IACHR Headquarters, Washington, D.C., February 2-3, 2015
Nine experts attended the expert meeting on the situation of children in the adult criminal justice system in the United States, organized by the Rapporteurship on the Rights of the Child, which was held in preparation of the IACHR thematic report on the matter. The meeting was conducted by Commissioner Rosa María Ortiz, Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child, who underscored the need to protect children's rights in the United States by way of a comprehensive system of protection, emphasizing that every justice system for youth begins with the prevention of children's rights violations within the community.
October 20 to 22, 2014
The IACHR carried out a visit to Colorado, United States, from October 20 to 22, 2014, led by the Commissioner Rosa Maria Ortiz, Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child, and accompanied by personnel of the Executive Secretary of the IACHR. The objective of the visit was to gather information on the situation of persons under the age of 18 treated as adults in the adult system of criminal justice, as well as the conditions of youth in detention and incarceration facilities.
During the visit, the delegation was received by authorities including the Deputy Legal Counsel of Governor John Hickenlooper, Ben Figa; Public Defender of the State of Colorado, Doug Wilson; Executive Director of the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council, Tom Raynes; and Colorado State Representative Daniel Kagan. The Rapporteur also met with formerly incarcerated youth and families, as well as civil society representatives. Furthermore, the delegation visited confinement facilities for youth convicted as adults to the Youthful Offender System, as well as for youth committed in the juvenile system to the Division of Youth Corrections. Additionally, Commissioner Ortiz presented a lecture and held a public hearing at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.
Workshop "Building an International Cooperation System for the Civil Protection of Children"
IACHR Headquarters, July 11 and 14
On July 14, the plenary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) received Ignacio Goicoechea, representative for Latin America to the Hage Conference on Private International Law. Also, on July 11, Mr. Goicoechea imparted an informative workshop for the IACHR staff about abduction and retention of children across international boundaries. This activity was organized by the IACHR Rapporteurship on the Rights of the Child, in light of the increasing number of petitions and precautionary measures received by the Commission on this matter.
Presentation of the Report on the Right of boys and girls to a family
Mexico - April 21 to 23
The Rapporteur on the Rights of the child, accompanied by specialist Marisol Blanchard Vera, conducted a visit to Mexico from April 21 to 23. The object of the visit was to present the Report on the "Right of girls and boys to a family. Alternative Care. Ending Institutionalization in the Americas", organized by the Senate. The Rapporteur also had meetings with civil society and State officials to gather information on the legislative process that will create the National System of promotion and protection of girls, boys and adolescentents in mexico.
Tha Rapporteur will conduct an official visit to Mexico on the second semester of 2014.
Visits to Brazil, Mexico and Honduras
September 30 to October 17
The Rapporteur Rosa María Ortiz made visits to Brazil, Mexico and Honduras at the invitation of the UNICEF organization within the framework of the preparation of the next report on armed violence and children, with the aim of collecting information on the effects of armed violence on human rights. of childhood and adolescence, for which he met with different authorities, with civil society organizations that work on children's rights and with groups of children and young people from the visited localities.
IACHR Headquarters, September 12-13, 2013
More than 15 experts of 12 nationalities attended the meeting of Experts on Education, Culture and LGTBI Persons, organized by the IACHR LGTBI Unit and co-sponsored by UNAIDS. The meeting was conducted by the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child, Commissioner Rosa María Ortiz, who underscored the role of education as a strategic tool that makes it possible to combat and eliminate prejudice, stereotypes, and false conceptions with regard to people with diverse sexual orientations or gender identities. She also stressed the need to move towards full recognition of the rights of LGTBI persons, emphasizing the need to depathologize diverse forms of sexuality and identity. For its part, the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Emilio Álvarez Icaza, highlighted the work done by the LGTBI Unit since its installation on February 2012.
The meeting included discussion and debate on issues such as education in human rights and gender; bullying at school based on real or perceived sexual orientation or on gender identity or gender expression; the right to comprehensive sex education; the access to education for trans persons, strategies for raising awareness of key players in the field of education; and the influence of the media, marketing techniques, religious groups, and cultural patterns of discrimination, segregation, and prejudice against LGTBI persons. Participants also analyzed the relation between discrimination and violence against LGTBI persons and heteronormativity, gender binarism and misogyny. Furthermore, the situation of violence against children and adolescents in the educational setting, its causes and consequences, was widely debated.
Rapporteur Rosa María Ortiz made a promotional visit to Chile at the invitation of organizations that work on children's rights such as UNICEF, Aldeas SOS, Corporación Opción and Fundación Integra to hold workshops on the rights of children and adolescents.
Within the framework of this visit, the Rapporteur met with the Deputy Director General for Multilateral and Global Affairs, Ambassador Pedro Oyarce; the Minister of Social Development, Bruno Baranda; the Deputy of the Constitution, Legislation and Justice Commission, Jorge Burgos; the Executive Vice President of the National Board of Kindergartens JUNJI, María Francisca Correa; the Director of the National Service for Minors SENAME, Rolando Melo; the Director of the Department of Human Rights of the Carabineros de Chile, Coronel Palavicino, as well as with delegates from the National Institute of Human Rights, the Family Commission of the Chamber of Deputies and the Departments of Adoption, Juvenile Justice and Protection.
The Rapporteur also met with children and adolescents in activities to promote their rights. Additionally, the Rapporteur met with the Regional Representative of the High Commissioner for South America, Amerigo Incalcaterra, delegates from UNICEF, and representatives of the organizations of the Network for Children and the Bloc for Children.
Within the promotional and visualization activities, the Rapporteur attended the launch of the book "Los noises del silencio", a joint publication of the Opción Corporation and the Memory Museum, and a promotional workshop with the directors of the Opción Project. Likewise, the Rapporteur participated in the Helpline and Integra Foundation Seminar (child phone) on the topic “Systems for the promotion and comprehensive protection of the rights of children and adolescents: the importance of linking networks with care services to childhood ”, as well as in the presentation of the study:“ Diagnosis of children deprived of parental care or at risk of being so ”, prepared by the MIDE UC Research Center. Finally, the Rapporteur met with institutions that carry out residential and outpatient programs for boys and girls who have seriously violated their rights, and with institutions that make up the academic team of a human rights observatory.
The Rapporteur made a promotional visit to Peru within the framework of an invitation from UNICEF and Save the Children organizations with the aim of holding conferences and other activities to disseminate the rights of children and adolescents. During her visit to the Peruvian state, the Rapporteur met with different authorities including the Vice Minister of Human Rights and Access to Justice of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Henry José Ávila Herrera; the General Director of Multilateral and Global Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Julio Garro; the General Director of Human Rights and Technical Secretary of the National Human Rights Council, Roger Rafael Rodríguez Santander; the Advisor to the Ministerial Office, Salvador Herencia Carrasco; the First Lady of the Republic, Nadine Heredia; the First Deputy of the Ombudsman's Office, Claudia del Pozo; the Deputy for Children and Adolescents of the Ombudsman's Office, Mayda Ramos; the Director of Social Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, Cesar De las Casas; the Director of Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ana Rosa Valdivieso; the President of the Congress, Fredy Otárola Peñaranda; the General Director of Children and Adolescents, María del Carmen Santiago Bailetti; Mrs. Congressman Cecilia Chacón de Vetori, Mr. Congressman Juan Carlos Eguren Neuenschwander, as well as the Heads of the Ombudsman's Offices, Commissioners of the Deputy Office for Children and Adolescents, Commissioners of the Ombudsman's Offices.
Additionally, the Rapporteur met with the Save the Children and UNICEF Team, and members of the SOS Children's Villages Organization, the National Initiative Group for the Rights of the Child GIN, the Latin American and Caribbean Network for the Defense of Children's Rights, Girls and Adolescents REDLAMYC. Within the different promotional activities, the Rapporteur participated in the Conversation “Right of the Child to the family and alternative care: international standards, progress of the IACHR report”, organized by UNICEF, SC, and the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations. The Rapporteur met with children and adolescents during her visit in activities to promote the rights of children and adolescents and spoke with civil society organizations and with children's organizations including Manthoc, Conna SJM, Cona VMT, Conna VES Conna ML, MNNATSOP, REDNNA, School Municipality, Conna del MIMPV, Conna Carabayllo, Conna Ancón, Red ALELI * WV, Delegates of conadenna, Ato colibrí, Conna DP, CONAI Ventanilla, Collective Vota.
Expert Meeting, Washington, D.C.
June 18 and 19
Commissioner Rosa María Ortiz participated in an Expert Consultation with the aim of analyzing various issues within the framework of the preparation of a thematic report on various manifestations of organized armed violence that affect the validity of the human rights of children and adolescents. . The list of experts who attended this meeting includes Ms. Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Violence against Children, Marta Santos País, Ms. Specialist of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Violence against Children, Cecilia Anicama, Mr. Regional Advisor on citizen security, Martín Appiolaza, Mr. Professor of Sociology at the Central University of Venezuela and Director of the Laboratory of Social Sciences (LACSO), Roberto Briceño, the UNICEF Child Protection Specialist, Magda Medina, the Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís, the International Expert on citizen security, Franz Vanderschueren. The meeting was also attended by the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Emilio Álvarez Icaza, and Ms. Elizabeth Abi Mershed, Deputy Executive Secretary of the IACHR.
Promotional Visit to El Salvador, at the invitation of the Deputy Attorney General for the Rights of Children and Youth
May 29 to 31
The Rapporteur made a promotional visit to El Salvador, at the invitation of the Deputy Procurator for the Rights of Children and Youth, in which information was received on the human rights situation in the country, and the children's agenda in this area was discussed. of the disappearance of children during the war, of the implementation of the LEPINA Law, and violence against children and adolescents. Likewise, a rapprochement was achieved with state authorities as well as with civil society organizations. The delegation met with state authorities, including the Vice Minister for Salvadorans Abroad, Juan José García; the Director of Human Rights, David Morales; to the Director of International Affairs, Tania Camila Rosa; the Director of the Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents (ISNA), Luis Salazar; to Mr. Deputy Director of the Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents (ISNA), Mario Mena. Likewise, the Rapporteur met with authorities within the framework of working groups about petitions and precautionary measures. The list of participating authorities includes the Delegates of the Attorney General's Office of the Republic, Marco A. Madrid Rivera and Ricardo Rodríguez; the Delegates of the Supreme Court of Justice, José Roberto Espinel and María Luisa Ramos; the Delegates of the National Institute for Children and the Family (IHNFA), Nilia R. Ramos and Tomas Gerardo Aceituno; the Delegate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Angela Maribel Contreras; the Delegate of the Public Ministry, Ligia Pitsikalis; the Delegate of the Secretary of Security, Kelvin Aguirre; the Delegate of the Human Rights Prosecutor, Rosa María Ciman; to the Deputy Minister of the Security Secretariat, Marcela Castañeda and the Delegate of the Office of the Prosecutor, Jenny Almendarez. Additionally, the Rapporteur met with organized children and adolescents, and with various civil society organizations.
On May 17, the Rapporteur participated in a meeting of experts convened by the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Education of Argentina together with the NGO Chicos.Net, with the aim of analyzing the opportunities and challenges posed by new technologies from a perspective on the rights of children and adolescents, as well as analyzing the good practices developed in terms of raising awareness about the risks of new technologies in the protection of children; the new opportunities of access to information, knowledge and the exercise of citizenship, as well as some experiences in the matter of regulation. The Rapporteur met with children and adolescents during her visit and held workshops to promote their rights.
Rapporteur Rosa María Ortiz chaired a working meeting between the State and Mr. Rubén Bres and his representative, in order to follow up on the medical situation of a child protected by precautionary measures granted by the IACHR. During the work meeting, a memorandum of agreement was signed to implement the measures.
From May 6 to 10, Commissioner Rosa María Ortiz participated in the annual meeting of the World Movement for Children of Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama. The World Movement for Children brings together all international NGOs that work to promote and defend the rights of children and adolescents in the region, as well as the National Coalitions for the Rights of the Child. In addition to the IACHR Rapporteur, representatives of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and staff from the office of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Violence against Children participated in the meeting. During her visit to Panama, Commissioner Ortiz met with UNICEF in order to establish the contents of the cooperation agreement for 2013, which will focus on the issue of organized armed violence and the impact on the rights of children. girls and adolescents. The Commissioner also held meetings with UNDP, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Violence against Children, to analyze aspects related to the aforementioned issue. The Rapporteur met with children and adolescents during her visit and held workshops to promote their rights.
April 10-12, 2013
Commissioner Rosa María Ortiz, in her capacity as Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child, was invited by UNICEF to conduct a regional consultation on "how to put an end to the placement of children under three years of age in child protection or child care institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean." The Rapporteur also participated in the presentation of the handbook "Moving Forward: Implementing the ';Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.'" The Rapporteur held meetings with authorities, international organizations, and civil society to discuss a range of issues related to the rights of children and adolescents.
Haiti, January 14, 2013
On January 14, 2013, Commissioner Rosa Maria Ortiz participated in the Conference "The Role of the Ombudsman in the Protection of Human Rights", in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. During the event, representatives of the OPC, from the defenders of the Peoples of Latin America, from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and mediation experts were invited to share their experiences and best practices, addressing issues such as the protection of children's, migrants', and detainees' rights and the role of the Ombudsman in response to natural disasters, in addressing social conflicts, and the prevention of electoral violence. The conference was attended by 74 representatives of the Government of Haiti, the OPC, civil society, and the international community. Commissioner Ortiz made a presentation entitled "The Inter-American System of Human Rights on the Protection of Children's Rights: Opportunities for Collaboration with the OPC".
On October 24 and 25, 2012, the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child participated in the meeting of the Children's Ombudsman Network, within the framework of the meetings of the Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsmen (FIO), which on this occasion had a place in San José, Costa Rica. The Rapporteur was invited to present the main actions carried out by the Rapporteurship, its work methodologies, and its medium-term priorities in the promotion and defense of the rights of children and adolescents in the continent. Within the scope of this meeting, on October 25, 2012, a seminar focused on violence against children was held in which the Rapporteur presented the “Report on corporal punishment and the human rights of girls, boys and adolescents” from the IACHR and the recommendations contained in the report.
On September 3 and 4, 2012, the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child was in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to participate in the meeting of the permanent group Niñosur, which brings together the highest authorities on childhood in the countries of South America. The Rapporteur presented the mandate of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of the Child and its current priorities and work methodologies. Among the thematic areas of common interest are juvenile justice, the prohibition of corporal punishment, and the situation of children who are in institutions of protection and care.
On August 30 and 31, lawyers from the Rapporteurships on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Children's Rights, and the LGTBI Unit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights participated in the sessions of the " Encounter on social integration and drugs in Latin America ", an event that took place at the headquarters of the OAS, in Washington DC This meeting is part of the effort of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States (CIDAD / OEA) to help develop drug policies in member states, through the definition of a referential framework in public policies on social integration and drugs.
On August 22, 2012, the Rapporteur for the Rights of the Child was in Sao Paulo, Brazil, participating in the presentation of a Report on the Global Campaign for the Right to Education in Early Childhood, prepared by Mr. Vernor Muñoz, Former United Nations Rapporteur on the Right to Education. The Rapporteur made a comment on the report, specifically from the perspective of the inter-American human rights system. Likewise, the Rapporteur held meetings with civil society actors on the matter.
Between July 30 and August 4, 2012, the Rapporteur for the Rights of the Child was in Haiti for a joint working trip with the Office of the Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. The staff of the Executive Secretariat accompanied this visit. On this trip, the Rapporteur participated in a workshop organized by the Office of the Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and the Office for the Protection of the Citizen, aimed at justice operators and public officials. In addition to the event, the Rapporteur met with local authorities and NGOs.
Representatives of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights (HCUNHR) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) presented in Honduras on July 23, 2012, the reports ‘Juvenile Justice and Human Rights in the Americas’ and ‘Citizen Security and Human Rights’.
Between July 13 and 14, 2012, the Rapporteur was in Brasilia, for the 9th National Conference on the Rights of Children and Adolescents, organized by the National Secretariat for Human Rights of the Presidency. On this occasion, in addition to participating in the event, informal meetings were held with the National Secretariat for Children and other stakeholders.
The Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child visited La Paz, Bolivia, July 10-12, 2012, to participate in a seminar on "Public Policies and Human Rights of Children and Adolescents in the Construction of the Plurinational State of Bolivia," at the invitation of the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman. At this event, the Rapporteur gave a presentation on the international systems for the protection of human rights, with emphasis on the inter-American system.
The Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child participated in a consultation of international experts—held June 13-15, 2012, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—to address the problem of harmful practices against children. The event was organized by Plan International, the Office of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Violence against Children, and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
Managua, May 2012
On May 28, 2012, the Rapporteur on the Rights of Women was the keynote speaker in the public forum Challenges to Guarantee the Right to Health of Nicaraguan Women and Girls , organized by International Pregnancy Advisory Services (IPAS), the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Centro Nicaragüense de Derechos Humanos, CENIDH), the Autonomous Movement of Women, and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). During her stay in Nicaragua, the Rapporteur also participated in meetings with civil society organizations and with the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Alba Luz Ramos.
At the invitation of the National News Agency for the Rights of the Child, on May 22-24, 2012, the IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child participated in an event held in Brasilia, Brazil, called "The News Media, the Social Agenda, and Juveniles who Break the Law." The event was organized in conjunction with the Human Rights Secretariat in the Office of the President. At the same event, on May 23, the Rapporteur gave a presentation on "Vulnerability Factors in Adolescents." After the event, the Rapporteur held a meeting with staff members from the Human Rights Secretariat to analyze aspects of the human rights cooperation between Brazil and Haiti, particularly on the subject of the rights of children and adolescents. The Rapporteur's suggestions were welcomed and later implemented in the cooperation program between the two countries, specifically in areas related to adoption and to children without parental care.
On May 14-15, 2012, the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child participated in a meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, on the phenomenon of violence against children in the Caribbean countries. The event was organized by the State of Jamaica, the Latin American and Caribbean Chapter of the Global Movement for Children, the Office of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Violence against Children, and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Participants included government officials in charge of children's issues, representatives of civil society organizations, independent experts, and child and teen delegates. At the event, the Rapporteur presented two IACHR thematic reports having to do with violence against children and teenagers: the Report on Corporal Punishment and Human Rights of Children and Adolescents and Juvenile Justice and Human Rights in the Americas . After the event, the Rapporteur held informal meetings on various issues related to the work done by her office. She renewed contact with authorities from Haiti who were present at the meeting, following up on issues covered during the visit she had made to that country in February.
From April 18 to 19, 2012, the Rapporteurship on the Rights of the Child participated in a meeting, invited by The Latin American and Caribbean Chapter of the Global Movement for Children (MMI-CLAC), and by UNICEF. In addition, from April 16 to 17, the Rapporteur made a work visit to Panama, meeting with Government authorities and civil society organizations. UNICEF-Panama coordinated these activities. The Rapporteur met with the National Secretariat for Children, Adolescents and Families (Secretaría Nacional de la Niñez, Adolescencia y Familia); the Institute for Inter-Disciplinary Studies (Instituto de Estudios Interdisciplinarios); the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores); and the Office of the Ombudsman (Defensoria del Pueblo). Furthermore, the Rapporteur met with several civil society organizations that work for the rights of children, and held a workshop about the Inter-American Human Rights System.
Interview to the Rapporteur published on the Human Rights Brief
An Interview with Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Commissioner and Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child, was published on the Human Rights Brief, a publication of American University Washington College of Law, Volume 19, Issue 1 (Fall 2011)
October 14 and 24, 2010
On October 14, 2010, the Rapporteur attended a parallel event to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, organized by the Government of Norway and focused on the elimination of inhumane court rulings handed down against children and adolescents. Moreover, on October 24, 2010, he attended the “International Forum on the Criminal Responsibility of Adolescents,” held in Bogotá, Colombia.
March 9, 2010
On March 9, 2010, the Rapporteur participated at the “Latin American Meeting on Indigenous Peoples and Governance: From Declaration to Action,” held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, which centered on forced labor among indigenous children and adolescents.
Corporal Punishment and Human Rights of Children and Adolescents
June 14 and 16, 2010
Between June and October 2010, with the support of UNICEF, the Rapporteur for the Rights of the Child attended several outreach events in the Americas related to the Report on Corporal Punishment and Human Rights of Children and Adolescents. These included events on citizen security and violence against children organized by the Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNICEF in El Salvador (June 14, 2010) and in Panama City (June 16, 2010). Moreover, on March 25, 2010, the Rapporteur participated in activities organized by Save the Children- Switzerland in Brazil, where the elaboration of a bill to prohibit physical punishment and humilliation against children and adolescents was discussed.
As part of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Rapporteur gave a paper at the Regional Conference on Protecting Refugees and International Migration in the Americas, organized by the UNHCR, the IOM, and the OAS. The topic of his address was protecting unaccompanied children in the context of migration. In addition, during his time in Costa Rica and in coordination with the PANIAMOR Foundation and that country’s National Children’s Trust (PANI), Commissioner Pinheiro presented the thematic report on corporal punishment and the human rights of children and adolescents, recently published by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Among the participants were representatives of the national rights promotion and protection systems of Guatemala, Paraguay, Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Finally, Commissioner Pinheiro participated at the colloquium on the Report on Juvenile Justice Systems and Human Rights organized by UNICEF, the Paniamor Foundation and Costa Rica’s National Commission for Improving the Administration of Justice (CONAMAJ). The preliminary conclusions of the thematic report on juvenile criminal justice were presented at that meeting.
Between September 22 and 25, the Rapporteur was the main speaker at the 20th Pan-American Child Congress , held in Lima, Peru, and organized by the Inter-American Children’s Institute (IIN) and the Government of Peru. During that event, he also visited projects and met with the regional office of the Swedish organization Save the Children, Plan International, and UNICEF, as well as networks of organizations working with children. In addition, the Rapporteur attended a conference on corporal punishment and a round-table discussion on children’s rights. The Rapporteur also met with the Prime Minister of Peru, the President of Congress, the Minister responsible for family affairs and the rights of children. He also met with the United Nations Special Representative for Violence against Children and with the Director of UNICEF-TACRO, to exchange information and study possible cooperation mechanisms for developing joint strategies for a six-month plan on violence against children in the region and on following up on the recommendations set out in the reports published by the Rapporteur’s office.
On September 14, the Rapporteur’s office gave a paper on “The right to food of children aged under two in the inter-American system,” as part of a technical consultation organized by the United Nations World Food Programme and other agencies of the UN system. This consultation, held in Panama, addressed the impact of the international crisis and the right to food among highly vulnerable groups, specifically children aged under two, in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published today the second edition of the book “The Rights of the Child in the Inter-American Human Rights System ”, first published in 2002.
In this second edition, the book compiles in a general perspective the current status of the inter-American norms, mechanisms and decisions on the rights of children. The book includes a compact disc with the complete texts of instruments in the inter-American and universal systems related to children and the decisions adopted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on cases involving children, as well as the information required for access to the inter-American system.
The IACHR thanks the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the financial contribution that made possible the production and publication of this report.
The Rapporteur’s office gave a paper in Mexico at the Seminar on Justice for Adolescents , held on April 1 and organized by the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District, the Government of the Federal District, the Superior Court of Justice of the Federal District, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
IACHR signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
In 2008 the IACHR signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to create a cooperation framework for the preparation of a special study on juvenile criminal justice. To that end, the IACHR has already sent a Questionnaire on Juvenile Criminal Justice to member States and civil society organizations and is currently awaiting the various replies.
Development of specific standards by which to bring about the elimination of corporal punishment as a method to discipline children
The Rapporteurship believes it worth noting that promotion of non-violence against children is the core theme of the agreement signed with the IDB. In that connection, the Rapporteur elected to center its efforts on the development of specific standards by which to bring about the elimination of corporal punishment as a method to discipline children, which constitutes a form of violence that is tacitly accepted and ignored in the Americas. Accordingly, a draft request for an advisory opinion on protection of children against the use of corporal punishment in the Americas was prepared and approved by the IACHR, in which the Inter-American Court of Human Rights was asked to interpret Articles 1(1), 2, 5(1), 5(2), and 19 of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article VII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man in concordance with the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in order to establish that the use of corporal punishment as a method to discipline children is incompatible with the standards contained in the aforesaid international instruments. Further to the provisions of the agreement signed with the IDB, the Rapporteurship is presently engaged in the preparation of a study with the aim of promoting measures to turn the Americas into a region free from corporal punishment against persons under 18 years old.
Promotional Activities Carried Out in 2008
The principal educational and promotional activities carried out in 2008 include the following: the presentation of the Rapporteur, Commissioner Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro to the Parliament of Jamaica in February; the participation of Rapporteurship staff in a national workshop on “Promoting the Protection and Integral Development of Children and Adolescents” through planning and programs with a focus on human rights, organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Guatemala City; an educational workshop on “Protection of Children's Rights in the Inter-American System” co-organized with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in May; attendance at the Preparatory Meeting for the World Congress III on Sexual Exploitation,” which was held in Buenos Aires, in August, and participation in the World Congress III itself, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in November; and participation in the seminar on “City, Conflict, and the Public Sphere: The Latin American Perspective,” held in Bogotá, Colombia, in September.
Cooperation Agreement was subscribed between the IACHR and the non-governmental organization “Save the Children Sweden”
On December 17 a Cooperation Agreement was signed between the IACHR and the non-governmental organization “Save the Children Sweden” with the objective of strengthening the activities of the Rapporteurship in the defense of Children’s rights in the Hemisphere.
Implementation of “Technical Cooperation Agreement on the Protection of the Rights of Children in Latin America: Violence Prevention"
During 2007, the Rapporteurship began to carry out the activities planned under the “Technical Cooperation Agreement on the Protection of the Rights of Children in Latin America: Violence Prevention,” signed by IACHR and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). In that regard, in April 2007, the Rapporteurship hired Peruvian attorney Cecilia Anicama Campos, as a consultant to implement the activities planned in the agreement. Ms. Anicama was selected in accordance with established guidelines for the selection of experts at the IACHR.
Promotional Activities Carried Out in 2007
The Rapporteur for the Rights of Children and the Secretariat Specialist participated in other activities as it is described next: a meeting with experts of the region and officials of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) from August 20 through August 24 in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. On November 15 and 16, the Organization of American States sponsored the Sub regional Conference on Culture of Peace and Prevention of the Juvenile Violence that took place in the city of San José, Costa Rica, that was attended by a delegation of the Secretariat. From November 20 until November 21 a delegation of the Executive Secretary took part in the XII Annual Meeting of the Latin-American Federation of Ombudspersons (FIO), which was held in Lima, Peru. On December 5, a delegation of the Executive Secretary participated in a working meeting organized by the Commission of Juridical and Political Affairs of the OAS in relation to the Draft Inter-American Program for Universal Civil Registry and the “Right to Identity”.
The regional launching of the worldwide Study of Violence against Children
In November of that year the Rapporteur also participated in the regional launching of the worldwide Study of Violence against Children in Panama.
Presentation of the study on Violence against Children “Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children and youth – What can the Americas do?”
In October of 2006 Commission member Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro in his capacity of United Nations independent Expert, presented to the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs of the OAS the study on Violence against Children “Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children and youth – What can the Americas do?.” He also presented several recommendations to the member states for handling this problem. During his presentation, the Rapporteur was accompanied by the Assistant Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio.
The Commission signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank
The Commission signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank to strengthen the activities of the Rapporteurship on Children. This will continue to be implemented in 2007, which allows the Rapporteurship to expand its activities.
Participation in events regarding juvenile offenders
Furthermore, the Rapporteur participated in two events organized by the National Juvenile Defender Center at Georgetown University Law Center which were related to the inter-American system for the protection of the human rights regarding juvenile offenders.
The Rapporteurship presented a project to the Inter-American Development Bank
In addition, in 2005, the Rapporteurship presented a project to the Inter-American Development Bank regarding the strengthening of the activities of the Rapporteurship, which during 2006 and 2007 will enable it to initiate additional activities.
Seminar in Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
The activities of the Rapporteurship for Children in the year 2005 included holding a seminar in Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, in March, 2005. As part of the seminar, there was a fruitful exchange between the members of the IACHR with regard to the future activities of the Rapporteurship for Children.
VII Latin-American Conference of Ministers and High Officials Responsible for Children and Adolescents
In September, 2005 the Rapporteurship participated in and presented a paper at the VII Latin-American Conference of Ministers and High Officials Responsible for Children and Adolescents, which was held in León, Spain. The above mentioned conference provided important inputs for the Latin-American Conference of the Heads of State and Government which was held in Spain in October, 2005.
Consultation for Latin America, on the topic of Violence against Children
In June, 2005 the Rapporteurship participated in a Consultation for Latin America, conducted in the framework of the Study of the Secretary General of the United Nations on the topic of Violence against Children that was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the said event, the Ministers, and the high ranking national and international authorities on the subject of human rights met in Buenos Aires and formulated the “Declaration of Buenos Aires on Violence against Children and Adolescents”. The Rapporteurship had an important role to play in the preparation of the draft copy of the said Declaration.
The IACHR sent its first case with respect to child soldiers to the Inter-American Court of Human rights. The case of “Gerardo Vargas Areco”
In March, 2005, the IACHR sent its first case with respect to child soldiers to the Inter-American Court of Human rights. The case of “Gerardo Vargas Areco” was about a child who died after being shot at during an obligatory military service in Paraguay. The Rapporteurship for Children moved the said case forward through its various phases, by keeping in mind that besides providing justice in the specific case, the sentence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights would surely establish important applicable precedents for all the countries of the hemisphere with respect to this subject.