Category Archives: Inter-American System

Inter-American Commission: Funds Secured to Temporarily Mitigate Financial Crisis

Credit: IACHR
Credit: IACHR

Credit: IACHR

After a severe financial crisis threatened to effectively shut down major operations at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) this year, the IACHR recently announced that the immediate crisis is now over. Many States and other entities have agreed to donate funds, allowing the IACHR to salvage its budget and continue operating. Because the IACHR has overcome the crisis, it will be able to hold its second period of sessions for the year, in Panama City from November 29, 2016 to December 7, 2016. [IACHR Press Release: Panama] It will also avoid laying off staff, nearly half of whom were at risk of losing their positions. [IACHR Press Release: Crisis]

While the IACHR expressed its gratitude to donors and its relief at avoiding disaster, it emphasized that its overall financial health remains precarious and States must do more to fund its effective functioning. To that end, the IACHR and its judicial counterpart, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR), have drafted a joint budget proposal for 2017. The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) will review the proposal and adopt the OAS budget on October 31. [IACHR Press Release: Overcome; IACHR Press Release: Proposal] Read more

Colombians Reject Peace Deal Heralded by International Community, Negotiations Continue

Colombian Peace Agreement Ceremony
Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
Colombian Peace Agreement Ceremony Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Colombian Peace Agreement Ceremony

Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

On Sunday, October 2, 2016 Colombians headed to the polls to vote on a peace agreement to end the 52-year war with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerillas. [The Guardian: Voters] Contrary to what the polls had predicted, the peace deal referendum was rejected by a 0.4 percent margin. [The Guardian: Voters] The deal was the result of four years of negotiations between the government, led by President Juan Manuel Santos, and the FARC. The agreement instituted a ceasfire and initiated the demobilization of fighters through a process that will continue to be overseen by the United Nations. [UN News Centre] It also included provisions that would have cut off FARC’s ties to the drug trade, required FARC guerillas to turn in their weapons and transition to a political movement that would allow FARC leaders to participate in government, and permit rebel leaders to confess and avoid jail time through special tribunal proceedings, while granting amnesty to fighters. [The Guardian: Brexit]

The peace deal, while criticized for compounding impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity, was largely seen as an opportunity to move towards peace. [Amnesty International: No Vote] With the no vote and the remaining uncertainty over the future of Colombia and FARC’s activities, officials have re-entered negotiations. [The Guardian: Brexit] Meanwhile, the Norwegian Nobel Committee  recognized President Santos’ efforts, awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize this past week. [Nobel Prize] Read more

News Clips- September 9, 2016


Migrant and refugee camp in Calais
Credit: VOA/ Nicolas Pinault

Migrants and Refugees

  • The United Nations Children’s Fund released a report on refugee and migrant children around the world, finding that over 28 million children have migrated in an effort to leave violence and insecurity. [UN News Centre]
  • Locals in Calais, France gathered to protest the migrant camp in the town where over 7,000 people live. [BBC]

Civil Society

  • The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has called for South Sudan to stop suppressing the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of movement of civil society members. [UN News Centre]
  • Before and during the G-20 meeting held in Hangzhou, China this week, Chinese authorities arrested dozens of journalists and activists. [Washington Post]
  • An activist and village leader in China was sentenced to three years in jail this week after he confessed to bribery. [BBC]
  • The High Court in Zimbabwe ruled this week that a two week ban on protests was unconstitutional. [Jurist]
  • The Supreme Court of Thailand upheld the prison sentence of 20 years in the case of Sondhi Limthongkul, an opposition party leader. [Jurist]
  • The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights jointly published a report this week on freedom of expression in Somalia. [OHCHR Press Release]
  • Authorities in Brazil used tear gas and stun grenades against protestors after tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against President Michel Temer. [BBC]

Human Rights Bodies’ Activities


  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights criticized Donald Trump, a United States presidential nominee, and Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician, for spreading fear and manipulating the public in a way that may lead to violence. [Guardian]
  • Denmark has started negotiating to buy data on Danish tax payers from the Panama Papers. [Guardian]
  • The United States and China both signed the Paris Agreement on climate change this week. [Jurist]
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