Category Archives: Inter-American System

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

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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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World Refugee Day 2014 Draws Attention to Record Number of Displaced Persons

Credit: UNHCR
Credit: UNHCR

Credit: UNHCR

On Friday, June 20th the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and nations around the world marked World Refugee Day with diverse tributes and activities. In its efforts to raise awareness about the struggles faced by refugees, UNHCR emphasized that the number of displaced persons in 2013 was the highest in the post-World War II era.  [UNHCR: World Refugee Day] Read more

New Inter-American Commission Session Report Includes Details on the Status of Decisions, Rights Conditions in the Americas

Commissioner Felipe González, and to his right, Commissioner James Cavallaro during the 150th Session
Credit: Daniel Cima/IACHR
Commissioner Felipe González, and to his right, Commissioner James Cavallaro during the 150th Session Credit: Daniel Cima/IACHR

Commissioner Felipe González, and to his right, Commissioner James Cavallaro during the 150th Session
Credit: Daniel Cima/IACHR

For apparently the first time, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has published a detailed report concerning its most recent session that: identifies forthcoming decisions on the admissibility and merits of petitions; lists the working meetings held between members of the Commission, States, and civil society; summarizes the information gathered through thematic hearings on a range of rights topics; and, describes the progress made toward friendly settlements, among other issues. See IACHR, Report on the 150th Session of the IACHR (2014). The report is full of information that will be of use to petitioners and advocates and which, until now, had not been made publicly available in many instances. Read more

Join the Conversation: Engaging with Regional Human Rights Mechanisms

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Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 8.02.52 AMJoin the International Justice Resource Center and the New Tactics community for an online conversation on Engaging Regional Human Rights Mechanisms from April 21 to 25, 2014. IJRC’s executive director, Lisa Reinsberg, will join experts and practitioners from around the world in discussing the practical details of seeking justice, accountability, and reform through the regional human rights systems. Read more

IACtHR Hears Cases involving Forced Disappearance, Indigenous Land Rights, Torture, and Violence Against Women in its 50th Special Session

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in sessionCredit: IACtHR
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in sessionCredit: IACtHR

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in session
Credit: IACtHR

From March 31 to April 4, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights celebrated its 50th Special Session at its headquarters in San José, Costa Rica. The Court held public hearings on three pending cases concerning forced disappearance, indigenous land rights, and torture in arbitrary detention. The Court also  conducted private deliberations to prepare its judgment in a case concerning the alleged failure to properly investigate a woman’s disappearance and death. [IACtHR Press Release (Spanish)] Video recordings from the public hearings are archived in the Court’s Multimedia Gallery. Read more

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