Category Archives: Inter-American System

News Clips- November 25, 2016

United Nations Official Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:  ÒOrange the World:  Raise Money to end Violence against WomenÓ
United Nations Official Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: ÒOrange the World: Raise Money to end Violence against WomenÓ

The United Nations Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 21, 2016
Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Civil Society

  • Following protests over the weekend and statements from the United Nations, Turkey withdrew a bill that would have granted amnesty to some perpetrators of child sexual assault. [Guardian]
  • Thousands of protesters in Malaysia demonstrated against the prime minister, resulting in 15 arrests. [Washington Post]
  • Authorities have started using tear gas and water cannons against refugee protesters in Bulgaria. [Al Jazeera]
  • The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders said this week that travel bans on human rights defenders in Egypt are politically motivated. [OHCHR Press Release]
  • Chinese authorities have ordered all residents of Xinjiang, the northwest province of the country that is home to millions of the Uighur minority, to turn in their passports. [Al Jazeera]
  • The UN Human Rights Committee found that Sri Lanka unlawfully detained and tortured a Canadian citizen and that the State is obligated to pay him compensation. [Jurist]
  • Protesters continued to demonstrate in the United States against the construction of a pipeline through land sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. [Washington Post]

Freedom of Expression


Women’s Rights

International Criminal Law

  • The United States extradited Azra Basic to Bosnia where she is wanted for war crimes. [NY Times]
  • Two men suspected of genocide were charged before a Rwandan court this week for genocide, among other charges. [New Times]
  • Following the decisions of Gambia, South Africa, and Burundi to leave the International Criminal Court, the ICC’s prosecutor called the decisions to leave “a regression for the continent.” [Washington Post]

IACHR Publishes Standards on Rights in Context of Human Mobility


The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights holds a thematic hearing on the situation of migrant and refugee children and families in the United States
Credit: IACHR

On November 4, 2016, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a report that seeks to address the practical realities of those in the context of human mobility and lay out the legal standards that should govern Member States’ policies concerning migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, persons in need of complimentary protection, stateless persons, victims of human trafficking, and internally displaced persons. [IACHR Press Release] The report, Human Rights of Migrants, Refugees, Stateless Persons, Victims of Human Trafficking and Internally Displaced Person: Norms and Standards of the Inter-American Human Rights System, outlines standards that the IACHR and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have developed through reports on petitions and cases, judgments, advisory opinions, precautionary measures, provisional measures and country and thematic reports. [IACHR: Press Release] The major areas of focus in the report are: servitude and human trafficking, freedom of movement and residence, due process in immigration and extradition proceedings, family life, the right not to be subjected to cruel or inhuman treatment as a result of deportation, immigration detention, the right to seek and receive asylum, non-refoulement, the right to a nationality, and property rights. Read more

Inter-American Court: Ecuador Discriminatorily Discharged Soldier for Sexual Orientation


The IACHR’s announcement on Flor Freire v. Ecuador
Credit: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) has held Ecuador internationally responsible for discriminating against a military police officer of the army based on sexual orientation in a recently published opinion adopted in August 2016. Homero Flor Freire was dismissed pursuant to the army’s rules of military discipline, which punish sexual acts between persons of the same sex with discharge from service. See I/A Court H.R., Flor Freire v. Ecuador. Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 31 August 2016. Series C No. 315. (Spanish only) [IACHR Press Release] Flor Freire v. Ecuador is the first time that the Court has ruled on whether military disciplinary regulations may punish sexual acts between persons of the same sex without violating the principle of equality and non-discrimination guaranteed in the American Convention on Human Rights. [IACHR Press Release] Read more

Inter-American Court Advisory Opinion Analyzes Rights of Legal Entities


The Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Credit: IACtHR

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) has, at Panama’s request, published an advisory opinion concerning the rights of legal entities, particularly whether the American Convention on Human Rights protects the rights of trade unions, cooperatives, associations, and companies, or whether the American Convention on Human Rights’ definition of “person” is limited to human beings. See I/A Court H.R., Titularidad de Derechos de las Personas Juridicas en el Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos, Advisory Opinion OC-22/16, 26 February 2016 (in Spanish). The IACtHR focused on four major topics in addressing Panama’s inquiries. It considered the rights of legal entities within the Inter-American human rights system, the specific rights of indigenous and tribal organizations and trade unions, human rights protections for natural persons in connection to legal entities, and exhaustion of domestic remedies by legal entities in order to have recourse to the Inter-American System. See I/A Court H.R., Advisory Opinion OC-22/16, at para. 27. The Court found that while legal entities do not hold the same rights as natural persons under the American Convention, certain entities – specifically, trade unions, tribal and indigenous organizations, and individuals connected to legal entities – do have rights under the Convention and may petition the Inter-American System when those rights are allegedly violated. See id. at paras. 67-70, 82-84, 97-105, 119-120. The Court’s opinion is in keeping with international human rights standards that legal entities are not considered persons with rights and direct access to individual complaint systems. See id. at para. 62, 67. Read more

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