... continued




          General objective of Area:  Strengthen national institutions (human rights offices of different ministries, and of defenders of the people, attorney general’s office, organs that oversee the security forces, judicial branch, schools of law, training schools for the armed forces and security forces, legal defense and human rights agencies, etc.) and their members, on general subjects of human rights and of procedures for resolving judicial  and extrajudicial conflicts at the domestic and international level.


          1.       Program for horizontal cooperation in strengthening national institutions


          a.       OAS-IACHR program for horizontal cooperation on human rights

                   (New activity)


                   Executing organ:  OAS Fellowships Department, with technical advice from the IACHR.


                   Characteristics:  Program of exchange between national organizations, for training or assistance.  For example, the Human Rights Commission or similar institutions and a particular country could fund internships for officials of other national commissions or similar institution and in this way different institutions could offer or request that cooperation through the existing mechanism of horizontal cooperation at OAS.


                   Funding:  Requires special funding, by the entities participating in the exchange (whether as sponsor or as recipient).



          b.       Activities for training and strengthening of national human rights institutions (New activity)


                   Executing organ:  Tentatively the IIHR, with the concurrence of III and CIM.


                   To be defined according to the interest of the countries and the abilities of the executing institutions.  In principle, it could contain different projects:


                           Training in investigation techniques on individual cases or issues, at both the national and international level.

                           Training in specific subject areas of human rights: indigenous rights, gender rights, rights of minorities.


                   Operation and funding:  If agreed upon by IIHR, it would become part of its system of programming and of requesting countries' participation.  On this basis, a working plan and priorities would be developed, as well as seeking funds for financing it.


                   In this respect, CIM, together with two agencies (one from the United Nations, the other being the Center for Criminal Policy and Penal Reform) will promote a project for judicial training schools.  The project's objective will be to develop courses for those schools, aimed at strengthening respect for human rights and contributing to the prevention and eradication of violence against women.


                   Funding:  Will require special funding.



          2.       IIHR program of courses and seminars to strengthen national institutions


          a.       Annual Inter-American meeting for government experts

                   (New activity)


                   Executing organ:  On a rotating basis, one of the National Human Rights Councils (or similar entity) of the participant countries, under the sponsorship of the IACHR.


                   Objective:  Foster exchange of initiatives on human rights issues between the delegates of governmental entities directly responsible for promoting and disseminating information about human rights in each of the countries.  The meeting will allow for disseminating information about various promotional projects that the states are developing, and provide ample opportunity to develop new types of cooperation among the participants.  The meeting could become a forum in which the various projects to promote human rights are presented, for the purpose of debating their advantages, drawbacks, and results, with a view to identifying which projects are most effective in promoting respect for and defense of human rights, so that they can also be developed in other countries in the region.


                   Funding:  Will require special funding.


          b.       Annual IIHR interdisciplinary course

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   The first Interdisciplinary Course on Human Rights was conducted three years after the institute was created, in 1983, and has come to represent the main forum of this type in Latin America.


                   After it was held, and after confirming the interest of Latin Americans in participating, the necessity was seen for making the course an annual and permanent activity of IIHR, with a view to promoting human rights through the various organizations that work in this field, an initiative that has come to be IIHR's most important one.


                   With this aim, the course was designed to identify certain needs of the region related to the promotion of human rights, make possible the exchange of experiences among the participants, make known the work carried out by IIHR in this field, and establish cooperative links among the former students of IIHR's interdisciplinary courses, in order to facilitate the development of national programs.


                   The general objectives of the course are:


                  To promote the doctrine of human rights in the American hemisphere, with the aim of supporting democratic processes in the region through a unique interdisciplinary and intersectoral setting.


                  To collaborate on the consolidation of democracy in Latin America through education on human rights.


                  To strengthen Latin American civil society, training its representatives and promoting links between them and the IIHR.


                   The activity plans to train 120 persons who in turn become, in a multiplicative way, agents. Thus, elements of gender, proportionality in terms of the different sectors of society, as well as profession, the region the person comes from, and work area, are taken into account.  As a result of this, representatives from government institutions, nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, universities, officials from the judicial branch, members from the area of women, indigenous peoples, handicapped, human rights activists, and educators are chosen.


                   The course lasts two weeks, and methodologies such as conferences, round tables, workshops, case studies, areas of special emphasis, and optional activities, are used.


                   In the course of its fifteen consecutive runnings, 1782 people have been trained, and the demand keeps increasing.  In 1997, 868 applications were received, among which 112 participants were selected.


                   Funding:  Regular IIHR budget and special contributions.


          c.       Specialized regional courses on human rights

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   As a way of channeling the large number of applications received for the interdisciplinary course, it was thought necessary to  set up an annual specialized regional course which would have the same objectives as the interdisciplinary course, but emphasizing the needs of the region of Latin America being dealt with.


                   Starting with the first specialized course on human rights, there has been invaluable support from the European Commission.  This first activity was conducted in Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia, in 1993, for the Andes region.  It included participants from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.


                   In 1994, the second specialized course was conducted for participants from the Southern Cone, i.e., Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, with headquarters in Santiago, Chile.


                   For 1995, the specialized regional course was devoted entirely to Brazil, for two basic reasons:  first, because of the size of the country, in order to allow participants from the various regions to attend, and from the two distinct sectors of the society; and second, for language reasons.  The proposal was welcomed by the University of Brasilia and the Brazilian Ministry of Justice, who were counterparts in the project. Other institutions that supported the development of the course were:  the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the Organization of American States, the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, and the Attorney General's Office of the Republic. 


                   In 1996, the course was devoted to the countries of Mexico and Central America, which make up a region united both historically and culturally.  On this occasion, the offer to act as headquarters for the activity was extended to all of the countries involved, but it was Guatemala that responded quickest and most enthusiastically in welcoming the project.  At the same time, the special political situation of the country was a determining factor in carrying out the course.  In 1998, two were held:  one in Barbados, the fifth regional seminar for the English-speaking Caribbean (June); and the second specialized regional course on human rights for the Andes region to be held in Caracas in November.


                   The course lasts for one week, and methodologies such as conferences, round tables, workshops, case studies, areas of special emphasis, and optional activities, are used.


                   Funding:  It is executed with regular funds from the IIHR budget and outside contributions.


          d.       Administration of justice and human rights

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  To train officials of the judicial branch and from other agencies in the incorporation and enforcement of human rights in the administration of justice.


                   Characteristics:  Seminars, workshops, and other training activities in the field of administration of justice.  Officials from the judicial branch or from other agencies dealing with the incorporation and practice of human rights in judicial activities are trained.  These meetings take place at various times during the year in different countries of Latin America, such as Argentina, Honduras, and Mexico.


                   Among the activities carried out during 1998, are the following:


                  International forum on access to justice. (second half of the year)

                  Courses on enforcement of human rights in the domestic realm. (March-May)

                  Seminar on the judicial career. (Nicaragua) (May)

                  Seminar on Organic law, judicial branch (Nicaragua) (April-June)


                   Funding:  institutional funds and outside support.


          e.       Ombudsmen and human rights

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  To train officials in Latin American Offices of the defenders of the people and Offices of the Prosecutor for Human Rights, on human rights and on international protection instruments.


                   Characteristics:  Through various activities held in different places on the continent during the year, officials of offices of the defenders of the people and of offices of the Prosecutor for Human Rights will be trained on the topic of human rights, from various perspectives, so that they can utilize the knowledge in their daily work.


                   Among other activities, the following can be cited:


                  Ombudsman course at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. (March 9-17)

                  III General Assembly of the Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsmen.


                  II Inter-American course on Parliamentary Commissioners and Human Rights. (September)

                  Initiation courses for officials of the offices of the defenders of the people, implemented recently.  (November)


                   Funding:  IIHR's regular budget


          f.       Workshop on human rights and legal guarantees

                   (New activity)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  Promote, with a group of select members of the Commission on Constitutional and Juridical Affairs, of the Popular Power National Assembly in Cuba, a debate on the various options offered by comparative constitutional practice in Latin America as concerns legal human rights guarantees.


                   Characteristics:  The Office of Investigation and Development is responsible for this activity, and it falls within a broader plan aimed at promoting and strengthening human rights in Cuba.  It will be conducted in the month of September.


                   Funding:  institutional and other funds.


          g.       Inter-American course, civil society and human rights

                   (New activity)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  Make available to organizations in the private sector working in the area of promoting and protecting human rights, a place for exchanging experiences, academic updating, and fostering relationships of mutual collaboration.

                   Characteristics:  This is an activity designed to train members of organizations in the private sector on various issues related to human rights, with the intention of reinforcing the work they are carrying out in this area.  In addition, it aims to conduct workshops for exchange of experiences in which the participants can enhance their work through the work carried out by others, as well as foster cooperation and coordination among the agencies they represent.


                   Funding:  institutional and other funds.


          h.       IIHR internship program

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Program of internships lasting six months or one year, for students from different disciplines of the social sciences involved in the study and development of human rights:  law, psychology, sociology, political science, among others.


                   IIHR is in charge of selection, based on applications submitted by students, who must be backed by funding from an academic organization or an organization connected with the practice of human rights.  Number of internships:  Maximum of 5 per year.


                   Funding:  Financed within the regular budget of IIHR


          3.       Strengthening program on issues related to women's rights


          a.       CIM Seminars on strengthening of national entities on "legal aspects of the fight against domestic violence"

                   (New activity)


                   Executing organ:  CIM


                   To be carried out in the countries that are not signatories to the Convention of Belém do Pará, and in those that have not sanctioned domestic violence laws.  These would be advanced-level seminars and would be aimed at legislators, judges, medical and police personnel, with the aim of making them aware of the problem, the need for appropriate legislation, and support services for victims of domestic violence.


                   Funding:  Requires special funding.


          b.       CIM program for journalists on the role of women in today's society

                   (New activity)


                   Executing organ:  CIM


                   Objective:  Orientation program on issues of gender for journalists and leaders of the media, to hasten cultural change with regard to the role and function of women, and to prevent the spread of reprehensible practices and gender stereotypes.


                   Funding:  Requires special funds.


          c.       Strengthening of national institutions regarding the nature of the impact of        migration on the human rights of women

                   (New activity)


                   Executing organ:  CIM


                   Objective:  Put into practice the project outline developed by UNESCO, CIM, and the International Migration Institute, in order to measure the effect of migrations on women in different regions, so as to be able to confront their negative consequences, especially those resulting from the consequences of armed conflict.


                   Funding:  Requires special funding.


          d.       Additional protocol.  Working Document.  Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  Offer information, analytical rigor, and juridical basis to those who are within the systems of protection, governmental women's offices, and women's organizations in the Caribbean and Latin America.  By the same token, the working document aims to serve as a useful and effective tool in the hands of our countries' diplomatic offices, which should participate in developing the Additional protocol of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women, which will soon be presented for consideration by the General Assembly.


                   Characteristics:  Document that provides information on the background of the debate and approval process for a preliminary draft of the Additional Protocol and some strategies to assure an effective commitment on the part of all sectors involved in the ratification and approval of this document.  Published in March, containing 182 pages.


                   Funding:  Institutional funds.


          e.       Gender and Human Rights

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  To train women in the field of education, promotion, and mechanisms for the protection of human rights, through the production of training materials or activities.


                   Characteristics:  During the year,  IIHR's Program for Gender and Human Rights has organized a series of regional and national activities, such as seminars and training workshops, with the goal of promotion and education in human rights for various women's groups.  Also, production and distribution of educational material aimed at women from various sectors and work areas has been proposed.


                   Funding:  institutional and other funds.


          4.       Program on human rights in the armed forces and security forces


          a.       Security forces

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  Introduce the issue of human rights as an integral part of the education of members of the security forces, through production of materials and conducting of training activities and technical assistance.


                   Characteristics:  During 1998, IIHR has planned various activities aimed at introducing the topic of respect for human rights in the daily activity of the security forces.  For this purpose, different work methodologies have been designed, ranging from the publication of materials to technical assistance and developing of training forums.


                   Funding:  IIDH's regular budget



          5.       Program on freedom of speech


          a.       Meeting on freedom of speech and responsibility of the media

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  Bring together professional journalists, jurists, and politicians, to debate the promotion of more modern rules for protecting freedom of speech in the Americas, including adapting professionally to the rule in article 13 of the Convention.  It also includes topics such as the interference of journalism in the functioning of the justice system and that of other state institutions.  Three seminars have been conducted in 1997 in Cartagena, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and Antigua, Guatemala.  It is anticipated that three more will be conducted in the biennium 98-99.


                   Funding:  Requires partial funding of new activities for the biennium 98-99.


          b.       Seminars on free speech

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  Promote freedom in the responsible practice of the media as an essential condition of the right to freedom of speech.


                   Characteristics:  It will be held in the second half of 1998, and among the topics to be discussed will be revision of legislation on freedom of speech and information.  In addition, technical advice will be given to the Inter-American Press Society (SIP), for the revision of the declaration of Chapultepec on freedom of the press.


                   Funding:  institutional funds and support from other funding sources.


          c.       Promotional activities on freedom of speech

                   (New activity)


                   Executing organ:  IACHR


                   Objectives:  Conduct courses, workshops, conferences, and seminars on freedom of speech and of the press in the Americas, and methods of protection.


                   Funding:  Requires additional funding.



          6.       Program for electoral consultation and promotion


          a.       IIHR-CAPEL Electoral consultation and promotion

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  Strengthen development of the election process in Latin America and the Caribbean, through training and technical assistance for officials of electoral agencies and others related to this area.


                   Characteristics:  The IIHR, through the Center for Electoral Consultation and Promotion (CAPEL), has a broad program of activities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, ranging from technical assistance to conducting training courses and seminars on election issues and issues of human rights.  In addition, this initiative aims to foster exchange and cooperation between the different electoral organizations of the continent.


                   Among the activities which have been planned for this year are:


                  Second Ibero-American Seminar on Freedom of Speech. (April)

                  Seminar on the System for the Election of Deputies. (April)

                  XII Conference on the Protocol of Tikal

                  Parliamentary Computer Network Seminar. (June)

                  VII Conference on the Protocol of Quito. (August)

                  IV conference of the Union of Electoral Organizations. (December)


                   In addition, observation missions in Costa Rica, Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic have been conducted or will be conducted.


                   Funding:  IIHR's regular budget


          7.       Program on prison systems and human rights


          a.       Prevention and treatment for victims of torture:  Seminars about the prison systems in Central America

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  Promote scrutiny and reform of the prison systems, from a human rights perspective.


                    Characteristics:  Training and advice for those connected with the prison systems, with the aim of promoting reform that is in line with international instruments and domestic legislation on human rights.  During 1998, work in this field will focus on Central America, through regional and national activities.


                   Funding:  institutional and other funds.


          8.       IIHR publications and dissemination program


          a.       IIHR publications and dissemination program on human rights

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objective:  Produce publications on special human rights topics, and distribute information on mechanisms, rules, activities, and doctrinal materials.  IIHR regularly produces, publishes, and distributes publications (see appendix) for different populations.


                   Funding:  Regular IIHR budget and special contributions.


          b.       Network for exchange and electronic dissemination of information on economic, social, and cultural rights.

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objective:  IIHR has maintained its own web page since 1997 in order to serve as a stimulus and as a network for NGOs throughout the continent on economic, social, and cultural rights and their treatment by international financial institutions, and related topics.


                   Funding:  Regular IIHR budget and special contributions.




          General objective of this Area:  Courses aimed essentially at the most vulnerable sectors of the population, and at creating a culture of respect for human rights, tolerance, and democracy in the overall population.


          a.       IIHR project for university education on human rights

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   The IIHR has begun a technical assistance project for certain universities in Latin America which are incorporating human rights in their academic programs.  Specifically, a general cooperation agreement has been signed with the Universidad Rafael Landivar, in Guatemala, by which collaboration is taking place in the implementing of their Masters in Human Rights, to begin in June of 1998.


                   Funding:  The IIHR activity with the Universidad R. Landivar has funding.  Expanding this line of projects would require special funding.


          b.       UPD program for education in human rights

                   (New activity, approved by the Permanent Council)


                   Executing organ:  UPD (is an area of its working plan approved by the Permanent Council.)


                   Objective:  Intended to expand citizens' ability to assert their rights.


                   CIM, with the collaboration of the UPD, can promote the holding of conferences on the full and equal participation of women.


                   Funding:  Requires additional funds.  In its working plan for 1998, approved by the Permanent Council, the UPD envisions developing, in 1998, in collaboration with the IACHR, this program for which it is proposed that outside funds be sought.  (OEA/Ser G/ CP/doc.2995/97 p.6).


          c.       Program to incorporate human rights in the practices and curricula of formal national educational systems.  (Expansion of a program currently in execution by IIHR and other agencies)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR, with the potential cooperation of other institutions.


                   The IIHR has agreements with Ministries of Education in several countries, through which it advises in the design of human rights curricula, in order to incorporate the subject in study plans at the primary and secondary school level, and it collaborates in the same vein with teachers' associations.  Through its Educational Resource Center (CRE), it generates teaching materials and guides for their use by teachers; these have been adopted by the educational authorities in several countries.  This part of the program relies on there being interest on the part of the countries, in accordance with their specific commitments.  In this program, plans and projects can be structured for improving curricula, training teachers, and developing related techniques and materials.  There already exist in the region many initiatives of this type, both on the part of National Ministries and of institutions and experts.  the IIHR has, during 1997, been active in stimulating the compiling of and debate on these initiatives at the "Conference Exhibition on Education in Human Rights" held in Costa Rica in December of 1997.


                   In this area, the IIHR has planned the following activities for 1998:


                  Technical assistance in education on human rights in Central America.

                  Forum on education in human rights for Guatemala.

                  Project on education, human rights, and democracy for Central America.

                  Seminar on education in human rights in Venezuela.

                  Session on the rights of children in Peru and Guatemala.

                  Evaluation of Programs on education in human rights in Nicaragua.

                  Project on education, human rights, and democracy for Peru.

                  Project for education, human rights, and democracy for Mexico.

                  Project for education, human rights, and democracy for Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

                  Publication and validation of UNESCO's manual of education in human rights.

                  Publication and validation of the CRE portfolio of teaching materials.  Argentine version.

                  United Nations Decade for Education project.


                   Funding:  The activities already planned by IIHR have funding.  Special funding is required to expand their scope according to demand by the countries.


          d.       Indigenous peoples and human rights

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objectives:  Carry out activities and national and regional meetings with the aim of training indigenous participants on human rights issues, as well as on domestic and international instruments and mechanisms of protection.  In addition, promote and strengthen their political participation and the development of juridical standards.


                   Characteristics:  Training activities designed to meet the particular needs of the indigenous peoples in different countries.  They also seek to foster respect for the human rights of these peoples.  During 1998, special attention will be given to the case of Guatemala, with activities that will be conducted during May, June, and October.


                   Funding:  institutional and other funds.


          e.       Migrant populations affected by violence

                   (In execution)


                   Executing organ:  IIHR


                   Objective:  Study concentrations of migrant populations, observance of their human rights, and the situation with regard to citizen safety and crime.


                   Characteristics:  Series of studies providing means to identify the main problems of migrant populations.  In particular, the migrant experiences of women will be analyzed, as a form of survival strategy in the face of systematic human rights violations.  The result of these studies will be of great importance for future initiatives for research, education, and prevention in this field.


                   Funding:  institutional funds and other sources of financing.


          f.       Inter-American monograph competition

                   (New activity)


                   Executing organ:  To be selected


                   Objectives:  Organize a monograph competition open to all those interested, the topic being the importance of human rights in the building of a peaceful and democratic society.  (Proposal of the government of Peru).


                   Funding:  Would require special funding.


          g.       Competition for postgraduate grants in the specialized field of human rights.

                   (New activity)


                   Executing organ:  OAS Department of Grants


                   Competition for grants to carry out postgraduate studies in the specialized field of human rights and, in particular, financial support for research and editing of doctoral dissertations in the field of human rights.  Persons receiving grants or some type of financial support through this competition could be required to commit themselves to presenting the results of their research at various congresses and conferences organized under this program, as a condition of the grant.  (Proposal of the government of Peru.)


                   Funding:  Would require special funding.

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[1] .  American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, 1st Preamble and art. XXIX.

[2] .  American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.  Considering 3.

[3] .  idem, Considering.

[4] .  cf.  World Conference on Human Rights, Final Declaration, par. 12, 13, and 25,  Vienna, 1993, (A. Conf.157/24 Part I. 1993), Declaration on the Rights of the Child I-25; American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence Against Women.

[5] .  cf. World Conference on Human Rights, Final Declaration, I-5, Vienna, 1993.

[6] .  Summit of the Americas.  Declaration of Principles , Miami, 1994.

[7] .  cf. World Conference on Human Rights, Final Declaration, I-10 and I-11, Vienna, 1993.

[8] .  cf. World Conference on Human Rights, Final Declaration, par. 8, Vienna, 1996, and Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Preamble, 4; Annual Report 1996 IACHR.

[9] .  cf. Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Art. 1.  Annual Report 1996 IACHR.

[10] .  cf. Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence Against Women, 3rd. Preamble.  OAS 1994.

[11] .  cf. Declaration on the Rights of the Child.  Principle 2. U.N. 1959.

[12] .  cf. World Conference on Human Rights, Final Declaration, I-27, Vienna, 1993.

[13] .  cf. World Conference on Human Rights, Final Declaration, I-33, Vienna, 1993.

[14] .  The Inter-American Commission, together with other OAS organs, in particular the Inter-American Juridical Committee and the CIM, have played a central role in the preparation of the main instruments of the inter-American system (i.e., the American Convention on Human Rights, itself, and its Protocols, the Conventions on Torture and on Forced Disappearances of Persons, on Violence Against Women, the Proposed Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, etc.).