Second report on the situation of human rights defenders in the Americas

from Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Published on 31 Dec 2011 View Original


A. Follow]up to the first report on the situation of human rights defenders in the Americas

1. The purpose of this report is to follow up on the recommendations made by the Inter]American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter, the Commission, Inter] American Commission, or IACHR) in its Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas,1 published on March 7, 2006 (hereinafter, the 2006 report), as well as to provide an update on the standards of international law in this area.

2. In the 2006 report, the IACHR analyzed the main problems faced by human rights defenders in the hemisphere2 The report also referred to the situation of groups of defenders at particular risk3 and the precautionary measures requested by the IACHR, as one of the protection mechanisms the inter]American system offers for human rights defenders throughout the region. The recommendations made in the 2006 report included measures the States should adopt to guarantee the protection of defenders' lives and safety, as well as those necessary to guarantee the exercise of their work.4

3. Since the publication of the 2006 report, the IACHR has followed]up on the issues identified as priorities with respect to the situation of human rights defenders. During the follow]up period, from 2006 through 2011, the IACHR submitted two questionnaires to the States and to civil society (November 2008 and December 2010)5 in regards to the recommendations issued in its report. The Commission received responses to the questionnaires from the following States: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua,
Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It also received 91 responses to the questionnaire from civil society, as well as a response from the Ombudsperson of Guatemala and the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District of Mexico.