OAS

The Organization of American States (OAS) and two of its most important bodies – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the Commission) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court) – are the key regional mechanisms dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Americas. These bodies provide essential fora where non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can engage governments in discussions about human rights, advocate for the protection and promotion of human rights, and seek redress for individual or collective human rights violations.

What We Do

The Institute provides technical assistance to Afro-Latino, indigenous, LGBTI and other human rights organizations on how to implement an advocacy agenda at the OAS.  The Institute maintains a consistent presence at the meetings of the political bodies of the OAS and has worked with this regional institution alongside Afro-Latino organizations to push for an approval and ratification of new regional instruments. It is currently building the capacity of Afro-Latino and indigenous organizations to work with their governments and their governmental delegates at the OAS to advocate for the signing and ratification of an Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance, approved by the General Assembly of the OAS in Antigua, Guatemala in 2013.

The Institute also works to build its partners’ capacities to share critical information on specific human rights issues with the various political bodies of the OAS such as the Permanent Council, the Summit of the Americas Process and the General Assembly in order to promote those bodies’ involvement in the struggle to combat racial discrimination.

The Institute has played a key role in thematic hearings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, presenting alongside our partners’ expert testimony on issues such as racial discrimination in the region, the human rights situation of Afro-Colombians and the human rights situation of Afro-Brazilian youth, the situation of the LGBTI people in Colombia and Brazil, and the situation of Afro-descendant women in Latin America.

Latest News

Race and Equality hosts discussion on the fight against systemic racism in the Americas
Race and Equality hosts discussion on the fight against systemic racism in the Americas
July 10, 2020
Washington D.C., July 9, 2020.- The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) held the webinar “International Response to Racial Injustice and Police Bru
“In Santiago, I spent 100 days in an isolation cell”: The story of Lisandra Rivera, victim of State repression in Cuba
“In Santiago, I spent 100 days in an isolation cell”: The story of Lisandra Rivera, victim of State repression in Cuba
July 10, 2020
Lisandra Rivera first learned about Cuba’s opposition groups when she was 25 years old, living in her hometown of Santiago de Cuba. One Sunday in August 2013, she was at the beach with her f
High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet: “the health crisis caused by COVID-19 has led to greater restrictions on civic and democratic space” in Nicaragua
High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet: “the health crisis caused by COVID-19 has led to greater restrictions on civic and democratic space” in Nicaragua
July 2, 2020
Geneva, July 2nd, 2020. The health crisis caused by COVID-19 has led to greater restrictions on civic and democratic space in Nicaragua, according to an oral update given by United Nations H...