| 07-06-2017

IACHR meets European counterparts at a critical time

Strengthening the inter-American human rights system must come first for the Americas and be reflected on the EU-OAS dialogue.

The Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) - Organization of American States (OAS), Paulo Abrão will cross the Atlantic to meet his European counterparts this week.

A series of high-level meetings will be held with EU and EU Members States officials as well as international CSOs, which have been supporting both politically and financially the inter-American system, particularly during     last year’s financial crisis.

Abrão will also take the opportunity to present its recently approved     Strategic Plan, which various CSOs contributed to, including FIAN International’s section in Ecuador on behalf of all FIAN entities.

Need for real commitment

In a context where States and the private sector (particularly transnational corporations) are increasingly pushing for voluntary guidelines to take over internationally binding human rights instruments and standards, it is crucial to genuinely reinforce the political and legal role of regional human rights systems. This is particularly imperative for OAS Member States that have progressively been withdrawing their financial and political support to the IACHR, thereby leading the latter to its worst crisis in history. 

The lack of political commitment by OAS States is also reflected on some of their sponsored candidates,     whose competences are questionable, for the two seats that the 47 Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly will choose in June. The 163rd Period of IACHR Sessions in July will also see the appointment of the     first rapporteur on economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, which could suppose a positive change for communities across the Americas. 


Guarani and Kaiowá, seeking justice in IACHR

The Inter-American system is crucial for fighting injustice and structural inequalities against most marginalized groups, especially indigenous communities. This is the case of the indigenous peoples Guarani and Kaiowá in Brazil,     who have been facing evictions and violence throughout their struggle for the right to ancestral territory as well as to food and nutrition, and whose situation has only worsened following the Parliamentarian coup d´état.

Last December, the Guarani and Kaiowá’s great assembly Aty Guasu, with the support of CIMI, FIAN International and its Brazilian section, as well as Justicia Global, filed a petition to the IACHR against the State of Brazil. Not only this petition will contribute to further developing standards on the right to food and nutrition in connection with the right to ancestral territory, but also to the IAHRC rapporteurship on economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

FIAN International hopes that OAS Member States strengthen and prioritize their political and financial support to the IACHR. In addition, this should be reflected on the dialogue and cooperation between the EU and its Member States with the OAS, as regional systems are a crucial element for the development and implementation of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and EU Action Plans on Human Rights.  

The organization will engage in the IACHR visit, together with the European CSOs network CIFCA to keep supporting the consolidation of regional human rights systems. 

For more information, please contact     castaneda-flores[at]fian.org 
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