The primary mandate of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of the Child is the promotion of the human rights of children and adolescents within the jurisdiction of the 35 member states of the Organization of American States (OAS). Thus, it has its office at IACHR headquarters, so that it can perform all of the functions assigned to it to promote and defend human rights.
The mandate of the Rapporteurship is based on Article 41 of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 18 of the IACHR Statute, which together establish specific functions in the sphere of promoting human rights. In addition, Article 15 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure stipulates that the Commission has the power to create rapporteurships to better fulfill its functions, and sets a few guidelines on the operations of rapporteurships.
The Office of the Rapporteur provides specialized advice to the Commission in the proceedings of petitions filed to the IACHR regarding violations of the rights of children and adolescents.
In serious and urgent cases that breach children's rights, the Commission may request that the State adopts precautionary measures to prevent irreparable harm to individuals. Moreover, the Commission may request information from the State and may issues recommendations regarding the alleged situation.
Likewise, in cases of extreme gravity and urgency, the Commission may request that the Court issues an order to the State to adopt provisional measures to avoid irreparable damage to persons.
The office of the Rapporteur may conduct studies regarding the rights of children and adolescents. These studies contribute to the development of International Human Rights Law. Furthermore, the above mentioned studies may include recommendations to encourage States’ compliance with international human rights standards.
The Office of the Rapporteur undertakes on site visits to the countries throughout the region. During these visits the Office of the Rapporteur establishes contacts with governmental authorities and with civil society organizations that workd in areas related to the rights of children and adolescents. These visits give the opportunity to observe in depth the problems that affect children and adolescents and to address recommendations to States aiming at guaranteeing the respect and enjoyment of the rights of the child.
The Office of the Rapporteur engages in promotional activities regarding the protection of the rights of children. For instance, the Rapporteurship organizes seminaries, workshops and working meetings about international human rights standards.