IACHR Executive Secretary│Welcoming new leadership and looking to the future


The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights faces a crisis, and the new Executive Secretary must strengthen the institution, says ISHR and its partners.

Paulo Abrão

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(Geneva) – The Coalition for Human Rights Organisations of the Americas (Coalición de Organizaciones por los Derechos Humanos de las Américas), including the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), is seriously anxious about the future of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

In an open letter welcoming the new Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Paulo Abrão, the Coalition identified its main concerns for the IACHR and called on the Executive Secretary to maintain an open channel of communication with civil society.

‘We highlighted that the Commission’s Strategic Plan for 2016-2020 must focus on strengthening the institution,’ explained ISHR’s Training and Advocacy Support Manager Helen Nolan. ‘This means improving efficiency, reducing procedural delays, protecting victims effectively, and increasing transparency on the Commission’s work.’

The Coalition also expressed concern about the cancellation of the 160th Session of the IACHR, due to take place in October 2016.

‘The audiences are a key mechanism for the promotion, protection and defence of human rights in the Americas, and we ask the Executive Secretary to explain how the Commission will ensure that human rights defenders retain the direct access to the IACHR,’ said Nolan. ‘Without this interaction with civil society, the Commission will not receive the information it needs to fulfil its duties.’


  • Latin America and Caribbean
  • NGOs
  • Inter-American Commission on Human Rights