The IIHR was created in 1980 under an agreement between the Inter-American Court and the Republic of Costa Rica as an international and autonomous academic institution for the teaching, research and promotion of human rights. The IIHR facilitates dialogue between the different actors of the human rights movement and State authorities. It does not denounce violations of human rights, nor does it present formal petitions or give its opinion on the non-compliance of the international obligations of States.


General Assembly

The supreme authority of the IIHR is its General Assembly, comprised of experts with recognized competence in the field of human rights in the Americas. The judges of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights are also members of the General Assembly.


Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is comprised of ten members of the General Assembly. It is responsible for following up on the decisions taken by the Assembly and oversees and evaluates the execution of the programs and activities of the Institute.


Office of the Executive Director

The Office of the Executive Director is responsible for complying with the mission of the IIHR as well as executing, in collaboration with the academic and technical-administrative staff, its institutional policies and its programs, projects and activities.

The General Assembly elects the Executive Director.

The IIHR Executive Director and Legal Representative for the period 2013-2017 is José Thompson, a Costa Rican.