ANNUAL REPORT OF THE IACHR 2007
D. Status of compliance with the recommendations of the IACHR
51. Complete compliance with the decisions of the Inter-American Commission is essential for ensuring that human rights have full force in the OAS member states, and for helping strengthen the Inter-American system for the protection of human rights. With that in mind, the IACHR, in this section, analyzes the status of compliance with the recommendations in the reports adopted by the Commission in the last six years.
52. In this regard, the OAS General Assembly, in its resolution AG/RES. 2227 (XXXVI-O/06), “Observations and Recommendations on the Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,” urged the member states to follow up on the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (operative paragraph 3.b) and to continue to take appropriate action in connection with the annual reports of the Commission, in the context of the Permanent Council and the General Assembly of the Organization (operative paragraph 3.c). Likewise, in its resolution AG/RES. 2220 (XXXVI-O/06), “Strengthening of Human Rights Systems pursuant to the Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas,” it reaffirmed the intent of the OAS to continue taking concrete measures aimed at implementing the mandates of the Third Summit of the Americas, including follow-up of the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (operative paragraph 2.b), and instructed the Permanent Council to hold a meeting of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs to consider means of promoting follow-up on the recommendations of the Commission by the Organization’s member states (operative paragraph 3.e).
53. Both the Convention (Article 41) and the Statute of the Commission (Article 18) explicitly grant the IACHR the authority to request information from the member states and to produce such reports and recommendations as it considers advisable. Specifically, Article 46 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, which took effect on May 1, 2001, provides the following:
1. Once the Commission has published a report on a friendly settlement or on the merits in which it has made recommendations, it may adopt the follow-up measures it deems appropriate, such as requesting information from the parties and holding hearings in order to verify compliance with friendly settlement agreements and its recommendations.
2. The Commission shall report on progress in complying with those agreements and recommendations as it deems appropriate.
54. In compliance with its powers under the Convention and the Statute and with the above-cited resolutions, and pursuant to Article 46 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested information from the States on compliance with the recommendations made in the reports published on individual cases included in its annual reports from 2000 through 2006. The Commission also decided to include on its web page (www.cidh.org) a copy of the responses from the member states in cases where they expressly requested that this be done.
55. The table the Commission is presenting includes the status of compliance with the recommendations made by the IACHR in the cases that have been decided and published in the last seven years. The IACHR notes that compliance with different recommendations is meant to be successive and not immediate and that some recommendations require a reasonable time to be fully implemented. The table, therefore, presents the current status of compliance, which the Commission acknowledges as being a dynamic process that may evolve continuously. From that perspective, the Commission evaluates whether or not compliance with its recommendations is complete and not whether it has been started.
56. The three categories included in the table are the following:
- total compliance (those cases in which the state has fully complied with all the recommendations made by the IACHR. Having regard to the principles of effectiveness and fully observed those recommendations where the state has begun and satisfactorily completed the procedures for compliance);
- partial compliance (those cases in which the state has partially observed the recommendations made by the IACHR either by having complied with only one or some of them or through incomplete compliance with all of them);
- compliance pending (those cases in which the IACHR considers that there has been no compliance with the recommendations because no steps have been taken in that direction; because the state has explicitly indicated that it will not comply with the recommendations made; or because the state has not reported to the IACHR and the Commission has no information from other sources that would suggest otherwise).