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OAS-Candidates for Inter-American Commission applauded

Human Rights Watch/Americas today congratulated the governments comprising the Organization of American States for electing three qualified and outstanding individuals from the region to form part of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is the principal body of the inter-American system charged with human rights protection. Three of the seven members of the commission were elected by OAS members during its annual General Assembly meeting in Lima, Peru, yesterday. According to the American Convention on Human Rights, members of the Commission "shall be persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights."

"We are confident that the highly effective inter-American system of human rights protection will emerge strengthened from this difficult process," said Human Rights Watch/Americas Executive Director José Miguel Vivanco, referring to the at times tumultuous campaign in which his organization opposed Villagrán Kramer. "The prestige of the system is strengthened when human rights, rather than political considerations, is reasserted as the principal criteria for the election of commissioners," Vivanco added.

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