No. 32/01




The Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Dr. Santiago A. Canton, decided to create a Human Rights Defenders Functional Unit within the Office of the Executive Secretary to coordinate the activities of the Executive Secretariat in this field.


The Unitís main function will be to receive information regarding the situation of human rights defenders in the Hemisphere, keep in touch with nongovernmental and governmental organizations, and coordinate the work of the Executive Secretariat with regard to human rights defenders in the Americas.


This initiative takes into account resolution AG/RES. 1818 (XXXI-O/01), adopted by the General Assembly of the OAS at its thirty-first regular session, which requests the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to continue to pay due attention to the situation of human rights defenders in the Americas and to consider preparing a comprehensive study in this area, which, inter alia, describes their work, for study by the pertinent political authorities.


The Executive Secretary said this was an important step to protect the rights of those whose fundamental mission it is to defend the human rights of all human beings disinterestedly, risking their own lives and safety in the process.


Any communication may be sent to IACHR headquarters or by e-mail to [email protected]



Washington, D.C., December 7, 2001