Press Release

IACHR grants precautionary measures in favour of 12 women with breast cancer in Venezuela

October 19,  2020

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Washington, D.C. - On October 14, 2020, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) adopted Resolution 68/2020, whereby it granted precautionary measures in favour of twelve women with breast cancer in Venezuela, after considering that they find themselves in a situation of serious and urgent risk of irreparable damage to their rights.

In coming to this decision, the Commission considered that, according to the request, in the context of the scarcity and shortages of medication, medical supplies, materials and treatment in the country, the beneficiaries would allegedly not be receiving the corresponding prescribed medical treatment from the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS) for extended periods of time, after having received said treatment in the past.

Likewise, taking into account the provisions of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (known as the Convention of Belém do Pará), the Commission considered that the risk factors described by the applicants would have serious consequences, with a differentiated effect on the health of the beneficiaries based solely on their status as women, and that this would amount to an additional form of violence against them.

After analyzing the factual and legal allegations made by the applicants, the IACHR considered, from the applicable prima facie standard, that the beneficiaries are in a situation of gravity and urgency, given that their rights face a risk of irreparable harm. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested the State of Venezuela to implement the necessary measures to protect the life, personal integrity and health of the beneficiaries, by adopting immediate measures that facilitate their access to adequate medical treatment, including the necessary medicines as prescribed by the corresponding health professionals, as well as assessments and examinations that make it possible to regularly evaluate their state of health, in accordance with applicable international standards and with the incorporation of a gender perspective.

The granting of this precautionary measure and its adoption by the State does not constitute the prejudgment of any petition that may eventually be presented before the inter-American system alleging violations of the rights protected in the American Convention and other 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. 256/20