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October 23, 2008

Reception to Mark 10th Anniversary of International Human Rights Agreement, Appointment of UN Special Rapporteur

WASHINGTON - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, with two international human rights groups, is hosting a cocktail reception to celebrate both the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Defenders Declaration, specifically its impact in Latin America, and the appointment of Margaret Sekaggya to be the new UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders.

The reception, "The UN Human Rights Defenders Declaration after 10 Years in Latin America: Protecting Rights in a Changing Region," is scheduled to take place on Monday, October 27 at 7:00PM at the Organization of American States. Executive-Secretary Santiago Canton, Commissioners of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and a number of other leading Latin American human rights activists will be in attendance.

Sekaggya, a magistrate from Uganda, was appointed to this position in March. The Special Rapporteur is charged with monitoring the situation for human rights defenders around the world and liaising between governments, UN bodies and other international actors to facilitate the implementation of the Declaration.

The 1998 adoption of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders was a landmark achievement in the struggle toward better protection of those at risk for carrying out human rights activities. It was the first UN instrument to recognize the importance and legitimacy of the work of human rights defenders, as well as their need for better protection.

The event is sponsored by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in collaboration with Human Rights First and the International Service for Human Rights.

RSVP by October 27th to cidhdefensores@oas.org

WHAT: Cocktail reception to mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the U.N. Human Rights Defenders Declaration and the appointment of the new Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders.

WHERE: Organization of American States, Terrace Level, 1889 F St. N.W.

WHEN: Monday, October 27, 7:00PM - 9:00PM

WHO: Ms. Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders;

Latin American human rights activists; Executive-Secretary Santiago Canton; and Commissioners of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.