Category Archives: Inter-American System

In the Case of Dominican and Haitian People Expelled v. the Dominican Republic, IACtHR Finds Multitude of Human Rights Violations

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights holds a hearing in the case during its 48th Extraordinary Session.Credit: IACtHR

Last week, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights released its opinion in Case of Dominican and Haitian People Expelled v. the Dominican Republic, where it held that the State’s discrimination, detention, and mass expulsion of individuals of Haitian descent violated the rights to: juridical personality, nationality, a name, personal liberty, privacy, fair trial, judicial protection, equal protection before the law, freedom of movement and residence, rights of the family, rights of the child, and the guarantee of non-discrimination, as set forth in the American Convention on Human Rights. See I/A Court H.R., Case of Dominican and Haitian People Expelled v. the Dominican Republic. Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of August 28, 2014. Series C No. 282, para. 512 (Spanish only).

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights holds a hearing in the case during its 48th Extraordinary Session.Credit: IACtHR

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights holds a hearing in the case during its 48th Extraordinary Session.
Credit: IACtHR

The Inter-American Court has previously condemned the Dominican Republic’s treatment of persons of Haitian descent and its counterpart, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, has urged the State to modify its immigration laws and practices to comply with regional human rights standards, including by averting the implementation of a 2013 Constitutional Court judgment that directed authorities to strip possibly thousands of their citizenship. [IACHR Press Release] Now, in a binding judgment, the Inter-American Court has echoed these findings and directed the State to take specific action. Read more

UN Human Rights Bodies Urge Venezuela to Release Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez, Ensure Protesters Are Not Arbitrarily Detained or Prosecuted

students
Students from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello protesting in 2009<br />  Credit: René Reinsberg

Students from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello protesting in 2009
Credit: René Reinsberg

On Monday, United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein voiced concern over the detention of a Venezuelan opposition leader, Leopoldo López, and more than 69 others who were involved in months-long public protests that began in February 2014 in response to the country’s ailing economy, high rate of violence, and sharp political divisions. “The prolonged and arbitrary detention of political opponents and protesters in Venezuela is causing more and more concern internationally … It is only exacerbating the tensions in the country,” High Commissioner Al Hussein stated. [OHCHR Press Release] Read more

IACtHR Concludes 105th Ordinary Session, Orders Provisional Measures, Holds Public Hearing, and Delivers Judgments Involving Forced Disappearance, Indigenous Rights, and Arbitrary Killings

The Inter-American Court holds a hearing in Canales Huapaya et al. v. PeruCredit: IACtHR
The Inter-American Court holds a hearing in Canales Huapaya et al. v. PeruCredit: IACtHR

The Inter-American Court holds a hearing in Canales Huapaya et al. v. Peru
Credit: IACtHR

From October 8 to 17, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights held its 105th Regular Session at its headquarters in San José, Costa Rica. [IACtHR] During this session, the Court handed down three judgments, which will be publicized soon, concerning forced disappearance, indigenous land rights, and arbitrary killings. The Court also issued orders regarding provisional measures in three cases. On October 17, the Court held a public hearing on a pending case, Canales Huapaya et al. v. Peru, involving the right to a fair trial and judicial protection. [IACtHR Press Release (Spanish)] Read more

New Advisory Opinion and Country Visit by the Inter-American Human Rights Bodies Clarify the Rights of Migrant Children

IACHR visits the U.S. southern borderCredit: Daniel Cima / IACHR
IACHR visits the U.S. southern borderCredit: Daniel Cima / IACHR

IACHR visits the U.S. southern border
Credit: Daniel Cima / IACHR

Last month, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights released an Advisory Opinion defining the scope of States’ obligations to protect the rights of migrant children and families. See I/A Court H.R., Rights and Guarantees of Children in the Context of Migration and/or in Need of International Protection, Advisory Opinion OC-21/14, 19 August 2014. State Parties to the American Convention on Human Rights and the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man must take this Advisory Opinion into consideration when “designing, adopting, implementing, and applying their immigration policies.” See id.at para. 50. Relatedly, from September 29 to October 2, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights conducted a country visit to the United States, examining the treatment of unaccompanied migrant children who had crossed the southern border into the United States. [IACHR Press Release] The Inter-American bodies’ focus on migrants’ rights comes at a point in time when the United States and Mexico, in particular, are facing scrutiny for their treatment of undocumented migrants – including an influx of children – from Central America. Read more

Inter-American Commission Holds Extraordinary Session & Outreach Events in Mexico This Month

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 152nd Extraordinary Session in Mexico

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 152nd Extraordinary Session in MexicoThis week, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Commission) will hold its 152nd Extraordinary Period of Sessions in Mexico City, Mexico, to focus on the general human rights situation in the countries of Central America. [IACHR] These hearings will be the first in seven years to be held away from the Commission’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. In light of the controversial reform process of the past few years, the Commission seems to be striving to make itself increasingly accessible to the public and to emphasize that its mandate includes all of the Americas. On the dates surrounding the session, the Commission will host a workshop on the Inter-American human rights system and help present the Mexican Supreme Court’s new guidelines for judges in cases concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more

IACHR Special Rapporteur Releases Comprehensive Report on Freedom of Expression and the Internet

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 9.04.53 PM

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 9.04.10 PMIn a new report, the regional human rights expert on freedom of expression in the Americas identifies principles and standards to guide States in their regulation of online communication. On June 27, 2014, the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) released the report, Freedom of Expression and the Internet, specifically addressing the challenges of protecting the right to freedom of expression in a digital world. [IACHR Press Release] Notably, the report draws on the standards and doctrine of the United Nations, African, and European human rights systems, in addition to those of the Inter-American system. The publication is a useful tool for activists, human rights advocates, civil society organizations, judges, regulators, and others who encounter challenges related to the intersections of online communication and fundamental rights.

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