Category Archives: Inter-American System

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]

News Clips- August 12, 2016

SC Votes on Temp Extension of Mandate for South Sudan Mission
SC Votes on Temp Extension of Mandate for South Sudan Mission 15-0-0

The United Nations Security Council discusses South Sudan
Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

International Criminal Law

  • Nada Kiswanson, a permanent representative at the International Criminal Court who works on evidence of war crimes in Palestine, has received death threats. [MEMO]
  • The International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh issued sentences to eight individuals for crimes against humanity. [Jurist]
  • German investigators have identified eight individuals who they suspect of war crimes during the Nazi era. [The Local]

Civil Society

  • The government of Ethiopia rejected the United Nations request that observers be allowed into the country to investigate the killings of protesters. [Al Jazeera]
  • Kenya’s High Court ruled that the late human rights lawyer, Willia Kimani; his client, Josphat Mwendwa; and a taxi driver were all forcibly disappeared. [Amnesty International]
  • The LGBT Pride parade schedule for August 13, 2016 in Odessa, Ukraine was canceled by the Odessa City Council, citing possible conflict and criminal activity that could arise around the event. [Human Rights First]
  • Pakistan passed its Electronic Crimes Bill, which activists claim could violate the rights to freedom of speech and privacy. [Jurist]
  • A Brazilian judge upheld protestors right to freedom of expression by ruling that they may peacefully criticize the interim president while at the Olympic venues. [BBC]
  • The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expressed concern that opposition party members were removed from the Nicaraguan legislator pursuant to a judicial decision. [IACHR Press Release]

Migrants and Refugees

  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern over the treatment of refugees in Bulgaria, claiming they are often subject to detention and trials that do not meet international standards. [UN News Centre]
  • The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees expressed concern over the high numbers of South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries and the limited funds available to support them. [UN News Centre]
  • The UN again expressed concern that Australia and Nauru continue to hold migrants and refugees offshore where they are often exposed to violence and sexual abuse. [UN News Centre]

Violence and Conflicts

  • Several bombs exploded in Thailand at the end of the week in a resort town, Hua Hin. [UN News Centre]
  • Rebel groups in Syria announced that they intend to take the city of Aleppo. [Al Jazeera]
  • South Sudan has refused to accept a proposal to allow UN troops to enter the country. [Al Jazeera]

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Names Paulo Abrão Executive Secretary


Emilio Álvarez Icaza Longoria, Executive Secretary of the IACHR from August 2012 to August 2016
Credit: Daniel Cima

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has chosen Brazilian law professor Paulo Abrão as its tenth Executive Secretary. Abrão’s term will last from August 2016 through August 2020 and may be renewed once for another four years. [IACHR Press Release: Abrão] As Executive Secretary, he will head the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR, which is composed of several staff members and is in charge of processing petitions and cases. See IJRC, Advocacy before the Inter-American System: A Manual for Attorneys and Advocates (2012). Abrão’s powers and duties will include consulting with the President to create the IACHR’s draft program budget, advising the President and other IACHR members on completing their obligations, and reporting to the IACHR on the Executive Secretariat’s undertakings. See IACHR, Announcement. Abrão will replace former Executive Secretary Emilio Álvarez Icaza Longoria, who served from August 2012 through August 2016 and announced his decision (Spanish) not to run for reelection last January. [IACHR Press Release: Abrão] Read more

August 2016: Four UN Treaty Bodies, Inter-American Court in Session

Flags of the 193 UN Member States outside the Palais des NationsCredit: UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
Flags of the 193 UN Member States outside the Palais des NationsCredit: UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

The United Nations
Credit: UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

During the month of August 2016, four United Nations treaty bodies will review several States’ compliance with their treaty obligations, two regional judicial bodies in Europe and the Americas will hold public hearings, the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee will discuss research and developments in the area of human rights, and two UN Special Procedures mandate holders will conduct State visits. The UN treaty bodies will hold interactive dialogues with over 20 States regarding their implementation of binding international treaties relating to the prohibition of torture, the prohibition of racial discrimination, the rights of persons with disabilities, and of migrants and their families. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will hear a case against Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding an alleged violation of the right to freedom of expression, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) will hear cases against Ecuador and Guatemala and a follow-up hearing on provisional measures against Colombia during its 55th Special Session. The IACtHR will also discuss thematic areas of international human rights, such as the right to freedom of expression, during the session. In addition, UN experts will visit China and Mexico to assess the country situations with regard to extreme poverty and human rights and to business and human rights, respectively.

The treaty body sessions may be watched via UN Treaty Body Webcast. To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar.  Read more

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