Weekday News Wrap: Monday, February 18, 2013

by Jessica Dorsey


One Response

  1. The revised rules of procedure now being considered for the Inter-American Human Rights System are those of the Inter-American Commission, not the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 
    The Commission is under intense pressure from a group of States which, under the banner of “stengthening” the system, in fact seek to weaken it.  The Organization of American States has scheduled a special session of the OAS General Assembly for March 22 to consider proposed recommendations to the Commission and, more ominously, proposed amendments to the Statute of the Commission.  Among the amendments still under discussion is one banning States that do not join all OAS human rights treaties from nominating their citizens to sit on the Commission.  This would effectively mean that no US citizen could be a member of the Commission. 
    Another proposed amendment would require the Commission to relocate from OAS headquaryters in Washington, where it has always sat, to some other country which has joined all the OAS human rights treaties. 
    Ostensibly measures to promote universal ratification of OAS human rights treaties, these proposed amendments are in fact designed to undermine the effectiveness of the Commission, by reducing the US role and by relocating the Commission from the OAS headquarters city, where OAS member States have their Ambassadors to the OAS, and where NGOs that attend Commission hearings can also lobby Ambassadors on human rights issues.

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