The Human Rights Coalition and Its Members

The Coalition and its members strive to bring more coordination to a global movement led by communities and supported by civil society organizations. To do this, we work to ensure that development finance institutions respect human rights.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is the principal organ of the OAS responsible for promoting and protecting human rights in the Americas. It has the power to conduct investigations and visit States to observe their human rights situation.

Human Rights Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is America’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. It envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people plus those who use different language to describe their identity are ensured basic equal rights and can be open and honest at home, work and in community.

HRC focuses on political lobbying and electoral politics, and also operates a foundation which carries out community and education activities. It also runs a major gifts programme which identifies, recruits and stewards donors who give more than $5,000 annually.

If your group is keen to become involved in human rights activism, it’s worth looking up local organisations which are working on this issue. Find out how they organise their campaigns, and consider whether your group could help with the running of an event or activity. Remember that policy change – at national, international or local level – often comes about as the result of a series of pressures from various groups.

World Human Rights Organization

The World Human Rights Organization works around the world to make sure that freedom is both preserved and promoted. Its activities include lobbying, campaigning and activism. These can include street actions and demonstrations or public policy dialogues. They also support activists by providing them with the tools they need to work for change. They also provide training and help people to stand up for their own human rights. They use their expertise to document mass atrocities, prevent torture and defend persecuted medical staff.

Its goal is to ensure that every person has these fundamental freedoms, without distinction of any kind on the grounds of race, color, sex, language, religion or political or other opinion. It also strives to promote the rule of law, and a focus on respect for human rights in international conflict. Its activities include the work on the Universal Periodic Review and the Advisory Committee. The Council replaced the Commission on Human Rights in 2006. Its 47 members are elected by the General Assembly for three-year mandates.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, or CIDH in the three other official languages of the Organization of American States) is an autonomous institution of the OAS which forms part of the inter-American system for the protection of human rights. Its mandate is to receive, analyze and investigate complaints (petition) submitted by individuals or nongovernmental organizations recognized in a Member State or by the Commission itself concerning violations of the obligations imposed on the State parties under the American Convention on Human Rights.

The IACHR also monitors the general human rights situation in its Member States through on-site visits and prepares and publishes country-specific reports. The Commission may refer cases to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and litigate them before that body. Since 2010, Peru has been the most frequently referred country by the IACHR, with 16 cases ranging from freedom of expression to forced disappearances. The IACHR is composed of seven members, who are elected for four-year terms and may be reelected once.

Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council, established in 2006 by the General Assembly to replace the Commission on Human Rights, is the leading inter-governmental body of the United Nations dedicated to promoting universal respect for the protection and promotion of all human rights. The Council adopts resolutions based on the work of its committees; holds regular sessions with country or thematic agendas; and addresses urgent human rights situations through Special Sessions.

Its members are 47 elected States representatives from five regional groups, and they serve three-year terms. The Council’s Resolutions and de-cisions are not legally binding, but they contain strong political commitments.

NGOs have the opportunity to deliver oral statements at the Council, on a limited number of items. To maximize the impact of your advocacy efforts, Ms. Grigoreva suggests you should prepare your presentations well in advance, and be clear about your objectives. Detailed guidelines on the preparation of written and oral statements are available in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ website.

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