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

OEA/Ser.L/V/11.17
Doc. 24 (English)
5 September 1967
Original: Spanish

 

INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
REPORT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED
DURING ITS SIXTEENTH SESSION
April 24 through
PAN AMERICAN UNION
General Secretariat, Organization of American States
Washington, D.C.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ORGANIZATION OF THE SIXTEENTH SESSION

A. Opening date and length of session

B. Members of the Commission and Participants

C. Meetings and Documents

II.AGENDA

III.INVITATION TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

IV.REPORT OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION REPORT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED BY THE COMMISSION AT ITS FIFTEENTH SESSION

VI.REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE SECRETARIAT BETWEEN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH SESSION

VII.CONSIDERATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS WITH REGARD TO THE HANDLING OF COMMUNICATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE COMMISSION.

AMENDMENTS TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSION

VIII.THE SITUATION REGARDING HUMAN RIGHTS IN AMERICAN COUNTRIES

A. Consideration of communications received. Report of the Chairman of the Commission

B. Examination of the situation regarding human rights in American countries

(1) Cuba

(2) Haiti

(3) Nicaragua

IX.ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE GENERAL WORK PROGRAM

A. Draft Inter-American Convention on Human Rights

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

C. Status of political refugees in the Americas

D. General Application of the Institution of the State of Siege.

Second Report prepared by Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins

E. Study on the Right to Life

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS YEAR

XI. OTHER MATTERS

A. Consideration of pertinent provisions of the Statute and of the Regulation connection with the preparation and publication of studies and reports undertaken by the Commission

B. Revision of the General Work Program

C. Call on the minister of Justice, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile

XII.DATE AND PLACE OF THE SEVENTEENTH SESSION

XIII.COMMUNICATIONS TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES AND TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE ORGANIZATION 

APPENDIX DOCUMENTS OF THE NINTH SESSION

 


INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

REPORT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED DURING ITS SIXTEENTH SESSION APRIL 24 THROUGH MAY 3, 1967

I. ORGANIZATION OF THE SIXTEENTH SESSION Opening date and length of session

1. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held its Sixteenth Session in Vi�a del Mar, Chile, from April 24 through May 3, 1967, responding to the offer of the Government of Chile to be host to the agency in Vi�a del Mar.

2. Consequently, exercising the power granted to it by Article ll.c of its Statute, the Commission went to Vi�a del Mar, Chile, and held its meetings in that city in the Hotel O' Higgins.

3. The first meeting took place in the Presidential Room of the hotel at 10:30 A.M. on April 24, 1967.

Attending as guests of honor were Dr. Pedro J. Rodr�guez, Minister of Justice of Chile and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs; the President of the Court of Appeals of Valparaiso; the Ambassadors of the Dominican Republic and of Nicaragua to the Government of Chile; the Administrator of the Province of Valparaiso; the Rector of the Santa Mar�a Technical University; the Commandant of the Naval District of Valparaiso; the Military Commander of Valparaiso; Mr. Juan Andueza, Mayor of Vi�a del Mar; members of the consular corps accredited in Valparaiso; and local civilian and military authorities.

4. The first speaker at this meeting was the Chairman of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Professor Manuel Bianchi, who thanked the Minister of Justice for being there on behalf of the Government of Chile. He also thanked the Mayor of Vi�a del Mar, Mr. Juan Andueza, for the hospitality and facilities afforded the Commission for its session (Doc. 7-17). Thereupon, Professor Bianchi spoke of how, at the Third Special Inter-American Conference, the Chilean delegation had supported inclusion of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights among the principal organs in the Protocol of Amendments to the Charter of the Organization of American States. He mentioned the work the Commission would undertake at its Sixteenth Session and the report presented at the Third Special Inter-American Conference, held in Buenos Aires. The latter dealt with the manner in which the Commission had carried out the instructions received from the Second Special Inter-American Conference with regard to the problem of political refugees in the Americas, the updating of the Draft Convention on Human Rights drawn up by the Inter-American Council of Jurists, together with those presented by the governments of Chile and Uruguay on the subject, and preparation of a program of activities for participation by the Organization of American States in 1968 in observance of the International Year for Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations.

The Chairman of the Commission also referred in his address to his comments to the Third Special Inter-American Conference regarding the Commission's activities in the Dominican Republic. He stated that in the peace mission there, the Commission "put forth all of its faith, its every endeavor, and its deep respect for the authority granted to it under its Statute." Elsewhere in his address, Professor Bianchi stressed the need to respect human rights as a basic factor in closer relations among nations and the struggle to achieve domestic freedom and economic and social development, as well as "to reach the democratic goals that are eagerly sought. In this regard, he brought to mind that, on August 16, 1966, the Presidents of Colombia, Venezuela and Chile and the representatives of the chiefs of state of Ecuador and Peru met in Bogota and signed a solemn declaration affirming the conviction that "the security of the institutions of representative democracy through the active participation of the people and their increasing participation in the benefits of progress, respect for human rights, and economic and social development, are essential and inseparable conditions for guaranteeing the freedom and well-being of the American nations."

He added that, at the Conference of the Presidents of America, held at Punta del Este, emphasis had been placed "in the majority of the speeches on the direct relationship prevailing between the internal and external peace of a group of nations, with similar attitudes vis-a-vis the human problem."

In his address, Professor Bianchi mentioned the juridical nature of human rights, pointing out that "human rights are not granted by the states through their laws. They precede the formation of the state, since they are rights that are born along with humanity itself." He quoted the pertinent part of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and stated that "the status of basic human rights with respect to all states is well defined in this all -important declaration," adding that "the defense of these rights, if it is to be effective, must go beyond frontiers and become a task we understand and one of mutual renouncement of extreme nationalism."

In conclusion, the Chairman of the Commission, on its behalf, again sincerely thanked Minister Pedro J. Rodr�guez, the local authorities, the diplomatic and consular representatives of the American countries, the foreign and national newspapermen, and in particular, the Mayor of Vi�a del Mar, who was so kindly facilitating the work of the Commission.

5. Thereupon the Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs made a statement (Doc. 9-17), which he began by explaining why the Government of Chile was pleased with the convocation of the Sixteenth Session of the Commission in Vi�a del Mar, particularly because it meant a "step forward.in the arduous but inspiring task of strengthening human rights in our hemisphere." He mentioned, furthermore, that there was another reason for the Chilean government's pleasure at having the Commission meet within Chile's borders: the full concurrence of the Commission's purposes with those constituting the main inspiration of the Chilean Government. In this regard, he stressed that "all the reforms we are trying to make in our political, economic and social structure would lack real meaning if the beneficiaries of those reforms were not human beings."

The Chilean Minister of Justice likewise, referred to the juridical quality of human rights and emphasized that "since, as we believe, human rights precede the state and are universal by nature, we are convinced that the task of watching over these rights cannot be entrusted exclusively to the states." He made an extensive statement on the problem of human rights in America and the steps taken within the framework of the inter-American system toward establishing a system for the international protection of human rights, from the Eighth International Conference of American States (Lima, 1938) and the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace (Mexico, 1945) until Resolution IX of the Fifth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, by virtue of which the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was created. In this regard, he stated that "in spite of the limitations imposed on it by its Statute and lack of an agreement on the subject, the Commission thus far has carried out an effective and productive task, as was evident from its performance during the Dominican crisis of 1965, at the conclusion of which its Chairman, with real pride, could say that it had truly carried out its mission." He added that "this continuing and efficient work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights moved the Chilean delegation to the Special Committee that met in Panama (1966) to prepare the preliminary draft amendments to the Charter of the OAS, to propose its inclusion in that Charter. Subsequently, at the Third Special Inter-American Conference, held a few weeks ago in Buenos Aires, it moved the Chilean delegation to request its incorporation as one of the principal organs of the Organization of American States. These initiatives are definitively being well received thanks to the extensive backing they have had from the beginning."

In conclusion, the Minister stated that the Commission could count on the full support of the Chilean Government in the discharge of its increased responsibilities.

6. Following the Minister of Justice, the Mayor of Vi�a del Mar, Mr. Juan Andueza made a statement. He welcomed the Commission and expressed the city's satisfaction with the presence of this agency upon the occasion of its Sixteenth Session (Doc. 8-17). He likewise said that, also as a Chilean, he should emphasize "the great honor it is to Chile to have the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, created by the Fifth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (1959), with headquarters in Washington, meet here, for the the second time, after having done so in 1963."

Mr. Andueza also expressed as follows his best wishes for the success of the meeting: "On this auspicious occasion, gentlemen, you begin your deliberations, the results of which will be important to Chilean democracy, whose values are presently undergoing a process of renewal and readjustment. As mayor, I express my most sincere and cordial wishes for the success of these deliberations and for a pleasant stay by all of you at this Chilean ocean resort. I am sure that in expressing these wishes I express those of the municipal council over which I preside and the desire of all of the residents of Vi�a del Mar."

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 from slates of three candidates presented for this purpose by the governments of the member states. Therefore, they represent all the member states of the OAS and act on its behalf. The members of the Commission are listed below in alphabetical order:

Name

Nationality

   

Mrs. Angela Acu�a Chac�n

Costa Rica

Prof. Manuel Bianchi

Chile

Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches

Brazil

Dr. Gonzalo Escudero

Ecuador

Dr. Gabino Fraga

Mexico

Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins

Uruguay

Dr. Durward V. Sandifer

United States

All members attended the Sixteenth Session.

C.Meetings and Documents

8. The Commission held twelve meetings during its Sixteenth Session.

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

10. 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 and a summary of the contents of these communications and the initial handling accorded them. This document, arranged in chronological order and by countries referred to in the communications, is reserved for the exclusive use of the members of the Commission (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 2, April 11, 1967).

11. The Secretariat also prepared the following documents:

  1. Draft Report on the Work Accomplished by the Commission during its Fifteenth Session (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.16, Doc. 20, April 4, 1967).
  2. Draft Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 4, April 7, 1967).
  3. Requests for Information Transmitted to the Government of Haiti on the Case of the Haitian Citizens Returned to their Country from the Dominican Republic and the Case of the Beauvoir-Florez Family (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.16, Doc. 2, Rev., February 16, 1967).
  4. Requests for Information Transmitted to the Government of Nicaragua and Replies Received from that Government (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 3, Res., March 27,1967).
  5. International Human Rights Year - Draft Program of Activities (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.16, Doc. 7, Rev. 1, April 13, 1967).
  6. Opinion on the Draft Convention on Human Rights Approved by the Inter-American Council of Jurists (Second Part). This document was prepared in cooperation with the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Manuel Bianchi. and the rapporteur appointed by the Commission for this topic, Dr. Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches, based on the agreements arrived at by the Commission on the subject during its Fifteenth Session, a special session, held from 9 to 20 January 1967 (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.16, Doc. 8, Rev., March 27, 1967).
  7. Report of the Executive Secretary on the Activities of the Secretariat between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Sessions (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 12, April 24,1967).
  8. Draft Agenda for the Sixteenth Session and background of each topic included therein (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 6 Rev., April 24, 1967).

12. The Secretariat also published the following documents: "International Protection of the Essential Rights of Man," by Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins, Member of the Commission (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.15, Doc. 28, December 28, 1966); Report of the Chairman of the Commission on Communications Received during the Sixteenth Session (OEA/Ser.L/V/II. 17, Doc. 23, May 3, 1967); Address Delivered by the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Manuel Bianchi, at the First Meeting, held on April 24,1967 (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 7, April 24, 1967); Address Delivered by the Mayor of Vi�a del Mar, Mr. Juan Andueza, at the First Meeting of the Sixteenth Session, held on April 24, 1967, in the Presidential Room of the Hotel O'Higgins, Vi�a del Mar, Chile (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 8, April 24, 1967); Address Delivered by the Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Pedro J. Rodr�guez, at the First Meeting, held on April 24, 1967 (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 9 of April 24, 1967); Amendments to the Regulations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 20 Rev., May 11, 1967); and Resolution Regarding the Draft Inter-American Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information and Investigation - Topic 7of the Agenda - (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 25, April 29, 1967).

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

14. Technical and administrative services were rendered by the Secretariat, composed of Dr. Luis Reque, Executive Secretary, and Dr. Alvaro G�mez, an official of that Secretariat.

II. AGENDA

15. At its second meeting, held on April 24, the Commission approved the following agenda for its Sixteenth Session (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 6 Rev., April 24, 1967):

AGENDA FOR THE SIXTEENTH SESSION

1. Report of the Chairman of the Commission.

2. Report prepared by the Secretariat on the Commission's work during the Fifteenth Session.

3.Report of the Executive Secretary on the Secretariat's activities between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Sessions.

4. Consideration of the pertinent provisions of the Statute and Regulations with regard to the handling of communications.

5. Situation regarding human rights in the American countries:

    1. Review of communications received.
    2. Cuba.
    3. Haiti.
    4. Nicaragua.

6. Draft Inter-American Convention on Human Rights.

7. Draft Inter-American Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information and Investigation.

8. General Work Program:

    1. Status of political refugees in the Americas. Observations on the Preliminary Draft convention prepared by the Inter-American Juridical Committee. Protocol to the Convention on the Statutes Regarding Refugees (Geneva, 1951).
    2. General application of the institution of the State of Siege. Second Report prepared by Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins.
    3. Study on the Right to Life, prepared by Mrs. Angela Acu�a de Chac�n.

9. International Human Rights Year

10. Consideration of the pertinent provisions of the Statute and Regulations covering preparation and publication of studies and reports prepared by the Commission.

11. Date and place of the Seventeenth Session.

12. Other matters.

III. INVITATION TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

16. At the second meeting, the Chairman of the Commission reported that, as in previous sessions, he had, on behalf of the Commission, invited the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Dr. Jos� A. Mora, to attend the deliberations of the Sixteenth Session. He also reported that the Secretary General had excused himself from attending the session, since previous commitments made it necessary for him to remain at the headquarters of the General Secretariat.

Consequently, the Commission agreed to send the Secretary General the following message:

Vi�a del Mar, Chile
April 24, 1967
DR. JOSE A. MORA
SECRETARY GENERAL OAS
PAN AMERICAN UNION
WASHINGTON, D.C.

INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION HUMAN RIGHTS UPON INITIATING SIXTEENTH SESSION SENDS CORDIAL GREETINGS REGRETTING YOUR INABILITY TO ATTEND OPENING MEETING HELD TODAY. RESPECTFULLY

Manuel Bianchi
Chairman

17. In reply, Dr. Jos� A. Mora sent the Chairman of the Commission the following cable:

Washington, D.C.
April 26, 1967
AMBASSADOR MANUEL BIANCHI
SANTIAGO, CHILE

I APPRECIATE YOUR KIND MESSAGE AND SEND BEST WISHES FOR THE COMPLETE SUCCESS OF WORK BEGUN AT VI�A DEL MAR. CORDIALLY

Jos� A. Mora
Secretary General

 

IV. REPORT OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION

18. At the third meeting, held on April 25, the Chairman of the Commission, in compliance with Article 4 of the Regulations, reported on his activities in the performance of his duties between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Sessions (January-April 1967). His report dealt mainly with the Third Special Inter American Conference held in Buenos Aires (from 14 to 28 February 1967) and the steps taken at that meeting of the highest organ of the Organization concerning inclusion of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights among the main organs of the Organization, and the trend of discussion on this matter by Committee B of the above-mentioned conference. It also dealt with the unanimous approval of Article 150 of the Protocol of Amendments to the Charter of the Organization of American States with regard to the present Inter-American Commission on Human Righ.

19. Upon taking note of the Chairman's report, the commission congratulated him on the success of the important work done for the good of the Commission and human rights within the inter-American system.

V. REPORT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED BY THE COMMISSION AT ITS FIFTEENTH SESSION

20. At its fifth meeting, held on April 26, the Commission considered the Draft Report Prepared by the Secretariat on the Work Accomplished during its Fifteenth Session (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.16, Doc. 20, April 4, 1967).

At the same session, the Commission approved the above-mentioned draft and directed the Secretariat to publish it as an official Commission document.

The report in reference contains an account of the activities carried out and agreements made by the Commission from 9 to 20 January 1967, corresponding to the above-mentioned session, which was special in nature, to wit: examination of the status of human rights in Haiti and Nicaragua; the deliberation with regard to the Draft Convention on Human Rights prepared by the InterAmerican Council of Jurists and those presented by the governments of Chile and Uruguay to the Second Special Inter-American Conference, and approval of the second part of the Opinion submitted to the Council of the Organization on this subject; and the matter of the draft program of activities for observance of International Human Rights Year by the Organization of American States.

The report is supplemented by two appendices: the text of the second part of the Opinion on the Draft Convention on Human Rights Approved by the Inter-American Council of Jurists (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.16, Doc. 8 Rev., March 27, 1967); and the text of the amendments offered by the Rapporteur for the topic, Dr. Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches, with regard to the Draft which was the subject of the Opinion.

VI. REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE SECRETARIAT BETWEEN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH SESSIONS

21. At its second meeting, the Commission took cognizance of the report submitted by the Executive Secretary on the activities of the Secretariat between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Sessions in carrying out the decisions made by the Commission at its Fifteenth Session (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 12, April 24, 1967). This document includes the following specific matters: the final form of the Opinion on the Draft Convention on Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists, based on the observations of the members of the Commission and in cooperation with the Chairman, Professor Manuel Bianchi, and the Rapporteur for the topic, Dr. Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches, which was submitted to the Chairman of the Council of the OAS, through the Secretary General of the Organization; and under note of the Chairman of the Commission dated April 10, 1967; the initial handling of communications or complaints received between the adjournment of the Fourteenth Session (October 21, 1966) and the opening of the Sixteenth Session; the Executive Secretary's trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to attend, together with the Chairman of the Commission, the Third Special Inter-American Conference held in February; the Executive Secretary's trip to Geneva, Switzerland, to represent the General Secretariat of the OAS at the Twenty-third Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights; preparation of the Draft Report on the Work Accomplished by the Commission at its Fifteenth Session; preparation of the Draft Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba and the documents on the status of human rights in Haiti and Nicaragua; matters related to the study of the problem of political refugees in the Americas, having considered the Draft Report.

Regarding a Preliminary Draft Convention on Refugees prepared by the Inter-American Juridical Committee of Rio and submitted to the Council of the OAS by resolution of that Committee dated April 30 of that year; preparation of a revised document on the "International Human Rights Year - Draft Program of Activities" (Doc. 7-16), based on the observations of the members of the Commission on this matter during its Fifteenth Session; and other matters dealing with several tasks carried out by the Secretariat.

22. The Commission expressed satisfaction with the manner in which the Secretariat had accomplished its work.

VII.CONSIDERATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS WITH REGARD TO THE HANDLING OF COMMUNICATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE COMMISSION.

AMENDMENTS TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSION

23. The Second Special Inter-American Conference, by Resolution XXII, broadened the attributes and faculties of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, authorizing it to examine the communications submitted to it and asking it to devote "particular attention" to observance of the human rights referred to in articles I, II, III, IV, XVIII, XXV and XXVI of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, approved in Bogota in 1948 by the member states of the Organization of American States. Paragraph 8 of this resolution also stipulates that the Commission's Statute "shall be amended in accordance with the provisions of this resolution."[1]*

24. At its Thirteenth Session, held in Mexico City from 18 to 28 April 1966 (Doc. 35-14), the Commission included in its Statute the amendments contained in the above-mentioned Resolution XXII in compliance with the ruling of the Second Special Inter-American Conference (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.14, Doc. 33). Likewise, and as a consequence of including in its Statute the faculties contained in the said Resolution XXII, the Commission amended its Regulations accordingly (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.14, Doc. 34). It should be pointed out that the amendments to the Commission's Regulations dealt particularly with the provisions for handling and examining communications or claims made in individual cases with regard to alleged violations of human rights in American countries.

25. At the session covered by this report, the Commission studied, in the light of the faculties granted by Articles 9 and 9 (bis) of its Statute, the advisability of amending the Commission's Regulations as necessary for the efficient accomplishment of its functions.

26. At its fifth meeting, on April 25, the Commission agreed to designate a subcommittee composed of Drs. Gabino Fraga, Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches,and Gonzalo Escudero to study and prepare the necessary amendments to the Regulations, taking into account the Commission's authority granted in Article 9 and 9 (bis) of its Statute, the amendments to the same Regulations approved at the Thirteenth Session, and the observations and comments made by the Commission during the meeting in question.

27. At the seventh and eighth meetings, held on April 28, the Commission made a careful, article-by-article, examination of the amendments presented by the subcommittee, and approved the proposed amendments, with some changes and additions.

At the eleventh meeting, on May 2, the Commission also approved the inclusion in the Regulations of a proposal by Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins.

28. The complete text of the provisions approved, which became part of the Commission's Regulations, is as follows:

AMENDMENTS TO THE REGULATIONS

Communications or Claims Submitted to the Commission

Article 37. (Article 37 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 38.

1. Communications submitted to the Commission must contain:

    1. The names, addresses and signature of the accusers or complainants
    2. Mention of the accusation or accusations and the name or names of the victims of the alleged violation or violations of human rights.

2. Communications submitted by associations must be signed by their representatives.

3. If the communications do not meet the above requirements, the Secretariat may ask the accusers or complainants to complete the requirements.

Article 39. (Article 39 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 40. Communications denouncing the violation of human rights must be submitted to the Commission within a period, deemed reasonable by the Commission, after the date of the alleged violation of those rights.

Article 41.

1. The Secretariat shall acknowledge receipt of communications submitted to the Commission, indicating that they will be considered in accordance with these Regulations.

2. If the Secretariat has any doubt as to the admissibility of any communication, this doubt shall be resolved by the Commission or by the Subcommittee if they are in session, or by the Chairman if they are in recess.

3. If the communication is submitted without having met the requirements of Articles 53 and 54 of these Regulations, as the case may be, the accuser or complainant shall immediately be asked to supply the Commission with the information pertinent to those articles.

The Secretariat must include in this request the text of the pertinent provision.

Article 42

1. In accordance with these Regulations, the Secretariat shall submit the pertinent parts of communications that have been accepted to the governments of the states mentioned, when the Commission has so agreed during its sessions or when its chairman has done so during their recesses. At the same time, the governments shall be asked to supply the corresponding information and to cooperate as necessary in obtaining such information.

2. The mere fact of requesting information from the government concerned does not mean prejudging the admissibility of the accusation.

Article 43. (Article 42 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 44 (Article 43 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 45. Prior to each session, the Secretariat shall distribute to the members of the Commission a list of communications received, with a brief account of their contents and the handling they have been accorded. The Chairman shall add to this list his opinion with respect to each case presented.

Article 46. (Article 45 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 47 (Article 46 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 48. (Article 47 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 49. After the case is processed, it shall be submitted to the full Commission for consideration and decision. The Commission may appoint from among its members a rapporteur to prepare the corresponding draft report on any of the cases made known to it.

Article 50 .The Commission shall examine the evidence submitted by the government named or by the accuser, or evidence gathered from witnesses or obtained from official documents and files or publications, or by means of on-the-spot observation.

Article 51.

1. The events regarding which information has been requested shall be assumed to have occurred if, after 180 days from the date on which the corresponding information is requested from the government in reference, this government has not supplied such information, as long as other evidence does not show a lack of grounds for the accusations.

2. The Commission may extend the 180-day period in cases in which it finds such an extension to be justified.

Article 52. Upon proof of the violation of human rights, in application of Articles 37 through 51 of these Regulations, the Commission may make recommendations if it so deems advisable, as provided for by Article 9, paragraph b) of its Statute, to the member states in general, to each or every one them that, in accordance with their constitutional precepts, take the appropriate measures to further the faithful observation off those rights, without prejudice to preparing and publishing the reports the Commission deems appropriate, in accordance with Article 9, paragraph c) of its Statute.

Article 53. (Article 48 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 54. (Article 49 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 55. (Article 50 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 56. (Article 51 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 57. (Article 53 of the existing Regulations, unchanged)

Article 58. When for some reason there is fault or no possible proof in cases submitted to the Commission which should follow the procedure established in Articles 53 through 57 of these Regulations, the procedure established in Articles 37 through 51 shall be applied.

VIII. THE SITUATION REGARDING HUMAN RIGHTS IN AMERICAN COUNTRIES

A. Consideration of communications received. Report of the Chairman of the Commission

29. At its ninth, tenth and eleventh meetings, held on April 29 and May 1 and 2, respectively, the Commission considered, based on the document entitled "Summary of Communications Received by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights corresponding to the Sixteenth Session" (Doc. 2-17, Res.), the communications that had been received.

At its ninth meeting, the Commission made a preliminary examination of eight of the communications contained in the above-mentioned document and reached tentative decisions with respect to them. It then referred Doc. 2-17 to the Chairman with the request that he report on the appropriateness of the initial handling given the communications and on the final processing that would be appropriate, according to the Regulations.

30. At its tenth meeting, the Commission studied the handling proposed by Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins with regard to communication No. 1 of Doc. 2-17, and approved a resolution to transmit the pertinent parts of that communication to the government concerned, in accordance with Article 42 of the Regulations.

31. At its eleventh meeting, the Commission considered the report by its Chairman, Professor Manuel Bianchi, on the initial handling afforded the communications in Doc. 2-17 and then final processing, in accordance with the Regulations.

Pursuant to the aforementioned report entitled "Examination of Communications Received" (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 23, May 3, 1967), the Commission observed that some of the communications contained in Doc.2-17 had already been processed in keeping with the Regulations, that requests for information had been transmitted to the governments of Argentina, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, and that, with the exception of the Government of Cuba, they had responded to the requests.

At the same meeting, the Commission approved the report in reference and instructed its Secretariat to process the remaining communications in Doc. 2-17 as indicated in that report (Doc. 2-17, Res. Rev.)

B. Examination of the situation regarding human rights in American countries

32. During this session, the Commission examined the status of human rights in Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua.

(1) Cuba

33. In the course of its Sixteenth Session, the Commission continued to examine the human rights situation in Cuba.

34. Since the initiation of its work in 1960, the Commission has been concerning itself with this case.

During its Fourth and Sixth Sessions, held from 2 to 27 April 1962 and from April 16 to May 18, 1963, respectively, it published reports on the status of human rights in Cuba and on the situation of political prisoners and their relatives in that American country, based, on the numerous accusations and testimony brought forth by persons and entities with regard to specific violations of human rights (Docs. 30-4 and 4-7, respectively). Likewise, the Commission twice (September 28, 1962 and October 14, 1965) asked the Cuban Government for permission to visit its territory and to make an on-the-spot examination of the status of human rights (Docs. 40-5 and 26-13).

35. After publication of those reports, numerous communications continued to be received with extensive and detailed accusations of firing-squad executions, abuse and torture of political prisoners and their condemnation to serious penalties after trials without due process, extraction of blood from persons condemned to death, and other violations of basic human rights allegedly committed by the authorities of the Cuban Government.

36. In view of the foregoing, the Commission, during its Fourteenth Session (October 3 to 21, 1966) asked the Secretariat to prepare a new draft report on the status of human rights in Cuba and to submit it for consideration by the Commission during its Sixteenth Session. In compliance with that decision, the Secretariat prepared a draft report (Doc. 4-17), which was presented to the Commission during the session covered by this report.

37. The Commission considered the draft in reference during its third, fourth and sixth meetings, held on April 25 and 27. During the third and fourth meetings, the purpose and composition of the document were extensively studied, several observations were made on the document, and the Secretariat was directed to prepare a revised draft after the Commission had unanimously approved the report on the status of human rights in Cuba and had agreed to submit it to the governments of the member states of the Organization of American States, through the Council of the Organization, for their information (Doc. 4-17, Rev., April 27, 1967)

The report approved by the Commission is divided into three parts: a first chapter, which briefly states its activities with respect to the Cuban case; a second chapter, which relates some of the accusations received, preceded by a list of the events mentioned in the accusations given in that chapter and the conclusions drawn from the background and documentation.

(2) Haiti

38. During the Fourteenth Session, the Commission examined the status of human rights in the Republic of Haiti on the basis of several communica tions regarding serious violations of human rights in that country. These alleged that several Haitian citizens who were returned to their country from the Dominican Republic in April and May, 1966, had been executed or imprisoned arbitrarily by the Haitian border authorities. At that time, the Commission took cognizance of the fact that the Haitian Government had rejected the requests for information that had been transmitted to it with regard to these incidents, terming them improper.

During this session, the Commission agreed to resubmit to the Haitian Government the requests for information on the Haitians who were returned from the Dominican Republic, putting expressly on record its authority by virtue of its Statute, to address itself to the Haitian Government to request information with regard to the events made known to it (Doc. 29-15). This new request for information, dated November 3, 1966 was also rejected by the Government of Haiti in a note dated December 16, 1966.

39. During the Fifteenth Session (January 9 to 20, 1967) the Commission again examined the status of human rights in the Republic of Haiti, on the basis of the document entitled "Requests for Information Transmitted to the Government of Haiti Regarding the Case of the Haitian Citizens who were Returned to their Country from the Dominican Republic," prepared by the Secretariat to assist the Commission in studying the problem (Doc. 2-16, Res.). In addition, during its Fifteenth Session, the Commission examined the case of the Haitian family Beauvoir-Florez and agreed to make both cases known to the American governments, directing the Secretariat to prepare a revised document.

40. During its Sixteenth Session, the Commission examined the status of human rights in Haiti and during its tenth meeting, on May 1, it considered the revised document presented by the Secretariat. This document, entitled "Requests for Information Transmitted to the Government of Haiti regarding the Case of the Haitian Citizens ~Tho were Returned to their Country from the Dominican Republic and the Case of the Beauvoir-Florez Family" (Doc. 2-16, Rev.), includes the pertinent parts of the accusations received by the Commission; an account of the steps taken by the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Manuel Bianchi, to determine what the situation of the Haitians who were returned from the Dominican Republic was; and the texts of the notes and communications between the Commission and the Haitian Government with reference to each case. At the same meeting, the Commission agreed to publish the document in reference and to make it known to the American governments through the Council of the Organization.

( 3 ) Nicaragua

41. Between the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Sessions (October 1966 and January 1967), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights received several communications from persons and associations denouncing violations of basic human rights in the Republic of Nicaragua. Other accusations referred to violations of voting rights in the period preceding the elections to be held in that country in February 1967. The Commission also received several communications from Nicaraguan citizens that claimed the accusations were unfounded.

42. At its Fifteenth Session, the Commission examined the status of human rights in Nicaragua on the basis of the document entitled "Information on the Situation of Human Rights in Nicaragua" (Doc. 4-16, Res.) This document, which is reserved for the exclusive use of Commission members, was prepared by the Secretariat to facilitate the examination in reference, and it gives an account of the accusations received and classified according to the right or rights allegedly violated; the texts of the notes addressed by the Chairman of the Commission to the Nicaraguan Government requesting information on the incidents denounced; the Nicaraguan Government's answer to those requests; and appendices to the document itself.

43. From its consideration and study of the above-mentioned document, and particularly the note from the Nicaraguan Government, dated December 13, 1966, the Commission observed that the government had given the appropriate national authorities a copy of the complaints transmitted, offering to submit to the Commission the corresponding reports at the proper time, once the respective investigations had been terminated or court decisions had been handed down.

44. Consequently, the Commission decided during its Fifteenth Session to pursue the study of the human rights situation in Nicaragua until that country's government had transmitted to it the information requested (Doc. 20-16).

45. During its Sixteenth Session, the Commission continued examining the situation of human rights in Nicaragua on the basis of the document entitled "Requests for Information Transmitted to the Government of Nicaragua and Answers from that Government," prepared by the Secretariat, classified as reserved, in order to facilitate examination of the case (Doc. 3-17, Res.).

From studying the document in reference, the Commission observed the following:

    1. New accusations of human rights violations in Nicaragua had been received;
    2. In the appropriate cases, the pertinent parts of the accusations had been transmitted to the government concerned, requesting the corresponding information;
    3. The Nicaraguan Government had answered in good time the Commission's aforementioned requests for information, but the information offered by the government in the above-mentioned note, dated December 13, 1966, was still pending; and
    4. In a cable dated January 23, 1967, the Chairman of the Commission had informed the Nicaraguan Government of his readiness to go to that country, together with the Executive Secretary, with every desire to cooperate in clarifying the information on the human rights situation.

46. In view of the foregoing, at its tenth meeting, held on May 1, the Commission agreed to the following: to continue examining, in accordance with its Regulations, the situation of human rights in Nicaragua in so far as the accusations are concerned regarding which that country's government has offered to transmit in good time information on the progress of trials or investigations conducted by the national authorities having jurisdiction of the incidents denounced.

IX. ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE GENERAL WORK PROGRAM

A. Draft Inter-American Convention on Human Rights

47. During its Fifteenth Session, the Commission completed its study of the draft Convention on Human Rights of the Inter-American Council of Jurists and its study of the draft conventions of the governments cf Chile and Uruguay presented to the Second Special Inter-American Conference. It thereby completed the task assigned it by Resolution XXIV of that conference and the Resolution of the Council of the Organization dated May 18, 1966. It also directed the Chairman and the Executive Secretary, in cooperation with the Rapporteur for the topic, Dr Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches, to prepare a revised Draft Opinion (Second Part), to submit it to the members of the Commission so that they might make their final observations and finally, to transmit it to the Council of the Organization through the Secretary General (Doc. 20-16). It should be remembered that the Commission transmitted the first part of the Opinion on the Draft Convention on Human Rights to the Council of the Organization in November 1966 (Doc. 29-15).

48. During the fourth meeting of its Sixteenth Session, on April 25, the Commission took cognizance of the fact that its decisions on this important matter had been complied with and that the Secretariat had transmitted to the Council of the Organization, through the Secretary General and with a note from the Chairman of the Commission dated April 10, 1967, the document entitled "Opinion on the Draft Convention on Human Rights Approved by the Inter-American Council of Jurists - Part II" (Doc. 8-16, Rev.). At that same meeting, the Commission also agreed to include in the Report on the Work Accomplished during its Fifteenth Session, from January 9 to 20, 1967 (Doc. 20-16), the Explanation of the Vote of the Rapporteur for the topic, Dr. Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches, with regard to the Inter-American Council of Jurists' Opinion on the Draft Convention on Human Rights.

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

49. With regard to this topic, the Commission, in compliance with Resolution XX of the Second Special Inter-American Conference, approved during its Thirteenth Session (April 18 to 28, 1966) a resolution extending until September 30 the deadline for the governments of the member states of the Organization to send their observations on the draft, so that the Commission might prepare a definitive text to be submitted to a specialized conference, in accordance with the Charter of the OAS (Doc. 35-14). This deadline was again extended, until February 28, 1967 during the Fourteenth Session (Doc. 29-15).

On November 4, in compliance with these agreements, the Chairman of the Commission sent a note to the governments of the member states through their representatives on the Council of the Organization.

It should be pointed out that notes were not sent to the governments of Brazil and Ecuador, since the former, in a note dated September 28, 1964, reported that it had no observations to make on the Draft, and since the latter, in a note dated September 30, 1964, reported that it approved of each and every part of the Draft and had no observations on the subject. Since the governments of Chile and the United States had submitted observations on the Draft (Doc. 4-11, dated March 10, 1965), the Chairman of the Commission, in notes dated November 2, asked these governments whether they had further observations.

50. In the course of the fifth and ninth meetings, held on April 26 and 27, and based on the above background, the Commission considered the Draft Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information and Investigation (Doc. 17-11 of March 29, 1965).

51. At its fifth meeting, the Commission observed that, up to initiation of the working session, no answers had been received from the governments in response to the notes sent on November 2, 1966. Consequently, it considered the advisability of again extending the deadline for the government's observations while on the other hand giving the governments that already had expressed themselves or submitted observations on the draft, the opportunity to formulate them or expand on them, as the case might be.

At that meeting, the Commission agreed, after an extensive exchange of opinions, to transmit to the Council of the OAS the Draft Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information and Investigation, asking that it be considered at the Specialized Conference to be convoked to study the Draft Convention on Human Rights. For purposes of this agreement, the Commission directed the Secretariat to prepare a draft resolution.

52. At its ninth session, the Commission approved the following resolution (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17, Doc. 25, April 29, 1967):

RESOLUTION REGARDING THE DRAFT INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, INFORMATION, AND INVESTIGATION (TOPIC 7 OF THE AGENDA)

THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

WHEREAS:

At its First Session, held in October 1960, this Commission decided to study, within its general work program, the topic "freedom of investigation, opinion, and of the expression and dissemination of ideas," and designated Dr. Gonzalo Escudero, a member of the Commission as rapporteur therefor;

The rapporteur for the topic, in the second report he submitted to this Commission for consideration, at the Fourth Session, held in April 1962 suggested that it would be advisable for it to study the possibility of preparing a draft inter-American convention on freedom of expression, information, and investigation, and this Commission, after approving his recommendation, entrusted to him the preparation of the said draft;

During its Fifth Session, held in October 1962, this Commission began discussion of the draft presented by the rapporteur, with respect to which some of its members made observations, and during its Seventh Session, held in Santiago, Chile, in October 1963, it approved the second draft presented by the rapporteur, with certain changes;

This Commission, on October 30, 1963, transmitted the aforementioned draft convention to the Council of the Organization, with the request that it send it to the Eleventh Inter-American Conference for consideration under Topic III of the agenda, "Protection of Human Rights"; This Commission, during its Eighth Session, held in April 1964, resolved to transmit the aforementioned draft convention to the member states of the Organization, requesting their observations and comments thereon;

The governments of Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, the United States, and Venezuela replied to the request of the Commission, and the governments of Brazil and Ecuador stated that they had no observations to make on the draft, while the governments of Chile, the United States, and Venezuela made various observations and comments;

This Commission, during its Tenth Session, proceeded to revise the aforementioned draft convention in the light of the observations and comments made by the government of Chile, the United States, and Venezuela;

That revised text was submitted to the Second Special Inter-American Conference, held in Rio de Janeiro in November 1965, which in its Resolution XX, requested the Commission, in view of the small number of countries that had expressed their views on that document, to extend the period in which the governments might transmit their observations, "so that it 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";

During its Fourteenth Session, held in October 1966, this Commission decided to extend the period until February 28, 1967, which fact was made known to the governments of the member states of the Organization on November 4, 1966; and

To date, this Commission has not received any further observations on the aforementioned draft,

RESOLVES:

1. To transmit the Draft Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information, and Investigation to the Council of the Organization, with the request that, in accordance with the provisions of Resolution XX of the Second Special Inter-American Conference, it be submitted to an Inter-American specialized conference.

2. To suggest to the Council of the Organization that the inter-American specialized conference referred to in the preceding paragraph could be the same conference that will consider and decide upon the approval and signing of an inter-American convention on human rights, bearing in mind the close relationship that exists between the two subjects.

C. Status of political refugees in the Americas

53. The Commission has been studying this subject since its Seventh Session (October 1963, Doc. 35-8).

54.During its Tenth and Twelfth Sessions, from March 15 to 26 and from October 4 to 15, 1965, respectively, the Commission approved two resolutions. One recommended that the member states of the OAS consider the possibility of granting travel documents to political refugees from American countries who are in their territories legally, and that they examine the possibility of honoring expired and nonrenewable travel documents of those refugees (Tenth Session); the other renewed the recommendation cited in favor of issuing travel documents to refugees, and it also urged the governments of the member states to emphasize the practice of granting territorial asylum in their respective countries (Twelfth Session). During this session, the Commission also approved a report on political refugees in the Americas, which contained a full background on the subject and the Commission's thinking with regard to the most important aspects and the most pressing needs related to the status of political refugees (Doc. 7-11, Rev. 2).

These decisions of the Commission were made known to the Second Special Inter-American Conference (November 1965) by means of the Commission's report to that Conference (Doc.5-11, Rev. 2).

55. In its Resolution XXI (Asylum to Cuban Political Refugees), the Conference adopted the agreements of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and directed the Inter-American Juridical Committee to prepare, after having heard the Commission, a Draft Convention on Refugees.

56. During its Thirteenth Session, the Commission considered the status of political refugees, keeping in mind the provisions of Resolution XXI of the Second Special Inter-American Conference and the request by the Inter-American Juridical Committee that the Commission, in accordance with paragraph 3 of the above-mentioned resolution, inform the Committee of its opinions regarding a draft convention on refugees. In view of the above, the Commission, in a resolution dated April 21, approved a "Supplement to the Report on Political Refugees in the Americas" and submitted it together with the report itself to the Juridical Committee, without prejudice to formulating the pertinent observations and comments on the Draft Convention the Committee of Rio de Janeiro would prepare.

57. During its Sixteenth Session, the Commission took cognizance of the fact that the Inter-American Juridical Committee, at its special session held in April, 1966, had prepared a Preliminary Draft Convention following a Draft Report and a Resolution on Refugees (OEA/Ser.I/VI.2, CIJ-85) which states that only at its final meeting had the Committee taken cognizance of the "Supplement to the Report on Political Refugees in the Americas, " prepared by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

With regard to this topic, the Commission also took cognizance of the fact that the United Nations General Assembly had approved a Protocol to the Convention on the 1951 Geneva Statute on Refugees, broadening the coverage of that Convention.[2]

58. In view of the foregoing, the Commission agreed upon the following at its tenth meeting held on May 1: (a) to continue concerning itself with the problem of political refugees in the Americas, and (b) to reiterate its resolution of April 21, 1966, to formulate at the proper time the observations and comments it deemed advisable with regard to the draft convention the Inter-American Juridical Committee might prepare.

D. General Application of the Institution of the State of Siege. Second

Report prepared by Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins

59. In view of the important relationship between the problem of the "state of siege " and the exercise of human rights in the American countries, the Commission included this subject in its General Work Program during its Fifth Session, from September 24 to October 26, 1962.

60. To facilitate study of the problem, the Secretariat prepared the document entitled "Preliminary Study of the State of Siege and the Protection of Human Rights in the Americas," which was presented to the Commission during its Seventh Session (Doc. 6-8). During that Session, the Commission appointed Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins rapporteur of the topic and assigned to him the preparation of a report, with appropriate conclusions.

61. During the Eighth Session, the rapporteur presented a draft report entitled "The Protection of Human Rights during periods of Suspension of Guarantees or State of Siege" (Doc. 14-9). This document examines the structure and application of the institution of the state of siege, it analyzes the possibility of establishing common principles on the subject in all American countries, and it considers the advisability of establishing international agencies for juridical control over practices observed with regard to individual rights during the state of siege.

62. During the Ninth Session, the members of the Commission formulated their observations on the draft report in reference, and the Secretariat prepared its observations so as to cooperate with the rapporteur (Doc. 7-10)

63. On the basis of the above-mentioned observations and comments, the rapporteur prepared a second report entitled "The Protection of Human Rights during periods of Suspension of Constitutional Guarantees or State of Siege" (Doc. 12-15). This second report was given preliminary consideration during the Fourteenth Session (October 3 to 21, 1966), and it was agreed to proceed with its study at the regular session scheduled for April 1967.

64. In keeping with this decision, the Commission proceeded to study the second report of the rapporteur at the tenth meeting of the Sixteenth Session, held on May 1. At this meeting, after an extensive examination of the topic, the Commission approved the following resolution:

THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

WHEREAS:

The Inter-American Commission on.Human Rights has taken cognizance of the report entitled "The Protection of Human Rights during periods of Suspension of Constitutional Guarantees or State of Siege," prepared by Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins, member of the Commission;

The aforementioned report is a valuable contribution to clarifying and solving this problem;

The Commission, in the Opinion submitted to the Council of the Organization with regard to the Draft Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, suggested that, upon considering Article 19 of the Draft Convention prepared on this subject by the Inter-American Council of Jurists, it take that report into consideration.

RESOLVES:

1. To congratulate Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins on the preparation of the important report entitled "The Protection of Human Rights during periods of Suspension of Constitutional Guarantees or State of Siege."

2. To ask the Secretariat to publish the above-mentioned report and to give it the widest distribution.

E. Study on the Right to Life

65. During its Fourteenth Session, the Commission took cognizance of the study prepared by Mrs. Angela Acu�a de Chac�n entitled "The Right to Life" (Doc. 13-15) and agreed to consider it during its Sixteenth Session (Doc. 29-15).

66. During its Sixteenth Session, the Commission studied Mrs. Acu�a de Chac�n's paper and, at its tenth meeting, approved the following resolution.

THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

WHEREAS

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has taken cognizance of the report entitled "The Right to Life," prepared by Mrs. Angela Acu�a de Chac�n;

The above-mentioned report is a most valuable contribution for the examination and consideration of the topic in reference;

RESOLVES:

1. To congratulate Mrs. Angela Acu�a de Chac�n on the preparation of the important report entitled "The Right to Life."

2. To ask the Secretariat to publish the above-mentioned report and to give it the broadest distribution.

67. The study of the "Right to Life" is an extensive and documented examination of the laws of the American countries with regard to the death penalty and the provisions for carrying out that penalty in those countries. It also contains an historical account of legal developments toward eliminating that penalty and sociological considerations that justify its abolishment. Mrs. Acu�a de Chac�n's paper also includes a critical analysis of the present prison system in the Americas, with comments on how it could be improved in accordance with modern trends in that area.

X. INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS YEAR

68. Resolution XXIII of the Second Special Inter-American Conference (Rio de Janeiro, November 1965) provided that the Organization of American States should proclaim its adherence to the celebration of International Human Rights Year in 1968, as designated by the United Nations. In paragraph 2 of the operative part of this same resolution, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was requested to prepare the corresponding program.

69. In compliance with this request, the Commission, at its Thirteenth Session, adopted a resolution (April 25, 1966), entrusting its Secretariat with preparation of a draft program of activities.

70. The Secretariat prepared the aforementioned draft (Doc. 7-16), which was presented to the Commission at its Fifteenth Session (Doc. 20-16). Accompanying this document were copies of resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on January 3, 1967, with reference to International Human Rights Year (Doe. A/RES/2217[XXI7]). At this session, the Commission approved, in principle, the draft program for the celebration of International Human Rights Year, although it would reconsider the matter at its Sixteenth Session, since some changes to the draft were suggested.

71. At the fifth meeting of its Sixteenth Session, held on April 26, the Commission once again considered the draft program for International Human Rights Year on the basis of the revised document prepared by the Secretariat, which included an approximate budget of expenditures involved in this draft program (Doc. 7-16 Rev. 1 of April 13, 1967).

72. After a full study of the matter, the Commission at this meeting approved, with some changes, the document entitled "International Human Rights Year " and agreed to transmit it to the Secretary General of the Organization for the purpose deemed pertinent. The document concerned quotes Resolution XXIII of the Second Special Inter-American Conference and reports on the agreements taken by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in compliance with that resolution. Included in the document is the draft program of activities, which could be as follows: the holding of a specialized inter-American conference on Human rights to consider and decide upon approval of the Draft Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, the holding of a formal meeting of the Council of the OAS to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man; the holding of courses on human rights; the preparation of a volume entitled "The OAS and Human Rights -Activities of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 1960-1967;" the publication, beginning in 1968, of a yearbook on human rights; and other activities that would be conducted in cooperation with the offices of the General Secretariat in the member states, such as conferences, round tables on human rights, and lectures.

XI. OTHER MATTERS

Consideration of pertinent provisions of the Statute and of the Regulations in connection with the preparation and publication of studies and reports undertaken by the Commission

73. At its Fifteenth Session, the Commission made a preliminary study of pertinent provisions of the Statute and of the Regulations in connection with the preparation and publication of the studies and reports required in the performance of its mission to promote respect for human rights in the American countries.

74. At the Sixteenth Session, the Commission made a full study of this matter, taking into account, on the one hand, the powers set forth in articles 9 and 9 (bis) of its Statute, whereby the Commission is authorized to study the communications addressed to it, that is, to take congnizance of individual cases of alleged violations of fundamental human rights in the American countries; on the other hand, the Commission took into account background matters

and the activities that it had accomplished with regard to the publication of reports on the situation of human rights in some of the American countries.

75. Since the topic in question was closely linked to changes in the Regulations of the Commission, discussed at several meetings of this session, the Commission considered it at the same meeting during which it considered and approved the amendments to its Regulations, that is, during its third, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth meetings, held on April 25, 26, 27, and 28.

76. As a result of these considerations, the Commission adopted several amendments to its Regulations, which appear in another part of this report. In accordance with these amendments, the Commission will continue preparing and publishing the studies and reports that it considers advisable in carrying out the functions established in articles 9 and 9 (bis) of its Statute (Doc. 33-14 of April 19, 1966).

B. Revision of the General Work Program

77. During its twelfth meeting, held on May 3, the Commission considered the advisability of reviewing the status of its general work program, prepared during its First, Fifth, and Ninth Sessions, held respectively from October 3 to 28, 1960; from September 24 to October 26, 1962; and from October 5 tc 16, 1964 (Docs. 3-1, 40-5, 21-10, in order), in order to determine what topics had been completely studied and what other topics or matters should be included for future study by the Commission. The purpose of this general work program is tooutline the field of activities in which the Ccmmission can work over a long period, in accordance with the powers that help it to promote respect for human rights in the member states of the Organization.

At the same meeting, the Commission agreed to deal with this matter at Seventeenth Session and asked the Secretariat to prepare a document on the present status of the work program and on the topics that it would be advisable to include in that program.

C. Call on the Minister of Justice, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile

78. At the twelfth meeting, the Commission agreed to call on the Minister of Justice, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs cf Chile, to thank the government of that country, through him, for inviting the Commission to hold its Sixteenth Session in Chile and for the facilities and courtesies extended to it. The call was made on May 5 in Santiago. The Commission put on record its appreciation to the authorities of the city of Vi�a del Mar for the facilities granted during the session.

XII. DATE AND PLACE OF THE SEVENTEENTH SESSION

79. At the twelfth meeting, the Commission considered the matter of the date and place of the next session.

80. The Commission agreed to hold its Seventeenth Session in October 1967, at its Pan-American Union headquarters in Washington, D.C.

XIII. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES AND TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE ORGANIZATION

81. As at previous sessions, the Chairman of the Commission, in compliance with the corresponding agreement, addressed a note to the Chairman of the Council of the Organization of American States on June 16, 1967 informing him of the work done and the agreement taken by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights during its Sixteenth Session.

82. Similarly, and in compliance with the agreement taken by the Commission at the fifth meeting held on April 26, the Chairman of the Commission addressed a note to the Secretary General on June 16, 1967, transmitting to him the document entitled "International Human Rights Year - Draft Program of Activites" (Doc. 7-16, Rev. 2), so that the Secretary General might take the necessary measures referred to in paragraph 3 of the operative part of Resolution XXIII of the Second Special Inter-American Conference.

(s) Manuel Bianchi, Chairman
(s) Gabir., Fraga, Vice Chairman
(s) Angela Acu�a de Chac�n
(s) Carlos A.Dunshee de Abranches
(s) Gonzalo Escudero
(s) Daniel Hugo Martins
(s) Durward V. Sandifer

 

APPENDIX

DOCUMENTS OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

(OEA/Ser.L/V)

Document Number

Title

OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17

DOCUMENTS OF THE SIXTEENTH SESSION

Doc. 1

Documentos de la Comisi�n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, registrados por la Secretar�a haste el 30 de junio de 1967

Doc. 2 Rev.

Resumen de las Comunicaciones Recibidas por la Comisi�n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos Correspondientes al D�cimosexto Per�odo de Sesiones

Doc. 3

Requests for Information Transmitted to the Government of Nicaragua and Replies Received from that Government

Doc. 4 Rev.

Report Regarding the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba (Approved by the Commission at the sixth meeting, held on April 27, 1967)

Doc. 5

Acta resumida de la primera sesi�n celebrada el 24 de abril de 1967

Doc. 6 Rev.

Programa del D�cimosexto Per�odo de Sesiones

Doc. 7

Discurso pronunciado por el Presidente de la Comisi�n, Embajador Manuel Bianchi en la primera sesi�n celebrada el 24 de abril de 1967

Doc. 8

Discurso pronunciado por el Alcalde de Vi�a del Mar, Sr. Juan Andueza, en la primera sesi�n del D�cimosexto Per�odo de Sesiones, celebrado el 24 de abril de 1967, en el Sal�n Presidente del Hotel O'Higgins, Vi�a del Mar, Chile

Doc. 9

Discurso pronunciado por el Se�or Ministro de Justicia y Canciller Subrogante, Dr. Pedro J. Rodr�guez, en la primera sesi�n celebrada el 24 de abril de 1967

Doc. 10

Acta resumida de la segunda sesi�n celebrada el 24 de abril de 1967

Doc. 11

Acta resumida de la tercera sesi�n celebrada el 25 de abril de 1967

Doc. 12

Informe del Secretario Ejecutivo sobre las Actividades de la Secretar�a entre el D�cimo quinto (Extraordinario) y D�cimosexto Per�do de Sesiones

Doc. 13

Acta resumida de la cuarta sesi�n celebrada el 25 de abril de 1967

Doc. 14

Acta resumida de la quinta sesi�n celebrada el 26 de abril de 1967

Doc. 15

Acta resumida de la sexta sesi�n celebrada el 27 de abril de 1967

Doc. 16

Acta resumida de la s�ptima sesi�n celebrada el 28 de abril de 1967

Doc. 17

Acta resumida de la octava sesi�n celebrada el 28 de abril de 1967

Doc. 18

Acta resumida de la novena sesi�n celebrada el 29 de abril de 1967

Doc. 19

Acta resumida de la d�cima sesi�n celebrada el 1 de mayo de 1967

Doc. 20 Rev.

Enmiendas al Reglamento (Aprobadas por la Comisi�n en su octave y und�cima sesiones celebradas el 28 de abril y el 2 de mayo de 1967)

Doc. 21

Acta resumida de la und�cima sesi�n celebrada el 2 de mayo de 1967

Doc. 22

Acta resumida de la duod�cima sesiSn celebrada el 3 de mayo de 1967

Doc. 23

Examen de las Comunicaciones Recibidas (Informe presentado por el Presidente de la Comisi�n)

Doc.24

Report on the Work Accomplished during its Sixteenth Session

Doc. 25

Resolution Regarding the Draft Inter-American Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information and Investigation (Topic 7 of the Agenda)

Doc. 26

Regulations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

[1] Final Act of the Second Special Inter-American Conference, November 1965 (OEA/Ser. E/XIII.1).

[2] Official Documents of the United Nations, Supplement No. 11A (A/6311/Rev.1/Add.1).