PRESS RELEASE ON CARIBBEAN SEMINARS 

N 6/01 

BELIZE HAS OFFERED TO HOST HUMAN RIGHTS SEMINAR 

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights  decided at its 108th regular session to hold a series of 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 Government of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, United Kingdom, and Caribbean Human Rights Network (Caribbean Rights),  Barbados. The first seminar was held in Grenada, the Eastern Caribbean, from February 1 to 2, 2001, at the invitation of the Government of Grenada.  

The Government of Belize has offered to host the second seminar. Belize became a member State of the Organization of American States, in 1991. 

The seminar will be held in Belize, for the western Caribbean region from July 19 to 20, 2001, and will include participants from the following countries: Belize, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Guyana, Haiti, Suriname, and other participants in the Caribbean region. 

The aim of the seminar is to promote the Inter-American human rights instruments and mechanisms in the Caribbean region.  Participants at the seminar are expected to include: state officials, attorneys-general, solicitors general, national human rights commissioners, parliamentary commissioners, ombudsmen, prosecutors, public defenders, judges, members of the Bar and the legal community 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 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 OASs 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 from the countries that have ratified that instrument, and under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man 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 and prepares and publishes the corresponding reports. The IACHR comprises seven Commissioners who are elected in their personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and do not represent their countries of origin or residence. 

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

The Inter-American Commission also extends its thanks to the Government of the United Kingdom, the Inter-American Institute, the Commonwealth Secretariat and Caribbean Rights for their collaboration in this series of seminars. 

Washington, D.C., April 4, 2001