IACHR Visits Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay to Discuss the Rights of Afro-Descendant Persons

July 24, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) conducted working visits to Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina over the period June 5–9, to promote the inter-American standards held in the report Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights of Persons of African Descent.

These visits sought to strengthen cooperation between the Inter-American Commission and the relevant States concerning the rights of Afro-descendant persons and the eradication of racial discrimination. The IACHR delegation was led by Commission President Margarette May Macaulay, Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and Against Racial Discrimination, and also included experts from the IACHR's Executive Secretariat.

In Uruguay, the delegation held high-level talks with authorities at the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministries of Social Development, Public Health, National Defense, the Interior, Labor, Foreign Affairs, and Education and Culture, as well as the National Human Rights Institution and Ombudsperson's Office, the National Institute for Children and Adolescents, and the National Authority for Public Education. The IACHR delegation also met with representatives of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The delegation provided training for public officials on access to justice for Afro-descendant persons and IACHR representatives met with Afro-descendant civil society organizations.

During this visit to Uruguay, President Macaulay, in her capacity as IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Older Persons, also presented the report Human Rights of the elderly and national protection systems in the Americas, in an event that was held jointly with Uruguay's National Human Rights Institution and Ombudsperson's Office.

In Paraguay, the IACHR engaged in various high-level talks, involving among others the country's Minister of Public Defense and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations' Resident Coordinator in Paraguay, authorities of the National Department for Culture, and representatives of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the OHCHR. The delegation also met with civil society organizations and provided training for public officials on access to justice for Afro-descendant persons.

In Argentina, high-level talks involved the country's Secretary of Human Rights, the President of the National Commission for Refugees (CONARE), and the Director of the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism (INADI), as well as authorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The delegation provided training on access to justice for Afro-descendant persons to officials enrolled in the School of the Corps of State Attorneys, officials of the Public Prosecutor's Office, and other judicial officers. The IACHR also met with civil society organizations.

During this visit, IACHR President Macaulay took part in the relaunch of the INADI's Committee for the Historical Recognition of the Afro-Argentinian Community.

Durante the three working visits, the States of Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina stressed their ongoing commitment to cooperating with the IACHR so the Commission may fulfil its mandate, particularly in terms of effectively protecting the rights of Afro-descendant persons and eradicating racial discrimination. The Inter-American Commission thanks States for the opportunity to conduct these working visits, for all the assistance they provided in the planning stages, and for the openness and support of their authorities, even at the highest level. The IACHR further thanks civil society organizations for all the information they provided.

The IACHR will continue to constantly monitor the situation of the human rights of Afro-descendant persons in Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina and will keep seeking opportunities for cooperation with States on this matter, particularly by providing technical support.

These working visits were conducted with the support of the Spanish Fund for the Organization of American States (OAS) at the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

A principal, autonomous body of the OAS, the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 166/23

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