Along with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, it is one of the bodies that comprise the inter-American system for the promotion and protection of human rights.
The IACHR is a permanent body, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., United States, and it meets in regular and special sessions several times a year to examine allegations of human rights violations in the hemisphere.
Its human rights duties stem from three documents:
The Executive Secretary of the IACHR is Dr. Santiago A. Canton.
The IACHR was created in 1959. It held its first meeting in 1960, and it conducted its first on-site visit to inspect the human rights situation in an OAS member state (the Dominican Republic) in 1961.
A major step in the development of the system was taken in 1965, when the Commission was expressly authorized to examine specific cases of human rights violations. Since that date the IACHR has received thousands of petitions and has processed in excess of 12,000 individual cases.
In 1969, the guiding principles behind the American Declaration were taken, reshaped, and restated in the American Convention on Human Rights. The Convention defines the human rights that the states parties are required to respect and guarantee, and it also ordered the establishment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. It is currently binding on 24 of the OAS's 35 member states.
In pursuit of this mandate it:
The IACHR has established three specialized mandates to monitor OAS states' compliance with inter-American human rights treaties in the following areas:
|Luz Patricia Mejía||First Vice President||2007||2008–2011|
|Felipe González Morales||Second Vice President||2007||2008–2011|
|Florentín Meléndez|| 2003|
|Víctor E. Abramovich Cosarín||2005||2006–2009|
|Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro|| 2003|
|Clare Kamau Roberts|| 2001|
|Source: IACHR elects officers (3 March 2008). See also: IACHR distributes rapporteurships (4 March 2008).|
|Year||State||Commissioners|| President (post-2001) |
|1960–1964||Reynaldo Galindo Pohl|
|1960–1972||Ángela Acuña de Chacón|
|1960–1972||Durwood V. Sandifer|
|1960–1972||Manuel Bianchi Gundián|
|1964–1968||Daniel Hugo Martins|
|1964–1983||Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches|
|1968–1972||Mario Alzamora Valdez|
|1968–1972||Justino Jiménez de Arechega|
|1972–1976||Genaro R. Carrió|
|1972–1976||Robert F. Woodward|
|1976–1979||Carlos García Bauer|
|1976–1979||Fernando Volio Jiménez|
|1976–1983||Tom J. Farer|
|1976–1978||José Joaquín Gori|
|1978–1987||Marco Gerardo Monroy Cabra|
|1980–1987||Franciso Bertrand Galindo|
|1980–1985||Luis Demetrio Tinoco Castro|
|1984–1988||R. Bruce McColm|
|1984–1987||Luis Adolfo Siles Salinas|
|1984–1991||Gilda Maciel Correa Russomano|
|1986–1993||Marco Tulio Bruni-Celli|
|1986–1993||Oliver H. Jackman|
|1988–1991||John Reese Stevenson|
|1988–1995||Leo Valladares Lanza|
|1988–1995||Patrick Lipton Robinson|
|1990–1997||Óscar Luján Fappiano|
|1994–1997||John S. Donaldson||1997|
|1992–1999||Álvaro Tirado Mejía||1995|
|1996–1999||Carlos Ayala Corao||1998|
|1994–2001||Claudio Grossman|| 1996|
|2002–2002||Diego García Sayán|
|1996–2003||Robert K. Goldman||1999|
|2000–2003||Marta Altolaguirre Larraondo||2003|
|2000–2003||Juan E. Méndez||2002|
|2000–2003||Julio Prado Vallejo|
|2004–2007||Evelio Fernández Arévalos||2006|
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