The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has the honor to submit its Report to the General Assembly, in compliance with the provisions of Article 53.f of the Charter of the Organization of American States.


          This Report contains seven chapters and has been prepared in accordance with Resolution 331 (VIII-0/78) of the General Assembly and Article 63 of the Regulations of the Commission.


          Chapter I is a summary of the Commission's origin and juridical bases.  This chapter also contains a brief account of the Commission's relationship with other organs of the inter-American system and regional and global institutions of a similar nature during 1996.


          Chapter II refers to the activities undertaken by the Commission during the period covered by this Report.  Emphasis is placed on the Commission's principal activities, as well as the subjects it dealt with and the most important measures taken during its various sessions.  It includes the participation of the Commission in the twenty-sixth regular session of the General Assembly as well as the resolution adopted by this organ in relation to the work of the Commission in the field of human rights.


          Chapter III is entitled "Reports on Individual Cases."  This chapter contains several decisions adopted by the Commission regarding specific cases presented to it, which the Commission processed in accordance with the applicable legal provisions.


          This year, Chapter IV contains the status of the preparation of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


          In Chapter V, the Commission has included sections on the evolution of the situation of human rights in Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala and Peru, with the view of analyzing the development that the situation of human rights in those countries has experienced during the period covered by this report.


          In Chapter VI, the Commission presents a progress report on conditions of detention in the Americas, a progress report on the project to promote and protect the right of women in the hemisphere to be free from discrimination, and also a progress report on the study of the situation of migrant workers.


          In Chapter VII, the Commission presents its recommendations to member states in areas in which steps need to be taken towards full observance of the human rights set forth in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the American Convention on Human Rights.  

          Finally, the current state of Conventions and Protocols on Human Rights, approved within the inter-American system, press communiques and speeches issued by the IACHR during the period covered in this Annual Report are included as Annexes.


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