American Convention on Human Rights 5

American Convention on Human Rights




Article 33. The following organs shall have competence with respect to
matters relating to the fulfillment of the commitments made by the States
Parties to this Convention:

a. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, referred to as “The
Commission”; and

b. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, referred to as “The Court.”



Article 34. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights shall be composed
of seven members. who shall be persons of high moral character and
recognized competence in the field of human rights.

Article 35. The Commission shall represent all the member countries of the
Organization of American States.

Article 36. 1. The members of the Commission shall be elected in a personal
capacity by the General Assembly of the Organization from a list of
candidates proposed by the governments of the member states.

2. Each of those governments may propose up to three candidates, who may be
nationals of the states proposing them or of any other member state of the
Organization of American States. When a slate of three is proposed, at least
one of the candidates shall be a national of a state other than the one
proposing the slate.

Article 37. 1. The members of the Commission shall be elected for a term of
four years and may be reelected only once, but the terms of three of the
members chosen in the first election shall expire at the end of two years.
Immediately following that election the General Assembly shall determine the
names of those three members by lot.

2. No two nationals of the same state may be members of the Commission.

Article 38. Vacancies that may occur on the Commission for reasons other
than the normal expiration of a term shall be filled by the Permanent
Council of the Organization in accordance with the provisions of the Statute
of the Commission .

Article 39. The Commission shall prepare its Statute, which it shall submit
to the General Assembly for approval. It shall establish its own

Article 40. Secretariat services for the Commission shall be furnished by
the appropriate specialized unit of the General Secretariat of the
Organization. This unit shall be provided with the resources required to
accomplish the tasks assigned to it by the Commission.

Section 2. FUNCTIONS

Article 41. The main function of the Commission shall be to promote respect
for and defense of human rights. In the exercise of its mandate, it shall
have the following functions and powers:

a. To develop an awareness of human rights among the peoples of America;

b. To make recommendations to the governments of the member states, when
it considers such action advisable, for the adoption of progressive
measures in favor of human rights within the framework of their
domestic law and constitutional provisions as well as appropriate
measures to further the observance of those rights;

c. To prepare such studies or reports as it considers advisable in the
performance of its duties;

d. To request the governments of the member states to supply it with
information on the measures adopted by them in matters of human

e. To respond, through the General Secretariat of the Organization of
American States, to inquiries made by the member states on matters
related to human rights and, within the limits of its possibilities,
to provide those states with the advisory services they request;

f. To take action on petitions and other communications pursuant to its
authority under the provisions of Articles 44 through 51 of this
Convention; and

g. To submit an annual report to the General Assembly of the
Organization of American States.

Article 42. The States Parties shall transmit to the Commission a copy of
each of the reports and studies that they submit annually to the Executive
Committees of the Inter-American Economic and Social Council and the Inter-
American Council for Education , Science, and Culture, in their respective
fields so that the Commission may watch over the promotion of the rights
implicit in the economic, social, educational, scientific, and cultural
standards set forth in the Charter of the Organization of American States
as amended by the Protocol of Buenos Aires.

Article 43. The States Parties undertake to provide the Commission with such
information as it may request of them as to the manner in which their
domestic law ensures the effective application of any provisions of this


Article 44. Any person or group of persons, or any nongovernmental entity
legally recognized in one or more member states of the Organization, may
lodge petitions with the Commission containing denunciations or complaints
of violation of this Convention by a State Party.

Article 45. 1. Any State Party may, when it deposits its instrument of
ratification of or adherence to this Convention, or at any later time,
declare that it recognizes the competence of the Commission to receive and
examine communications in which a State Party alleges that another State
Party has committed a violation of a human right set forth in this

2. Communications presented by virtue of this article may be admitted and
examined only if they are presented by a State Party that has made a
declaration recognizing the aforementioned competence of the Commission. The
Commission shall not admit any communication against a State Party that has
not made such a declaration.

3. A declaration concerning recognition of competence may be made to be
valid for an indefinite time, for a specified period, or for a specific

4. Declarations shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the
Organization of American States, which shall transmit copies thereof to the
member states of that Organization.




See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

Charter of the Organization of American States, Education.



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