New Video Tutorial and Advocacy Manual on the Inter-American System

The International Justice Resource Center is pleased to announce the release of a five-part educational video on the Inter-American System for the protection of human rights, which monitors, promotes and enforces the human rights  commitments of all 35 independent countries in the Americas.

IJRC’s aim in producing the video and accompanying manual is to contribute to greater understanding and effective use of the advocacy opportunities presented by the Inter-American System. The System can be seen as opaque or difficult to navigate for those unfamiliar with its components: the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The videoAddressing Human Rights Violations in the Americas: Advocacy before the Inter-American System, is composed of five chapters addressing the following topics:

1. What is the Inter-American System?

2. What Rights Are Protected?

3. How to Present a Complaint or Request Emergency Protection

4. How the Commission Processes Complaints

5. Insights from Practitioners

A Video Guide provides an outline of the chapters’ content and will help viewers take away key points.

IJRC has also produced a Spanish-language version of the video, La Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en las Américas: El Litigio e Incidencia ante el Sistema Interamericano, and the handbook, Manual para Abogados y Defensores, and hopes to make French and Brazilian Portuguese versions available in the near future.

Both the video and manual can be downloaded or viewed online free of charge. To request a DVD or USB drive containing the video and manual (English and Spanish versions), please contact IJRC at ijrc@ijrcenter.org.

IJRC prioritized the development of the video and manual during its first 18 months of existence for the following reasons:

  • the Inter-American System provides some of the most robust and meaningful avenues for victims and advocates to raise awareness of inequalities and injustices, engage in direct dialogue with the responsible government, and obtain accountability and reparation for human rights violations.  The System’s contributions to the advancement of human rights in the hemisphere are numerous and important (see Chapter2 of the Manual);
  • many – if not most – victims and advocates are unaware of the existence or role of the System’s complaints procedure, in-country visits, rapporteurships, public hearings and other mechanisms;
  • most victims and advocates are not sufficiently familiar with the requirements and internal processes that govern the Commission’s work – a fact which has contributed both to the relatively low levels of engagement with the System in certain countries and to the high rate at which petitions are rejected.

Through IJRC’s video and manual, both individual victims and advocates will  become familiar with the System and its components, understand the technical requirements for engagement, and gain insights into its relevance to the specific human rights concerns faced in their country, community, or home. The Inter-American System is one of three regional systems charged with the promotion and protection of human rights around the world.

IJRC wishes to thank the many advocates who contributed to the video and manual. Particular thanks are due to Víctor Madrigal-Borloz, Evelyn Colón Arias, and María Milagros Noli.

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