Press Release

IACHR Publishes Report: “Due Process in Procedures to Determine Refugee and Stateless Person Status and Grant Complementary Protection”

December 18, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - Today the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a new report entitled “Due Process in Procedures to Determine Refugee and Stateless Person Status and Grant Complementary Protection”, on the occasion of International Migrants Day. The report presents analyses, standards, and recommendations that seek to guide the implementation of national recognition and protection systems while providing comprehensive protection for the human rights of people in movement.

In this report, the IACHR acknowledges the challenges presented by the current context of large-scale, mixed migratory movements in the Americas and seeks to identify the principles and key elements that must be guaranteed to ensure that these flows and protection procedures comply with the international standards on this matter. This implies ensuring that any individual can enjoy the right to obtain international protection whenever they require it.

In the report, the IACHR also warns of the growing challenges faced by National Asylum Systems throughout the Americas in adequately processing new, intense, varied human movement and in meeting the demands for protection that arise as a consequence of these. The IACHR also wishes to draw attention to obstacles to the effective enjoyment of human rights among people in movement who need international protection. The report is based on an intersectional view of human mobility that incorporates the dimensions of gender, age, and diversity as structural core areas that shape the conditions for effective access to protection procedures.

Similarly, the IACHR deems that due process in all migratory and protection procedures is a necessary condition for guaranteeing other core principles of the Inter-American system, such as equality, nondiscrimination, and the principle of nonrefoulement. Furthermore, it notes that the procedural aspects of protection systems are vital to the protection of human rights of people who are subject to these procedures. In this context, the IACHR stresses how important it is for States to pursue effective protection by fully guaranteeing the human rights of people in movement.

In response to the publication of the report, Commissioner Julissa Mantilla, the Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants, said: “this report discusses crucial aspects of the role of National Asylum Systems in guaranteeing the rights of people in movement and providing protection through fair, sufficient, nondiscriminatory conditions that include an intersectional perspective and a differentiated approach.” She also noted, “although the report focuses on the procedures handled by States, it directly addresses civil society, judicial authorities, and defenders of the human rights of migrants, stateless people, refugees, and asylum seekers. This is because they play an essential role in assessing procedures and protecting guarantees.”

“The IACHR is keeping a close eye on the many challenges facing national asylum and protection systems and is stepping up its efforts to fulfil its mandate to promote and protect the human rights of all people in movement,” said Commissioner Joel Hernández, the President of the IACHR. “Every year, comprehensive, coordinated responses, cooperation, dialogue, and commitment on the part of States, societies, and international organizations are needed to provide international protection for all migrants and refugees,” he concluded.

Given the above, this report set out to compile the highest norms and standards on human rights and international refugee law, in addition to the best practices of States in the region regarding the right to seek and receive asylum, complementary protection, and statelessness. It also contains a practical compilation of the standards that must be guaranteed for these flows to take place appropriately, ensuring that any individual can enjoy the right to obtain international protection whenever they require it. The report is accompanied by an annex containing an organized list of the standards it includes. This is to enable the report to function as a reference not just for the authorities responsible for processing and deciding on applications for international protection, but also for civil society organizations, and particularly for people in need of this protection.

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. 307/20