Report on Sessions of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights

OEA/Ser.UV/ii.15
Doc. 29 (English)
14 March 1967

Original: Spanish




INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

REPORT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED

DURING ITS FOURTEENTH SESSION

October 3 to 21, 1966


PAN AMERICAN UNION

General Secretariat, Organization of American States

Washington, D.C.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

I. ORGANIZATION OF THE FOURTEENTH SESSION 1

A. Opening Date and Length of Session 1

B. Members of the Commission and.Participants 2

C. Meetings and Documents 3

D. Agenda for the Fourteenth Session 4

II. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE

COMMISSION 5

III. ELECTION OF THE THIRD MEMBER AND AN ALTERNATE

MEMBER OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE 6



IV. ORDER OF PRECEDENCE OF THE MEMBERS OF THE

COMMISSION 6

V. REPORT PREPARED BY THE SECRETARIAT ON THE WORK

ACCOMPLISHED BY THE COMMISSION AT ITS THIRTEENTH

SESSION 7

VI. REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ON THE ACTIVITIES

OF THE SECRETARIAT BETWEEN THE THIRTEEN AND

FOURTHTEEN SESSIONS 8

VII. REPORT ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMISSION IN THE

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 9

VIII. THE SITUATION REGARDING HUMAN RIGHTS IN AMERICAN

COUNTRIES 11

a. Report of the Subcommittee. Consideration

of communications received. 11

b. Examination of the situation regarding human

rights in other American countries 13

1. Guatemala 13

2. Cuba 14

3. Haiti 16

IX. DRAFT CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS 17

X. ACTIVITIES RELATING TO THE WORK PROGRAM 36

a. Situation of Political Refugees in the Americas.

Observations on the Draft Convention prepared

by the Inter-American Juridical Committee 36

Page

b. General application of the Institution of

the State of Siege. Second Report presented

by Dr. Daniel Xugo Martins 39

c. Study on the Right to Life, prepared by

Mrs. Angela Acuña de Chacón 41

d. Draft Convention on Freedom of Expression,

Information and Investigation 42

e. International Human Rights Year 43

XI. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION

OF AMERICAN STATES AND THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE

MEMBER STATES 45

XII. OTHER MATTERS 45

a. Amendment of Article 6.c of the Statute of

the Commission 45

XIII. DATE AND PLACE OF THE FIFTEENTH SESSION 45

APPENDIX



INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

REPORT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED

DURING ITS FOURTEENTH SESSION

OCTOBER 3 TO 21, 1966

I. ORGANIZATION OF THE FOURTEENTH SESSION

A. Opening Date and Length of Session

1. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held its Fourteenth Session from October 3 to 21, 1966, at its permanent headquarters in the Pan American Union, Washington, D.C.

2. The Subcommittee, which is responsible for the preliminary consideration of the communications or complaints addressed to the Commission, for making pertinent recommendations to the Commission, and for preparing a draft agenda, met on September 28 to 30, 1966.

3. The opening meeting took place at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 3, in the Columbus Room at the Pan American Union.

4. In declaring the Fourteenth Session open, the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Manuel Bianchi, welcomed the members, thanked Dr. William Sanders, Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States, for attending the meeting, and expressed satisfaction at the fact that all members of the Commission were present at the session.

5. He then referred to the matters to be considered at the Fourteenth Session, stressing the importance of the study to be made of the draft Convention on Human Rights. In this respect, Professor Bianchi said: "Our task is to do everything in our power so that as soon as possible the Organization of American States, through this Commission, will possess the necessary instruments for the effective protection of human rights in the hemisphere; the approval of this Convention is an essential means to this end".

Referring to other subjects on the agenda, the Chairman mentioned the problem of political refugees, the protection of human rights during a state of seige, and the draft Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information and Investigation, citing the efforts of the Commission in these fields and expressing his confidence that the American governments will accord proper consideration to these matters of such importance to the peoples of the Continent.

6. Dr. Sanders, replying to the Chairman of the Commission, explained that Dr. José A. Mora, Secretary General of the Organization, had found it impossible to attend the opening meeting, expressed appreciation for the welcome extended to him, and expressed his wishes for the success of the work of the Commission. He referred to the great importance of the tasks entrusted to the Commission, as reflected in the agenda.

Dr. Sanders then said that the General Secretariat was at the complete disposal of the Commission for any assistance it might need.

B. Members of the Commission and Participants

7. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is composed of seven members elected on a personal basis by the Council of the Organization of American States. The members are listed below in alphabetical order:

Name Nationality

Mrs. Angela Acuña de Chacón Costa Rica

Prof. Manuel Bianchi Chile

Dr. Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches Brasil

Name Nationality

Dr. Gonzalo Escudero Ecuador

Dr. Gabino Fraga Mexico

Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins Uruguay

Dr. Durward V. Sandifer United States

All members attended the Fourteenth Session.

C. Meetings and Documents

8. The Commission held fourteen meetings during this session.

The Secretariat prepared the summary minutes of these meetings, which are reserved for the exclusive use of the members.

9. In accordance with Article 34 of the Regulations of the Commission' the Secretariat prepared a list of the communications or complaints received prior to the session, as well as those received during the session, and in each case attached a summary of the complaint and the initial handling accorded it. This list of communications was prepared in chronological order by country (Doe. 7-XV).

10. The Secretariat also prepared the following documents:

Comparative study of the Draft Convention on Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists (approved at its Fourth Meeting, Santiago, Chile, 1959) and those presented by Uruguay and Chile to the Second Special Inter-American Conference (Rio de Janeiro, 1965) - (Economic, social and cultural rights) (Doe. 2-XV).

Comparative study of the Draft Convention on Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists (approved at its Fourth Meeting, Santiago, Chile, 1959) and those presented by Uruguay and Chile to the Second Special Inter-American Conference (Rio de Janeiro, 1965) - (Measures of application and special clauses) (Doe. 3-XV, Rev.).

Mission to the Dominican Republic (May 15 to July 7, 1966). Report submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights by its Chairman and representative, Prof. Manuel Bianchi (Doe. 4-XV).

Requests for information transmitted to the Government of Guatemala (Doe. 5-XV).

Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on its activities on the Dominican Republic (September 1, 1965 to July 6, 1966) (Doe. 6-XV, Rev.).

Report of the Subcommittee to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

(Doe. 8-XV).

The Right to Life, by Mrs. Angela Acuna de Chacón (Doe. 13-XV).

Second Report on the Protection of Human Rights during periods of Suspension of Constitutional Guarantees or "State of Siege", by Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins (Doe. 12-XV).

11. The Secretariat also issued several press releases informing the public of the Commission's activities.

12. Technical and administrative services were rendered by the Secretariat, composed of Dr. Luis Reque, Executive Secretary, and Drs. Alvaro Gómez and Guillermo Cabrera.

D. Agenda for the Fourteenth Session

13. At its First Meeting, held on October 4, 1966, the Commission approved the following agenda for its Fourteenth Session:

1. Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Commission.

2. Report of the Secretariat on the work accomplished by the Commission at its Thirteenth Session

3. Report of the Executive Secretary on the activities of the Secretariat between the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Session.

4. Report on the activities of the Commission in the Dominican Republic (September l, 1965 to July 6, 1966).

5. Situation with respect to human rights in the American countries:

a) Examination of the communications received. Report of the

Subcommittee.

b) Examination of the situation of human rights in the countries

of the Americas.

6. Inter-American Convention on Human Rights.

7. General work program:

a) Situation of political refugees in the Americas. Observations

on the Draft Convention prepared by the Inter-American Jurid-

ical Committee.

b) General application of the institution of the State of Siege.

Second report prepared by Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins.

c) Study on the Right to Life, prepared by Mrs. Angela Acuña de

Chacón.

d) Proclamation of the International Human Rights Year.

8. Other matters.

9. Date and place of the Fifteenth Session.

II. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION

14. Pursuant to its Statute, the Commission proceeded to the election of a Chairman and Vice Chairman.

The elections were held at the ninth meeting, resulting in the re-election of Dr. Manuel Bianchi and Gabino Fraga as Chairman and Vice Chairman, respective

15. Drs. Bianchi and Fraga expressed their appreciation to the other members of the Commission for the vote of confidence.

Dr. Bianchi also said that, as Chairman, he would continue to devote his best efforts to secure the approval of the Draft Convention on Human Rights and promote the publication of the Yearbook on Human Rights.

III. ELECTION OF THIRD MEMBER AND AN ALTERNATE MEMBER OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE

16. Pursuant to Article 13 of the Regulations, the Commission, at its ninth meeting, elected Mrs. Angela Acuña de Chacón as third member of the Subcommittee, succeeding Dr. Gonzalo Escudero, who had declined re-election at the end of his two-year term.

17. Dr. Durward V. Sandifer was elected an alternate member of the Subcommitee

IV. ORDER OF PRECEDENCE OF THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION

18. In compliance with Article 10 of the Regulations, the Commission, at its twelfth meeting, held on October 19, established the order in which the members of the Commission are to act in place of the Chairman and Vice Chairman in the latter's absence.

The following order of precedence was decided upon: Chairman, Professor Manuel Bianchi; Vice Chairman, Dr. Gabino Fraga; Mrs. Angela Acuña de Chacón, Dr. Durward V. Sandifer, Dr. Gonzalo Escudero

Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches.

V. REPORT PREPARED BY THE SECRETARIAT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED BY THE

COMMISSION AT ITS THIRTEENTH SESSION

19. At its first meeting, held on October 4, the Commission approved the report on the work accomplished by the Commission during its Thirteenth Session (OAS/Ser.L/V/II.14, Doc. 35).

The report contains a summary of the activities carried out and the decisions taken by the Commission during the Thirteenth Session, from April 18 to 28, 1966.

20. In regard to the situation of human rights in the American countries the report first examines the activities of the Commission in the Dominican Republic, and includes a summary of the individual reports presented by the members who represented the members who represented the Commission in that country from November 1965 to April 1966, as well as the resolution by which the Commission held a meeting in the city of Santo Domingo during the elections of June 1, 1966.

The report also includes an examination of the situation of human rights in Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, and Paraguay, with the decisions taken in each case.

It also contains the text of the articles included in the Statute and Regulations of the Commission in accordance with Resolution XXII of the Second Special Inter-American Conference.

21. With regard to the general work program of the Commission, the report gives an account of the preparation of the Supplement to the Report on Political Refugees in the Americas, transmitted to the Inter-American Juridical Committee with a view to the preparation of a Draft Convention on Refugees. It also refers to the status of the draft Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information and Investigation, and the extension of the period for the submission of observations thereon by the Governments. Also included is the text of the resolution of April 27, 1966, concerning the observations and comments concerning the Draft Convention on Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists and on those prepared by the Governments of Chile and Uruguay.

Finally, the report discusses the decisions on the designation of &n International Hum&n Rights Year and the resolution authorizing the Commission to request the Governments of the Member States to submit annual reports on the status of hum&e rights in their respective territories, for the purposes envisaged in paragraph 4 of Resolution XXII of the Second Special Inter-American Conference.

VI. REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ON THE

ACTIVITIES OF THE SECRETARIAT BETWEEN THE THIRTEENTH AND

FOURTEENTH SESSIONS

22. At its first meeting, the Commission took cognizance of the report submitted by the Executive Secretary on the activities of the Secretariat between the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Session (Doe. 11-XV).

This document contains an account of the communications and complaints received during the interval between the two sessions and of the initial handling accorded those communications by the Secretariat.

The report also contains a brief description of the work carried out by the Secretariat in the Dominican Republic during the two sessions and refers to the publication of Document 6-XV, which describes the Commission's activities from September 1, 1965, to July 6, 1966.

23. It also describes the services rendered by the Secretariat to facilitate the task of the Council of the Organization in updating the Draft Convention on Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists and those prepared by the Governments of Chile and Uruguay. The report makes specific mention of the publication of Documents 2-XV and 3-XV Rev., which contain the second and third part, respectively, of the comparative study of the three draft conventions.

It also mentions the publication of the new Statute of the Commission (Doe. 22-XIV) and its Regulations (Doe. 34-XIV), which include the provisions adopted pursuant to Resolution XXII of the Second Special Inter-American Conference.

Finally, reference is made to the publication of Document 5-XV, entitled "Requests for Information transmitted to the Government of Guatemala", which contains an account of the communications and notes addressed by the Commission

to the Guatemalan government during 1963, 1964, 1965 and the first part of 1966.

24. The Commission expressed satisfaction with the manner in which the Secretariat had accomplished its work and discharged its assigned tasks.

VII. REPORT ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMISSION IN THE

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

25. At its second meeting, held on October 5, 1966, the Commission approved the document entitled "Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concerning its activities in the Dominican Republic from September 1,

1965, to July 6, 1966" (Doe. 6-XV, Rev.).

In its first chapter, the report mentions the invitation that was extended to the Commission by the Provisional Government of the Dominican Republic, established on September 3, 1965, to maintain its presence in the territory of that country and watch over the protection of human rights, thus contributing to establish the essential climate for the holding of free elections on June 1, 1966. It also contains the text of the resolution approved by the Commission on October 15, 1965, accepting the invitation of the Provisional Government, as well as the Commission's reply to the Government on October 19 announcing its acceptance.

26. The second chapter contains an accourt of the interviews held by the representatives of the Commission with the Provisional President of the Republic, members of the judiciary, civilian and military authorities, and representatives of international organizations, as well as their visits to persons and localities in the interior of the country. It also includes a description of the manner in which the Commission handled the complaints and communications received, as well as a summary of the factors that led to the violation of human rights and of the obstacles that prevented the Provisional Government from adequately investigating those violations. The chapter also refers to the requests for asylum by persons persecuted for political reasons; claims for property damage, and the intercession of the Commission to guarantee the life of various military men of the Constitutionalist Party.

27. The third chapter of the report deals with the observance of human rights and contains an account of specific violations denounced to the Commission, which are classified as follows: a) violation of the right to life; b) violation of the right to individual freedom and security; c) violation of the right to protection against arbitrary desertion; d) violation of the right of residence and transit; and e) violation of the right of assembly, opinion, expression and information.

28. The fourth and final chapter describes the final activities of the Commission, including the meeting it held in the Dominican capital from May 29 to June 3' 1966, to witness the observance of human rights during the general elections of June 1, ,9660 It also describes the activities of the Chairman of the Commission through July 6, 1966, concluding with the donation of the Commission's remaining office supplies to the literacy campaign organized by the Archbishop of Santo Domingo.

VIII. THE SITUATION REGARDINTG HUMAN RIGHTS IN AMERICAN COUNTRIES

a. Report of the Subcommittee. Consideration of communications received.

29. The Subcommittee was composed of the following three members of the Commission:

Chairman: Professor Manuel Bianchi

Members: Dr. Gonzalo Escudero

Dr. Durward V. Sandifer

Pursuant to the Regulations, the Subcommittee held a meeting prior to the Fourteenth Session for the purpose of making a preliminary study of the communications addressed to the Commission preparing a draft agenda for the Fourteenth Session.

At the conclusion of its work, the Subcommittee prepared its report to the Commission (Doe. 8-XV), which contains a brief summary of its examination an consideration of the communications presented by the Secretariat (Doe. 7-XV), as well as its recommendations on the cases examined a.nd & draft agenda for the Fourteenth Session.

30. The Commission took cognizance of its report at its Second Meeting, held on October 5, and instructed the Secretariat to follow the recommendations of the Subcommittee in processing the communications mentioned therein.

At its fourteenth meeting held on October 21, the Commission considered the communications included in Addendum 1 (Doe. 7-XV), which were received after the session started. It also provided for the processing of those communications in accordance with the appropriate articles of the Regulations.

31. In regard to communication No. 42 of August 29' 1966, concerning the Republic of Honduras, the Government of that country furnished the Commission with certain information relating to the charges made. However, in view of the serious nature of the charges, the Secretariat had requested the source to provide further information on his complaint, as a result of which new and additional data were sent on September 21, 1966. Accordingly, the Commission decided to send the pertinent portions of the supplementary complaints to the Government of Honduras, requesting relevant information.

32. The Commission received reports from the government of Mexico concerning various complaints of alleged violations of human rights in the territory of that country. The Mexican government also provided information on the situation of the Cuban asylees in the Embassy of Mexico in Havana. The Commission agreed to send the complainants the reports provided by the Government of Mexico.

33. The Commission took note that the Government of Nicaragua had submitted a satisfactory reply to its request for information on alleged violations of human rights and that the information provided had been transmitted to the complainants.

34. During the Fourteenth Session, the Commission received reports on thc situation of the political prisoners in the Republic of Paraguay. In this connection, the Commission decided to transmit to the Paraguayan government, with a request for its comments, the names of certain alleged political prisoners concerning whom it had not yet addressed that government.

b. Examination of the situation regarding human rights in other American countries

1. Guatemala

35. Since its Seventh Session, held in Santiago, Chile, in October 1963, the Commission had been considering the situation with respect to human rights in Guatemala (Doe. 35-VIII), in view of the serious and repeated denunciations it received concerning violations of those rights in that country.

Pursuant to its Statute the Commission, at its Eighth Session, decided to send a communication to the Government of Guatemala requesting a report on those complaints, and urging the Government, in the event the complaints were well founded, to adopt progressive measures, consistent to its internal legislation, in behalf of human rights (Note of August 11, 1964).

36. In view of the fact that the Government of Guatemala did not reply to that note and further denunciations were received, the Commission repeated its request at its Ninth Session, including a request for information on the new cases denounced.

Beginning with its Tenth Session, the Commission received various preliminary replies from the Government of Guatemala, which restricted itself to describing the initial procedural steps taken with respect to the charges and stating that the information requested would be sent at some future time.

In view of the many complaints that the Commission continued receiving, and in view of the fact that the Government of Guatemala had not provided the information requested, the Commission, at its Twelfth Session (October 4 to 15, 1965), again repeated its request for information and asked the permission of the Guatemalan government to visit that country and conduct an on-the-spot examination of the situation with respect to human rights. 37. At its Thirteenth Session, held in Mexico in April 1966, the Commission decided as follows:

a. To reaffirm the decisions taken at its Twelfth Session, and to authorize the Chairman, Professor Manuel Bianchi, to undertake negotiations at the most appropriate moment, with a view to the Commission's visiting Guatemala;

b. To repeat the request for information transmitted by the Commission on April 12, 1966, regarding the presumed disappearance of many persons, which had been denounced to the Commission; and to request information regarding the new denunciations of alleged violations of human rights in that country.

Subsequent to that decision, the Commission concluded that since, by July 1, 1966, the date on which the new government of Guatemala was inaugurated, the authorities of the Government of Colonel Peralta Azurdia had not replied satisfactorily to the requests for information presented and reaffirmed in the notes of August 11 and October 22, 1964, October 22, 1965, and May 11 and June 17, 1966, it was appropriate to release the text of the notes sent to that government and of the complaints or denunciations appended to those notes.

38. In view of these circumstances, the Commission decided to publish the document entitled "Requests for Information transmitted to the Government of Guatemala" (OAS/Ser.L/V/II.15, Doc. 5), which contains the text of the notes sent by the Commission on the dates mentioned above, and of the denunciations received from 1963 to early 1966.

2. Cuba

39. In the course of this session, the Commission continued to examine the human rights situation in Cuba.

At the Thirteenth Session, held in Mexico in April 1966, the Commission had decided:

i. To authorize its Chairman to carry out appropriate and

possible measures to obtain information from the

Government of Cuba on the situation regarding human

rights in that country;

ii. To continue to transmit to the Government of Cuba, re

questing information in accordance with Article 56 of

the Regulations of the Commission, pertinent parts of

complaints with regard to alleged violations of human

rights in that country.

40. In connection with this decision, the Chairman presented a report on the negotiations he had carried out so that the Government of Cuba would authorize the Commission, or a Subcommittee thereof, to visit Cuba for an on-the-spot investigation of the human rights situation. The Chairman explained that his negotiations had not been successful, despite the fact that they were made in an unofficial and personal capacity.

The Executive Secretary then reported that, in compliance with the second paragraph of the decision cited above, the Secretariat had continued to transmit to the Government of Cuba, in notes signed by the Chairman, a pertinent part of complaints received with regard to alleged violations of human rights, requesting at the same time the appropriate information.

41. During the Fourteenth Session, the Commission received extensive and documented additional complaints on the situation of the political prisoners in Cuba' containing detailed accounts of mistreatments and torture of political prisoners' arbitrary executions, and the extraction of blood from persons condemned to death by the Cuban authorities.

42. After examining these serious charges against the Cuban authorities, the Commission decided that it was necessary to prepare a new report including all the documents and notes on violations of human rights in Cuba, in order to bring them to the attention of the member states of the Organization. In reaching this decision, the Commission was influenced by the persistent refusal of the Government of Cuba to reply to the requests made to it, and the extreme seriousness of the human rights situation in Cuba, judging from the number and nature of the denunciations received.

The Commission instructed the Secretariat to prepare a draft report on this matter.

43. The Commission also decided to continue the negotiations to persuade the Government of Cuba to authorize it to visit that country, as requested in its notes of September 28, 1962 and October 14, 1965.

3. Haiti

44. The Commission has been considering the situation regarding human rights in Haiti since its Second Session. On two occasions it has requested permission of the Government of Haiti to visit Haitian territory, in accordance with Article ll.c of its Statute, in order to conduct an on-the-spot investigation of the situation regarding human rights (notes of September 26, 1962, and May 7, 1963). Both requests of the Commission were denied by the Haitian Goverment, which stated that the visit might be interpreted as an act of intervention affecting the sovereignty of that State.

In view of these refusals and the seriousness of the charges against the Haitian government, the Commission issued a report on the human rights situation in Haiti (Doe. 5-VIII), which was transmitted to the American governments through the Council of the Organization in October 1963.

After this report was published, the Commission continued to receive complaints against the authorities of Haiti. These denunciations were transmitted to the Haitian government, which, in accordance with the Regulations, was requested to provide the pertinent information.

45. Since some of these denunciations referred to extremely serious incidents, the Commission addressed a note to the Haitian Government on June 7, 1966, requesting information on the whereabouts of several Haitian citizens returned from the Dominican Republic in May of that year and who, according to those denunciations, had been executed in Haiti.

46. On July 5, 1966, the Government of Haiti sent a reply in which it rejected the request of the Commission, terming it improper. Meanwhile, the Commission received further denunciations concerning the disappearance of the Haitian

citizens, but was unable to determine their true situation.

47. At the thirteenth meeting, held in October 20, the Commission, in view of these antecedents, decided to prepare a new note to the Government of Haiti repeating its request for information on the status of the Haitian nationals returned from the Dominican territory, and stressing the Commission's authority to ask the Haitian government for information on the human rights situation in Haiti.

IX. DRAFT CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

48. The Second Special Inter-American Conference, in paragraph 1 of Resolution XXIV, decided as follows:

To send the Draft Convention on Human rights prepared by

the Inter-American Council of Jurists at its Fourth Meeting, held

rough in 1959, together with the draft convention presented by the

Government of Chile (Document 35), the draft convention prepared

by the Government of Uruguay (Document 49), and the minutes of

the discussions of this Second Special Inter-American Conference

on this subject, to the Council of the Organization of American

States, so that the Council, upon receiving the views of the

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and of other organs and

bodies it deems advisable to hear, may make the amendments to

the draft prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists, that

it deems necessary in order to bring it up to date and complete it.

The Council shall fulfill this mission within a period of one year.

49. In order to facilitate the performance of this task by the Commission, the Secretariat prepared a comparative study of the three draft conventions on human rights which are mentioned in the resolution. For greater convenience, the study was published in three parts, of which the first includes all the ar ticles relating to civil and political rights (Doe. 7-XIV); the second deals with economic, social and cultural rights (Doe. 2-XV), and the third contains the measures of application and special clauses (Doe. 3-XV, Rev.). For the same purpose, the Secretariat also prepared a compilation entitled "Documents of the European Commission on Human Rights" (Doe. 8-XIV).

50. The Commission continued to consider this matter during its Thirteent Session and, in the meeting of April 27, 1966, approved a resolution the operative part of which read as follows:

1. To request the Secretariat, once it has completed the com-

parative study of the drafts prepared by the Council of Jurists, by Chile, and

by Uruguay, with respect to economic, social and cultural rights, and

measures for execution, and the comparative study it has already began

on the draft prepared by the Council of Jurists, the Convention of Rome

and its four protocols, and the United Nations Covenants, to transmit

them to the members of the Commission.

2. To request the members of the Commission to transmit to

the Secretariat, before July 31, their observations and comments on the aforesaid

drafts, as well as their views on the manner in which the draft prepared by the

Council of Jurists should be brought up to date and completed.

3. To request the Secretariat, on the basis of the observations and

views transmitted to it by the members of the Commission, to prepare a preliminary

draft of amendments to the draft convention. This preliminary draft, which should

be concluded before September 30 of this year, shall be considered by the Commission

at its next session.

4. To appoint a rapporteur to prepare, on the basis of the preliminary

draft mentioned in paragraph 3, a corresponding statement of reasons, which the

Commission shall submit to the Council of the Organization.

At the same meeting, the Commission appointed Prof. Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches, a member, as rapporteur to prepare the statement of reasons.

51. The Council of the Organization, in compliance with the decision taken on this matter by the Second Special Inter-American Conference, resolved as follows at its meeting of May 18, 1966:

1. To send to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,

for the purposes of Resolution XXIV of the Second Special Inter-American

Conference, the Draft Convention on Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American

Council of Jurists at its Fourth Meeting, held in 1959, together with the draft convention

presented by the Government of Chile, the draft Convention presented by the Government

of Uruguay, and the minutes of the discussions of the aforementioned Conference on

the subject, requesting that , as soon as possible, the Commission inform the Council of its

opinion and make whatever recommendations it deems pertinent.

2. To request the Chairman of the Inter-American Commission on Human

Rights to convoke a special session of the Commission as soon as possible, if this is necessary,

in order to study the matter and to present to the Council of the Organization in due course the

report referred to in this resolution.

52. At its Fourteenth Session, the Commission regarded the study of the Draft Ccnvention on Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American Council of jurists and those prepared by the governments of Chile and Uruguay, as one of the most important topics on its agenda.

As a first criterion, the Commission deemed it advisable to limit its contribution to the mandate it had received, that is, to make known its views or opinicn to the Council of the Organization, so that the Courcil could then proceed to introduce the amendments it deemed necessary to bring the draft of the Inter-American Council of Jurists up to date and complete it. As a second consideration, the Commission decided to recommend that the Convention be prepared with a view to the possibilities of its being ratified by the American governments, that is to say, as an instrument limited to the protection of fundamertal human rights and containing precise provisions with respect to measures of application.

In the third place, the Commission decided to take into special consideration the experience of the European countries that approved the European Convention on Human Rights and Basic Freedoms and the discussions that took place during the preparation of the draft United Nations Agreements on Human Rights, as well as -the constitutional and legislative experience of the American countries.

53. At the third meeting, held on October 6, the Commission began its study of the draft Convention prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists, taking into account for this purpose the observations and comments submitted before the start of the session by its members Prof. Manuel Bianchi, Mrs. Angela Acuna de Chacón, and Prof. Durward V. Sandifer pursuant to the resolution approved at the Mexico session' as well as the observations presented orally by members during the discussion of the draft and those submitted in writing by the rapporteur, Prof. Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches.

54. To begin with, the Commission deemed it advisable to change the title of the Convention by inserting the adjetive "Inter-American" and the noun "protection", and deleting the definite article which appears in the Spanish text, so that the title in Spanish would be equivalent to the English title: "Inter-American Convention on Protection of Human Rights"

With respect to the title for Part I, the Commission expressed its preference for the phrase "Materia de Proteccion'' (Protection), and for Chapter I it preferred the title "Sujetos de la Protección" (Subjects of Protection). Both of these titles were suggested on a provisional basis, subject to possible change when the entire draft was examined.

The Commission also considered that a new chapter numbered II and provisionally entitled "Rights Protected" should be started with Article 2 of the draft prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists.

55. In the course of its meetings the Commission made a detailed examination of the first nineteen articles of the draft prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists, which refer to civil and political rights.

Of these nineteen articles, the Commission believed that Articles 7, 12,13, 16, and 17 should retain their present wording.

The other articles were the subject of many observations. While some were only slightly altered, with respect to others it was requested that they be replaced in whole or in part by articles of the Chilean and Uruguayan drafts. In certain cases completely new articles or clauses were proposed for insertion when it was felt that the texts under examination did not seem to offer proper protection to rhe rights in question.

56. At the -thirteenth meeting the Commission completed its study of the nineteen articles referred to above, and decided to compile all its observations, comments and recommendations in an Opinion approved at that meeting.

The text of -this document (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.15, Doc. 26), which was preceded by a Resolution, reads as follows:

OPINION PREPARED BY IHE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

ON THE DRAFT CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS APPROVED BY THE INTER-AMERICAN

COUNCIL OF JURISTS AT ITS FOURTH MEETING (SANTIAGO, CHILE, 1959)

PART ONE

WHEREAS:

The Second Special Inter-American Conference, in its Resolution XXIV, decided to send the Draft

Convention on Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists, together with the draft

conventions presented by the government of Chile and Uruguay, to the Council of the Organization of American States, so hat the Council, upon receiving the views of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and of the other organs and bodies it deemed it advisable to hear, might make the amendments to the draft prepared by the InterAmerican Council of Jurists that it deemed necessary in order to bring it up to date and complete it;

At its meeting on May 18, 1966, the Council of the OAS requested that the Commission present, as soon as possible, the report mentioned in Resolution XXIV of the Second Special Inter- American Conference;

At its Thirteenth Session held in Mexico from April 18 to 28, 1966, the Commission considered the preliminary studies needed to carry out the task entrusted to it in the said resolution;

In compliance with the resolution approved by the Commission in Mexico, the Secretariat prepared a document entitled "Comparative Study of the Draft Convention on Human Rights Prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists (Approved at its Fourth Meeting, Santiago, Chile, 1959, and those Presented by Uruguay and Chile to the Second Special Inter-American Conference (Rio de Janeiro, 1965)" and a compilation of documents of the European Commission on Human Rights (Appendices I and II);

In accordance with the same resolution, the members of the Commission presented their comments on and amendments to the IACJ draft.

The Commission, at its Fourteenth Session, began the examination and discussion of the IACJ draft, article by article, taking into consideration the drafts presented by Uruguay and Chile to the Second Special Inter-American Conference and the comments made and amendments drafted by the members of the Commission, and

The Commission, as a result of this examination and study, approved the first part of its opinion in order to submit it to the Council of the Organization,

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

RESOLVES:

To transmit to the Council of the Organization of American States, through the Secretary General, the aforementioned first part of its opinion, which is attached to this resolution.

OPINION REGARDING THE DRAFT CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

PREPARED BY THE INTER-AMERICAN COUNCIL OF JURISTS

PART I

TITLE. The Commission considers that the title of the IACJ draft "Convention on Human Rights" should

be changed to "InterAmerican Convention on Protection of Human Rights" for the following reasons:

a. The adjective inter-American" is advisable in order to distinguish the future Convention from others on the same subject, considering that there already is the European Convention, and those prepared by the United Nations may be approved.

b. The introduction of the word "protection" in the title denotes that the purpose of the Convention is to establish this protection, of a suprastatal character, to certain fundamental human rights and freedoms, which the Contracting States agree to establish in accordance with the Charter of the Organization of American States.

c. The expression "of human rights" rather than "of the human rights" interprets the essential concept that, initially, the Convention contemplates only certain rights and freedoms, precisely those in regard to which the American states are in a position now to extend international protection that goes beyond the limits of their domestic competence, after internal recourse are exhausted, without prejudice to the future inclusion in the text of the Convention of other rights and freedoms that the states can grant progressively in accordance with the method foreseen in the Convention itself.

PART I - PROTECTION (Provisional)

CHAPTER I - SUBJECTS OF PROTECTION (Provisional)

ARTICLE 1. The Commission considers that the text of the IACJ draft should be maintained. However, the Commission suggests that, for the sake of conciseness and technical accuracy in the wording, rhe term "The Contracting States" could be substituted for "the States Parties to this Convention" and "persons" for "human beings", in all the articles in which they appear.

The Commission considers that Article 4 of the Uruguayan draft, which reads as follows: "Every human being has the right, everywhere, to recognition of his juridical personality," should be incorporated into the Convention with the exclusion of the word "everywhere" and be added, as paragraph 2, to Article 1 of the IACJ drafr, whose text would thus become paragraph 1 of the new article.

Consequently, Article 1 would read as follows:

Article 1

1. The Contracting States undertake to respect the rights and freedoms

recognized herein and to ensure to all persons within their territory and subject to their

jurisdiction the free and full exercise of those rights and freedoms, without any

discrimination for reasons of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other

opinion, national or social origin, economic status, birth, or any other social condition.

2. Every person has the right to recognition of his juridical personality.

CHAPTER II - RIGHTS PROTECTED (Provisional)

ARTICLE 2. In the opinion of the Commission preference should be given to the texts of

paragraphs 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Uruguayan draft because they are more complete and precise than those

of the IACJ draft. However , the Commission agreed to recommend the following: a. in paragraph 1 to add

the words "in general" following the words "by law"; b. in paragraph 2 of that draft, to substitute "exceptionally

serious crimes" for "the most serious crimes"; c. in paragraph 4 add, following 'under 18 years of

age," the words "or over 70 years of age."

The Commission also decided to suggest that paragraph 5 of Article 4 of the Chilean draft be adopted

as paragraph 5 of this article, and that the followirg provision be added at the end thereof: "Capital punishment shall

not be imposed while a decision is pending on the first petition for commutation presented

to the competent authority"

As a result of the amendements recommended, the article would read as follows:

Article 2

1. Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law, in general, from the moment of conception. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.

2. The contracting Parties shall abolish capital punishment. Reservations to this provision shall be admitted solely on ondition that sentence of death may be imposed only as a penalty for exceptionally serious crimes and pursuart to the final judgment of an independent and impartial regular court, which will satisfy due process of law, and in accordance with a law establishing such punishment, enacted prior to the commission of the crime. 3. In no case shall capital purishment be inflicted for political offenses.

4. Capital punishment shall not be imposed upon persons who, at the time the crime was committed, were under 18 years of age or over 70 years of age; nor shall it be applied to pregnant women.

5. Every person condemned to death shall have the right to request pardon or commutation of sentence. Amnesty, pardon, or commutation of capital punishment may be grarted in all cases. Capital punishment shall not be imposed while a decision is pending or the first petition for commutation, presented to the competent authority.

ARTICLE 3. The Commission recommends that paragraph 1 of Article 3 of the Uruguayan draft ,be adopted as paragraph 1 of this article that paragraphs 1 and 2 of the IACJ draft become paragraphs 2 and 3; and that paragraph 3 of the Uruguayan draft

be included as paragraph 4, starting from where it reads "The penitentiary system..."

Consequently, Article 3 would read as follows:

Article 3

1. Every person has the right to have his physical integrity respected.

2. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

3. Punishment shall not be passed on to any persor other than the criminal.

4. The penitentiary system shall consist of a treatment oriented insofar as possible toward the reform and social readaptation of the prisoners.

ARTICLE 4. The Commission is of the opinion that this article should be preceded by an independent article establishing the principle contained in paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the IACJ draft: "Everyore has the right to liberty and security of person," because the prohibition of slavery and servitude is a corollary to that fundamental principle.

In regard to Article of the IACJ draft, the Commission considers that the text of this article in this draft should be

preferred. However, in order to improve the wording, the Commission suggests the following changes: a. in paragraphs 1 and 2, substitute "No one should be subjected" for "No ore shall be subjected"; b. in the Spanish text, in the first section of paragraph 3, substitute "para los efectos de este artículo" for "a los efectos..." This change does not affect the English version; c. in paragraph 3.b, change "any nationa; service "required of them by law" to "any national service that the law provides for in lieu of compulsory military service."

Article 4 would read as follows:

Article 4

l. No one should be subjected to slavery or to servitude, which are prohibited in all their forms, as is the slave trade.

2. No one should be required to perform forced or compulsory labor. This provision cannot be interpreted as meaning that in those countries in which certain crimes can be punished by a sentence of imprisonment at forced labor, it prohibits serving such sentence imposed by a competent court.

3. Nor, for the purpose of this article shall the term "forced or compulsory labor" include:

a. Any work or service normally required of a person legally detained.

b. Any military service and, in countries where conscientious objectors are recognized, any national service that the law provides for ir lieu of compulsory military service. c. Any service exacted in cases of danger or calamity threatening the life ot the well-being of the community; and

b. Any work or service that forms part of normal civic obligations.

ARTICLE 5. As stated in the comments on Article 4, the Commission considers that the first sentence of paragraph 1 should constitute an independent article, placed before Article 4.

In regard to the remainder of this article, the Commission considers that the text of the IACJ draft should be maintained, with the following changes:

a. In paragraph 1, change the clause "except for reasons established beforehand by law and in accordance with the procedure prescribed therein" to read "except for reasons established beforehand by the political constitutions of the Contracting States"

b. In paragraphs 2 and 3, substitute "should be" for "shall be".

c. In paragraph 4 insert before the word "court" the words "judge or", and substitute the words "on the existence of a threat of unlawful arrest" for the words "threat thereof." It is suggested that vhe last words "acting on his behalf" be eliminated.

d. Add to the IACJ draft, as paragraph 5, paragraph 5 of Article 7 of the draft presented by the government of Chile, inserting the word "pecuniary" before the word "redress."

Consequently, the Article would read as follows:

Article 5

1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except for reasons established beforehand by the political constitutions of the Contracting States.

2. Anyone who is arrested should be informed of the reasons for his arrest and should be promptly notified of the charge or charges against him.

3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge should be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and should be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to be released. Release may be subject to guarantees to assure appearance for trial.

4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention, or believes himself to be in danger of such deprivation, should be entitled to recourse to a judge or court, in order that such judge or court may decide without delay on the unlawful arrest, and if the detention is not lawful, order his release. This recourse may be had by the detained person or by another person.

5. Anyone who has been unlawfully deprived of his liberty shall have the effective right to obtain pecu niary redress.

In addition, the Commission suggests that the Council of the Organization study the advisability of inserting between paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 5 of the IACJ draft, a new paragraph designed to incorporate into the future Convention a provision containing the list of cases in which the law may permit the deprivation of personal liberty, contemplated in Article 5 of the European Convention, which is transcribed below and which should be adapted to the American real situation:

No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:

(a) the lawful detention of a person after conviction by a competent court;

(b) the lawful arrest or detention of a person for non-compliance with the lawful order of a court or in order to secure the fulfillment of any obligation prescribed by law;

(c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so;

(d) the detention of a minor by lawful order for the purpose of educational supervision or his lawful detention for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority;

(e) the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of the spreading of infectious diseases, of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug addicts or vagrants;

(f) the lawful arrest or detention of a person to prevent his effecting an unauthorized entry into

the country or of a person against whom action is being taken with a view to deportation or extradition.

Finally, the Commission wishes to suggest that, if the Council of the Organization should decide to include the cases of detention mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the following be examined for their

possible inclusion:

a. detention for crime detected in the act; and

b. b. detention ordered by a competent authority against military personnel or public employees, provided the detention does not exceed thirty days.

ARTICLE 6. The Commission considers that paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the IACJ draft should be maintained.

In regard to paragraphs 2 and 3 of the said article, the Commission recommends the adoption of the following substitute text: 2. Due process in penal matters should cover the following minimum guarantees:

a. presumption of the innocence of the accused person, until he is proven

guilty according to law;

b. equality of rights and duties of the parties during the trial;

c. prior notification in detail to the accused, of the accusation against him;

d. adequate time and means for the preparation of his defense;

e. the right of the accused to defend himself personally or to be defended

by legal counsel of his own choosing, and to communicate freely and

privately with his counsel;

f. compulsory participation of legal counsel paid by the State, who shall defend the accused in the event that he does not wish to name or cannot

engage his own counsel;

g. the right of the defense to examine witnesses present in the court and to

obtain the appearance, as witnesses, of other persons who have knowledge

of the facts; and

h. the right of appeal to a higher court of the decisision handed down in the

first instance.

3. A confession of guilt by the accused shall be valid only if it is made without

coercion of any kind. An accused person, acquitted by an unappealable judgment, shall not be

subjected to a new trial for the same cause.

4. Criminal procedure shall be public, except insofar as may be necessary to

protect the interests of justice.

5. If a person arrested in the act or detained by an order of preventive custody is

not judged within a reasonable period, he shall be released without prejudice to continuation

of the process. Release can be made conditional upon a guarantee ensuring the appearance of

the accused person at the trial.

6. A victim of a legal error shall be compensated for the losses suffered as a result

of the sentence and for the time during which he was deprived of freedom, except in the event that

the person convicted contributed to the error.

ARTICLE 7. The Commission is of the opinion that the text of Article 7 of the IACJ draft should be maintained.

ARTICLE 8. The Commission recommends that the text of Article 10 of the

Chilean draft be adopted with the following changes in paragraph 1: "No one should be the object..."; and "abusive" instead of "unlawful", the first time that word is used.

The text of this article would read as follows:

Article 8

1. No one should be the object of arbitrary or abusive interference with his private life, his family, his home, or his correspondence, or of unlawful attacks on his honor or reputation.

2. Everyone has a right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

ARTICLE 9. The Commission is of the opinion that the text of the IACJ draft should be maintained, substituting the word "disseminate" for the word "communicate" in paragraph 1 and eliminating, in paragraph 3, the word "fundamental".

The article would read as follows:

Article 9

1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of conscience and of religion. This right shall include freedom to maintain or to change his religion or belief, and freedom to profess or disseminate his religion or belief either individually or in community with others, in public or in private.

2. No one shall be subject to coercion that might impair his freedom to maintain or to change his religion or belief.

3. Freedom to manifest one's religion and beliefs may be subject only to the limitations prescribed by law that are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals, or the rights and freedoms of others.

ARTICLE 10. In regard to the text of Article 10 of the IACJ draft, the Commission recommends that the Council of the Organization take into consideration the essential concepts of the Draft InterAmerican Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information, and Investigation, prepared by this Commission and submitted to the Second Special Inter-American Conference.

The Commission also considers that in drafting this article, paragraph 4 of Article 11 of the Uruguayan draft should be taken into consideration, with regard to the limitation of public entertainments for the protection of childhood and adolescence.

ARTICLE 11. In regard to Article 11 of the IACJ draft' the Commission recalls that in Article IX of the original Draft Inter-American Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information, and Investigation, approved at its Seventh Session, the right to rectification or reply was contemplated. Subsequently, in its new draft, approved at the Thirteenth Session, the Commission eliminated this article, not for reasons of principle but because it was advisable to bring it about that the largest possible number of states could sign or ratify the Draft Inter-American Convention on Protection of Human Rights.

ARTICLE 12. The Commission is of the opinion that the text of the IACJ draft should be maintained.

ARTICLE 13. The Commission considers that the text of the IACJ should be maintained.

ARTICLE 14. The Commission suggests that paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Chilean draft should be adopted as paragraph 1 of this article. In regard to paragraphs 2 and 3, the Commission believes that the text of the IACJ draft should be maintained. It is also of the opinion that a new paragraph should be added providing that the law should recognize equal rights for children born outside of wedlock and for those born in wedlock.

The article would read as follows:

Article 14

1. The family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and should be protected by society and the State.

2. The right of men and women to marry and to raise a family, if they meet the conditions required by national law, is recognized.

3. No marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the parties to the marriage.

4. The law should recognize equal rights for children born outside of wedlock and for those born in wedlock.

The Commission suggests that a new article be inserted following Article 14, that would establish the right of every person to a given name and to the surnames of his parents or that of one of them. The proposed text is as follows:

Article . . . 1. Every person has the right to a given name and to the surnames of his parents or that of one of them.

2. If the parents or one of the parents is unknown, the law shall regulate the manner in which the corresponding parts of the civil registry shall be inscribed obligatorily with fictitious names and surnames determined by the petitioner, the recording clerk, or the judge, without prejudice to the rights of third parties.

3. If the parents or one of the parents are legally impeded from recognizing the child,

the procedure set forth in paragraph 2 of this article shall be observed.

ARTICLE 15. The Commission believes that Article 18 of the Chilean draft should be adopted as Article 15, substituting in paragraph 1 and in paragraph 5 the words "en el mismo" for the word "en el". This change does not affect the English version.

The text of this Article would read as follows: Article 15

1. Every person who is lawfully residing in the territory of a state shall have the right to

move about and establish his residence in it with complete freedom.

2. Every person shall have the right to leave any country freely, including his own.

3. The exercise of the foregoing rights may only be restricted, by virtue of a law, by the measures that are indispensable in a democratic society to prevent crimes or to protect national security, public safety, public order, public morals, public health, or the rights and freedoms of others.

4. The exercise of the rights recognized in paragraph 1 may also be restricted by law in particular zones in the public interest.

5. No one may be expelled from the territory of his own country nor deprived of the right

to enter it.

ARTICLE 16. The Commission considers that the provisions contained in the IACJ draft should be maintained.

ARTICLE 17. The Commission considers that the provisions of the IACJ draf should be maintained.

ARTICLE 18. The Commission also considers that the provisions of the IACJ draft should be maintained, with the insertion of the words "judges and" before the word "courts".

The Article would read as follows:

Article 18

Everyone has the right to effective, simple, and prompt recourse to the competent national judges and courts, to protect him against acts that violate his fundamental rights recognized by the constitution or by law.

ARTICLE 19. In regard to Article 19 of the IACJ draft and the corresponding texts of the Uruguayan and Chilean drafts, the Commission suggests to the Council of the Organization that it take into consideration the corresponding part of the second report, entitled "Protection of Human Rights in the face of Suspension of Constitutiona1 Guarantees or the State of Siege," prepared by Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins, a member of the Commission.

57. On November 4, 1966, the Commission requested the Secretary General of the

Organization to transmit to the Council of the Organization the text of Part I of the Opinion on the Draft Convention on Human Rights.

X. ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE WORK PROGRAM

a. Situation of Political Refugees in the Americas. Observations on the

Draft Convention prepared by the Latin-American Juridical committee

58. The Commission has been studying the problem of political refugees

in the American since its Seventh Session, held in Santiago, Chile, in October 1963

(Doc. 36-VIII).

On the basis of these studies, the Commission, at its Tenth Session (March 15

to 26, 1965) approved a resolution recommending to the member states of th OAS

that they consider the possibility of issuing travel documents to political refugees

to the American countries or that they study the possibility of recognizing as valid the

travel documents, held by those refugees, that had expired or could not be renewed (Doc. 19-XI).

59. In October 1965, at its Twelfth Session, the Commission prepared a

report on political refugees in the American which presented a compilation of all

background information relating to this problem, including an account of

sion the work of international organizations in this field and an examination of

the problem of the refugees in the Americas within the framework of the Orga-

nization of American States and national legislation, as well as a chapter stating

the opinion of the Commission on the most important aspects and most

urgent needs with respect to the situation of American political refugees in

the Americas (Doc. 7-XI, Rev. 2).

At this session the Commission also approved a Resolution repeating to

the governments of the American States its recommendation concerning the issuance

of travel documents to refugees, requesting that the governments intensify the

practice of granting territorial asylum to victims of political persecution, and

instructing the Executive Secretariat to prepare studies on the problem of

refugees. This resolution was transmitted to the Second Special Inter-American

Conference in the Commission's report to that Conference (Doc. 5-XI, Rev. 2).

60. The Second Special Inter-American Conference, in Resolution XXI, pa-

ragraph 3, decided to "charge the Inter-American Juridical Committee of Rio de

Janeiro with the preparation of a draft convention on refugees, after consulting the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights." At its Thirteenth Session, the Commission carefully considered the best means of accomplishing the task entrusted to it by the Second Special Inter-American Conference in Resolution XXI, as well as the request which in this connection, was received from Dr. Raúl Fernándes, Chairman of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, through Ambassador Ilmar Penna Marinho, Chairman of the Council of the Organization.

61. At its meeting of April 21, 1966, the Commission considered the draft report prepared by the Secretariat, entitled "Supplement to the Report on Political Refugees in America" (Doe. 11-XIV), which indicated the points that might be considered by the Inter-American Juridical Committee in preparing the draft Convention. At the same meeting the Commission approved a Resolution reading as follows in its operative part:

1. To approve the "Supplement to the Report on Political Refugees in the Americas".

2. To transmit to the Inter-American Juridical Committee the "Report on the Political Refugees

in America" (Doc 7-11, Rev. 2) and the supplement to that report (Doc 11-14), approved by the

Commission at its Twelfth and Thirteenth Session, which contain its conclusions and

opinions in this connection, without prejudice to the Commission's making the observations and

comments it may deem pertinent with respect to the draft convention to be prepared in due

course by the Juridical Committee.

3. To transmit the text of the present resolution to the Juridical Committee.

In a note dated April 25, 1966, the foregoing resolution was transmitted to the Inter-American Juridical Committee, together with the above-mentioned documents on the subject of refugees (Documents 7-XI and 11-XIV).

62. In considering this matter at its Thirteenth Session, the Commission took cognizance of the preliminary draft of the Inter-American Convention on Refugees prepared by the Inter-American Juridical Committee, as contained in the documents prepared by that Committee at its special session of April 1966 (OEA/Ser.l/VI.2 CIJ-85).

In a resolution following the text of this preliminary draft convention, the Juridical Committee states that it has taken into consideration the opinion of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, transmitted in the Supplement to the Report on Political Refugees mentioned above. The resolution also r ecommends to the Council of the Organization of American States that it ask the governments to comply with the Commission's request that they transmit to the General Secretariat information on the number of refugees in their territory and the problems in connection with those refugees.

63. The Commission made a preliminary examination of the draft Convention prepared by the Inter-American Juridical Committee and decided to study its text more carefully during its next regular session. This decision is in line with the Resolution of April 21, 1966 (Thirteenth Session), which says that, while the supplement to the Report on Political Refugees is a clear expression of the Commission's points of view, the Commission reserves the right to make further observations and comments with respect to the draft convention, after it is prepared and published.

64. The Secretariat informed the Commission that, through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a copy of the draft Protocol to the Geneva Convention (1951) had been received, so that the Commission could express its opinion thereon.

The Commission agreed to study this matter during its next regular session.

b. General application of the Institution of the State of Siege. Second

Report presented by Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins

65. The subject of the state of siege and its relation to human rights was included in the general work program of the Commission during its Fifth Session (September 24 to October 26, 1962).

At its Seventh Session, the Commission after considering the document entitled "Preliminary Study of the State of Siege and the Protection of Human Rights in the American States" (Doc 6-VII), prepared by the Secretariat requested Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins to prepare a report on this subject, with appropriate conclusions.

66. In fulfillment of this assignmert, Dr. Martins, at the Eighth Session, presented a draft report entitled "The Protection of Human Rights during periods of Suspension of Guarantees or State of Siege" (Doc. 14-XI). The document was considered at the meeting of April 14, 1964.

The draft report examines the structure and application of the State or Siege so as to determine to what extent and in what manner this practice is a violation of human rights. It also analyzes the possibility of establishing principles common to all countries, so that they can be included in the domestic legislation of each country. Finally, the document considers the possible establishment of international organizations to inspect the practices followed during state of siege and determine their legality. The study also contains a comparative chart on the suspension of constitutional guarantees in the America..

67. The members presented their comments and observations on the draft report during the Ninth Session of the Commission. At the request of the rapporteur, the Secretariat also presented its observatiors (Doc. 7-X).

The Commission requested the rapporteur for this subject to make the necessary adjustements in the draft report, taking these comments and observations into account, and, in the light of all this material, to prepare draft recommendations to the goverrments.

68. In compliance with these requests, the rapporteur presented a second report entitled "The Protection of Human Rights during periods of Suspension of Constitutional Guarantees or State of Siege" (Doc. 12-XV), during the Fourteenth Session.

The purpose of this document, as pointed out by the Rapporteur in the introduction, is "to codify and determine the principles that may be observed throughout the hemisphere on the possibility that the measures of application of the state of siege can be supervised by international organizations".

69. In examining this second report, the Commission took special note of the content of Chapter III (international measures for the protection of human rights in the event of a state of siege or suspension of constitutional guarantees) in relation to the draft Convention on Human Rights.

70. The Commission felt that it would be advisable for the Council of the Organization, in bringing up to date the text of Article 19 of the Draft Convention prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists (the article relating

to the suspension of obligations under the Convention in the event of exceptional situations arising in the Contracting States) to take into consideration the afore-mentioned report of Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins.

This suggestion was incorporated into Part I of the Commission's Opinion, which deals with Article 19 of the Draft Convention by the Inter-American Council of Jurists.

The Commission agreed to continue studying Dr. Martins' document at the next regular session, to be held in April 1967.

c. Study on the Right to Life, prepared by Mrs. Angela Acuña de Chacón

71. As part of its general work program' the Commission took cognizance of the study "The Right to Life" (Doc. 13-XV), prepared by Mrs. Angela Acuña de Chacón.

At the meeting of October 20, Mrs. Acuña said that the study contains a brief historical account of man's struggle to do away with capital punishment; an analysis of the provisions of the penal laws of the Latin American countries with reference to this punishment, and an examination of the prison system of the American countries, with comments on how it could be improved in accordance with the trends of a modern penal establishment.

72. The Commission agreed to consider Mrs. Acuña's study at the regular session scheduled for April 1967.

d. Draft Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information and Investigation

73. The Draft Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information and Investigation (Doc. 15-VIII), approved by the Commission at its Seventh Session and transmitted to the governments during the Eighth Session for comment, was revised during the Tenth Session in the light of the observations and comments made by the governments of the United States, Chile and Venezuela.

The revised text (Doc. 17-XI) was submitted to the Second Special Inter-American Conference, which requested the Commission, in view of the limited number of countries that had presented their views on the document, to extend the period for submission of observations by the governments, "so that [the Commission] may study it again in the light of all the observations and prepare a definitive text to be submitted to a specialized conference, in accordance with the Charter of the Organization" (Resolution XX).

74. At its Fourteenth Session, the Commission decided to "extend the period until February 28, 1957, so that the Governments of the Member States of the Organization may present their observations on the draft Convention" in compliance with Resolution XX mentioned above.

The extension of this period was communicated to the Governments by the Commission in a note dated November 4, 1966.

75. In considering Article 10 and 11 of the Draft Convention on Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists, (which refer to freedom of thought and expression and to the right of reply or rectification), the Commission recommended that the Council of the Organization, in bringing these articles up to date, take into consideration the essential concepts of the draft Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information and Investigation, prepared by the Commission.

This suggestion was included in the Opinion of the Commission to be sent to the Council.

e. International Human Rights Year

76. The Second Special Inter-American Conference decided in Resolution XXIII, to procalim its adherence to the celebration of the International Human Rights Year in 1968, pursuant to the United Nations decision so designating that year.

To this end, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was requested in the same resolution to prepare a program for helping to make this celebration as effective and successful as possible.

77. In compliance with these instructions, the Commission, by resolution of April 25, 1966, adopted at its Thirteenth Session, instructed the Executive Secretariat to prepare a program of activities including the following:

a. The organization of a symposium on "International Protection of Human Rights

in the Inter-American System", to be held in April 1968;

b. Annual publication, beginning in 1968, of a "Yearbook of Human Rights", to contain (1) reports and resolutions of the Commission; (2) papers presented by members of the Commission and approved by it for publication; (3) resolutions of other organs of the inter- American system relating to human rights; (4) annual reports of member states of the Organization on the observance of human rights; (5) the annual report of the Commission to the Inter-American Conference or to the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, including a statement of the progress achieved in the attainment of the objectives set forth in the American Declaration; (6) constitutional, legislative, and regulatory measures adopted during the year by member states; (7) reviews of books and articles published during the year; (8) bibliographical and legal comments; (9) news of the activities of the Commission; and

c. The publication of a volume of the work accomplished during the first seven years of functioning of the Commission on Human Rights, to be entitled "Inter-American Protection of Human Rights, 1960-1967," which shall contain: (1) Basic Documents; (2) Human Rights in the American States; (3) Selected papers prepared by the Secretariat; (4) Selected papers prepared by Members of the Commission; (5) Reports approved by the Commission; and (6) a summary of the work accomplished by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights during the period 1960-1967.

78. The Commission requested the Secretariat to submit to it, at its next session, a proposed program of activities, accompanied by an estimate of related expenses.

79. At the meeting of October 20, the Secretariat reported that, while the preparation of the proposed program of activities was well advanced, the budget for those activities had not been completed, and the Secretariat therefore suggested that the matter be considered at the special session scheduled for early next year.

The Commission accepted the suggestion of the Secretariat and accordingly agreed to postpone consideration of the proposed program and budget until the special session in January 1967.

XI. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN

STATES AND THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE MEMBER STATES

80. Following the practice of previous sessions, the Commission agreed to send a note to the Chairman of the Council of the Organization of American States, informing him of the actions taken during its Fourteenth Session. The note was sent on November 4, 1966.

81. On the same date, the Commission addressed a note to the governments of the member states requesting them to submit the information required in order to prepare the report referred to in paragraph 4 of Resolution XXII of the Second Special Inter-American Conference, on progress toward the objectives set forth in the American Declaration.

XII. OTHER MATTERS

a. Amendment of Article 6.c of the Statute of the Commission

82. At its ninth session, the Commission considered the advisability of amending Article 6.c of its Statute, which refers to the election or re-election of the Commission's Chairman, with a view to allowing only one re-election of any Chairman.

83. The Commission accordingly recommended to the Council of the Organization that it consider the possibility of amending Article 6.c. This recommendation was transmitted to the Council by the Chairman of the Commission in a note dated November 4, 1966.

XIII. DATE AND PLACE OF THE FIFTEENTH SESSION

84. At its meeting of October 21, the Commission considered the matter of the date and place of its Fifteenth Session.

85. As a prior matter, the Commission reaffirmed the decision to convoke its Fifteenth Session as a special session and to hold it at the permanent headquarters of the Commission in the Pan American Union, Washington, D.C. from January 9 to 21, 1967.

The purpose of holding this special session is to continue and complete the study of the draft Convention on Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists and those presented by the governments of Chile and Uruguay.

86. The Commission then decided to hold its next regular session in April 1967, at a place to be designated during the special session in January 1967.

APPENDIX

DOCUMENTS OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

(OEA/Ser. L/V)

Document Number Title

OEA/Ser.L/V/II.15 DOCUMENTS OF THE FOURTHTEEN SESSION

Doc. 1 Documentos de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, registrados por la Secretaría hasta el 25 de noviembre de 1966

Doc. 2 Examen comparado de los Proyectos de Convención sobre Derechos Humanos del Consejo Interamericano de Jurisconsultos (Aprobado durante su Cuarta Reunión, Santiago de Chile, 1959) y de los presentados por Uruguay y por Chile a la Segunda Conferencia Interamericana Extraordinaria (Rio de Janeiro, 1965) (Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales)

Doc. 3, Rev.2 Examen comparado de los Proyectos de Convención sobre Derechos Humanos del Consejo Interamericano de Jurisconsultos (Aprobado durante su Cuarta Reunión, Santiago de Chile, 1959) y de los presentados por Uruguay y por Chile a la Segunda Conferencia Interamericana Extraordinaria (Rio de Janeiro, 1965) (Medidas de Aplicación y Cláusulas Especiales)

Doc. 4 Mision en la República Dominicana (15 de mayo a 7 de junio de 1966) (Informe presentado a la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos por su presidente y Representante Prof. Manuel Bianchi)

Doc. 5 Solicitudes de Información Transmitidas al Gobierno de Guatemala

Doc. 6, Rev. Informe de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos sobre su actuación en la República Dominicana (1º de septiembre de 1965 al 6 de julio de 1966)

Document Number Title

Doc. 7, Rev. Resumen de las comunicaciones recibidas por la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos correspondiente al Décimocuarto Período de Sesiones

Doc. 8 Informe sometido por la Subcomisión a la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

Doc. 9 Acta resumida de la Sesión Inaugural celebrada el 3 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 10 Acta resumida de la Primera Sesión celebrada el 4 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 11 Informe del Secretario Ejecutivo sobre las actividades de la Secretaría entre el Décimotercer y Décimocuarto Períodos de Sesiones

Doc. 12 La protección de los Derechos Humanos frente a la suspensión de las garantías constitucionales o "Estado de Sitio" (Estudio de Derecho Comparado a la Luz de la Teoría del Gobierno Democrático Representativo) (Posibilidad de Contralor Internacional) (Segundo Informe preparado por el Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins, Miembro de la Comisión)

Doc. 13 E1 Derecho a la Vida (Preparado por la Lcda. Angela Acuña de Chacón, Miembro de la Comisión)

Doc. 14 Acta resumida de la Segunda Sesión celebrada el 5 de octubre de l966

Doc. 15 Acta resumida de la Tercera Sesión celebrada el 6 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 16 Acta resumida de la Cuarta Sesión celebrada el 7 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 17 Acta resumida de la Quinta Sesión celebrada el 10 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 18 Acta resumida de la Sexta Sesión celebrada el 11 de octubre de 1966

Doc 19 Acta resumida de la Séptima Sesión celebrada el 12 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 20 Acta resumida de la Octava Sesión celebrada el 13 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 21 Acta resumida de la Novena Sesion

celebrada el 14 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 22 Acta resumida de la Décima Sesión

celebrada el 17 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 23 Acta resumida de la Undécima Sesión

celebrada el 18 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 24 Acta resumida de la Duodécima Sesión

celebrada el 19 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 25 Acta resumida de la Décimatercera

Sesión celebrada el 20 de octubre de

1966

Doc. 26 Dictamen preparado por la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos respecto del Proyecto de Convención sobre Derechos Humanos aprobado por el Consejo Interamericano de Jurisconsultos, en su Cuarta Reunión (Santiago de Chile, 1959) (Primera Parte)

Doc. 27 Acta resumida de la Décimacuarta Sesión celebrada el 21 de octubre de 1966

Doc. 28 La Protección Internacional de los Derechos Esenciales delHombre (Informe preparado por el Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins, Miembro de la Comisión)

Doc. 29 Informe sobre la labor desarrollada durante el Décimocuarto Período de Sesiones - 3 al 21 de octubre de 1966

CDH/569