at Montreal; Candis Hamilton, IACHR Consulting Attorney; and Julie Santelices, Administrative Assistant.


          During its stay in Haiti, the Commission will meet with high-level government officials, representatives of civil society including nongovernmental organizations and associations of lawyers and judges, and representatives of the United Nations Stabilization Mission and the UN High Commission for Human Rights.


          While in Haiti, the IACHR will be prepared to receive petitions from persons who allege that their human rights have been violated. The petitions must be presented in writing. A sample form is available in the OAS National Office at 4 rue François, Musseau, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. During the visit, the Commission will have an office in the Hotel Montana in Pétion-ville, which will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from September 1-3, 2004.


          At the end of its visit, the Commission will issue a further press release and will return to its Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to evaluate its findings.


          The Commission is grateful for the cooperation and the facilities provided by the Government of Haiti and by nongovernmental organizations, civil society institutions, and international organizations, including the OAS Special Mission, in the preparation of its visit, and once again it expresses its full readiness to cooperate with the democratic governments of the Hemisphere in promoting and protecting human rights.


Washington, D.C.  August 31, 2004