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Permanent Council of The OAS Committee on Hemispheric Security


With the support of

Government of Canada
through its "Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program" (ACCBP)

OAS - Inter-American Observatory on Security


DPS > Inter-American Observatory on Security > Legal Framework

Data base on Public Security legislations
A high number of laws, resolutions and agreements have been adopted and must be implemented in the area of public security.  This page contains some useful links to international and regional treaties, laws, regulations and other dispositions that regulate the juridical activities related to public security.  These are divided by category (treaties, resolutions, laws, etc.), by geographical scope (international, regional and national) and by topic. 


Laws, resolutions and agreement from the national offices of the OAS Member States. Inside those country information pages, they will be classified by topic.


In compliance with the Charter of the United Nations, all treaties and international agreements adopted by the UN Member States are to be registered and published by the UN.  The status of each multilateral treaty can be found on the web through the United Nations Treaty Collection, accessible by subscription, or as published by the UN Organizations and Special agencies. 

Inter-American System

The OAS is responsible for the implementation of the Inter-American multilateral treaties and their instruments of ratification, as well as any bilateral agreements adopted by the OAS bodies and the OAS Member States.  The Summit of the Americas mechanism, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Juridical Committee, the General Assembly and the Permanent Council are examples of bodies and entities of the Inter-American system that adopt documents and instruments with legal value at the regional level. 


The sub-regional and bilateral agreements and cooperation mechanisms related to security are fundamental for the reinforcement of security in the Hemisphere.  The Carribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Common Market of the Southern Cone (MERCOSUR) are examples of sub-regional organizations that have specific mechanisms on public security. 

International, Regional Legislation by Topic

This section contains the international norms and legislations on public security in force in the Western Hemisphere, by topic.  The main areas considered are: firearms, penitentiary and prison systems, organized crime, demining, gangs, witness protection, kidnappings and forced disappearances, illicit smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons, violence against women, sexual violence and others. 

Last update: November 2010

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