Agreement for Co-Operation between the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The validity of human rights is the very basis of institutional, social and political life in Latin American countries. To this end and in order to dispose of sufficient theoretical and practical tools to disseminate and enhance these rights in the framework of these three sources for the international protection of the human being as well as in the broader context of the existing collaboration between the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as the "Inter-American Institute") and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (hereinafter referred to as the "UNHCR"), and in order to continue and complete previous agreements, the Signatory Parties have established the present Agreement for Co-operation.

1.         The Agreement shall cover the geographical regions of competence of both Parties with priority for Latin American and Caribbean countries.

2.         The areas of work shall be:

(a)        education, training (courses, workshops and seminars of the various aspects of prevention, legal protection, humanitarian assistance and sustainable development, inter alia);

(b)        promotion, dissemination, information (public awareness campaigns, publications);

(c)        research (analysis and systemisation of experience in migratory movements, gender-related issues and others);

(d)        technical assistance (formulation and review of migratory policies and its legislative harmonisation, signing and ratification of agreements, specialised missions).

3.         Methodological aspects: in order to avoid the duplication of efforts, both Parties shall share pedagogical kits, methodological experience, audio-visual and written material considered necessary in the field of work mentioned above so as to multiply their effects and obtain a national impact.

4.         The subjects covered shall involve forced and massive migrations: refugees, repatriates, internally displaced persons, returnees and economic migrants.

5.         Target population:

a)         governmental and judicial civil servants, migration officials, frontier agents and police and other relevant professionals;

b)         the armed forces;

c)         the police forces;

d)         civil society organisations;

e)         academic centres;

f)          social communication media.

6.         International communication: in order to enhance the scope of the proposed activities, agreements for co-operation may be signed with other international and local organisations such as: a) the International Committee of the Red Cross; b) the Iberoamerican Ombudsman Federation; c) the Central American Council of Human Rights Attorneys; d) the offices of the Human Rights Defending Counsels and Attorneys in each country; the Consultation of Internal Displacements in the Americas.

7.         The present Agreement shall cover a period of two years as of the date of its signature. It shall be systematically renewed unless indicated otherwise by any one of the parties and this in writing three months prior to the date of expiration.

8.         Thirty days after the signing of the present Agreement, the Parties shall define a plan of action and a time-frame for its implementation for the two years covered by the Agreement.

9.         Both institutions shall seek the necessary funding to implement the activities proposed.

Done in Geneva,
3 July, 1998.

Juan E. Mendez,
Executive Director,
Inter-American Institute of Human Rights

Alfredo del Rio Court,
Director, Office of the Americas,
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees