Inter-American System of Human Rights Protection

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, established in 1959, is one of the two principal and autonomous organs of the Organization of American States whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere.

“The Commission performs this function by making visits to the countries, carrying out thematic activities and initiatives, preparing reports on the human rights situation in a certain country or on a particular thematic issue, adopting precautionary measures or requesting provisional measures before the Inter-American Court, and processing and analyzing individual petitions with a view to determining the international responsibility of the States for human rights violations, and issuing the recommendations it deems necessary. The individual petitions that the Commission examines may be submitted by individuals, groups of individuals, or organizations that allege violations of the human rights guaranteed in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (“the American Declaration”), the American Convention on Human Rights (“the American Convention”), and other inter-American Human Rights Treaties.”

The Inter-American Court

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights was established by the 1969 OAS American Convention on Human Rights to ensure, along with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, the observance of the rights and freedoms protected therein. The Inter-American Court, installed in 1979, is an autonomous judicial institution of the OAS. The permanent headquarters of the Court is located in San José, Costa Rica and is composed of seven independent judges who are elected from the Organization of American States (OAS) Member States.

The following links lead to the Court’s official website. Not all documents are available in English. You can search Jurisprudence by country and, in the advanced search option, by date or subject.

  • Decisions and judgments
    Series C of the Court
  • Monitoring compliance with judgments
  • Inter-American Court of Human Rights Database
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