IACHR Expands Precautionary Measures in Favor of Twenty People with Multiple Sclerosis in Venezuela

January 13, 2021

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Washington, D.C.- On January 7, 2021, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 4/2021 (link in Spanish), granting precautionary measures in favor of 20 people with multiple sclerosis in Venezuela, whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their rights to life, personal integrity, and health.

According to their representatives, these individuals are at serious risk due to the lack of adequate medical treatment for their medical conditions. It was alleged that the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS) is not providing the medications they have been prescribed and which they should be receiving due to their medical conditions, despite their having attempted to obtain them. The petitioners described in detail how their health has been impacted by the lack of the medical treatments they have been prescribed. The IACHR requested information from the State in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure.

After analyzing the de facto and de jure allegations put forward by the two representatives, the IACHR believes that the information in question proves, prima facie, that these individuals are extremely vulnerable as their rights to life, personal integrity, and health are at grave and urgent risk of suffering irreparable damage. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that the State of Venezuela adopt the necessary measures to protect the life, personal integrity, and health of the beneficiaries by adopting immediate measures to enable them to access appropriate medical treatment, including the essential medications prescribed by their physicians, as well as diagnostic tests to regularly monitor their state of health, in accordance with applicable international standards.

The IAHCR underlined that according to article 25 (8) of its Rules of Procedure, the granting of this precautionary measure and its adoption by the State does not entail a prejudgment regarding any violation of the applicable instruments.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (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. 007/21