Bogota, Colombia, November 19, 2015
On November 19, 2015, Commissioner Cavallaro participated in the academic exchange session organized by Dejusticia and the Global Justice and Human Rights Program of the University of the Andes held in Bogotá, Colombia. At this session, the criminal and penitentiary systems were addressed, among other subjects.
New York, October 5, 2015.
On October 5, 2015, a lawyer of the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR participated in the "High-Level Launch of the Nelson Mandela Rules ", which UNODC and the Permanent Mission of South Africa jointly organized on the margins of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Cornell University, October 5, 2015
Commissioner James Cavallaro, Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty and IACHR's lawyer, Sofia Galvan, participated in the "Carceral Worlds and Human Rights Across the Americas" symposium, co-organized by Stanford Human Rights Center and Cornell University. The symposium was held at Cornell University on October 5, 2015. The purpose of this event was to present the main challenges that detainees face in the Americas and to discuss measures that would improve the conditions of detention. The symposium speakers included representatives from the Stanford Human Rights Center; university representatives from Cornell, Bradford, Appalachian State, and Westminster; and representatives from Network and Criminal Justice in Brazil. There was also a workshop discussing experiences about the system of self-government in prisons in the Americas.
Bolivia, August 21, 2015
On August 21, 2015, the Rapporteurship participated in a videoconference organized by Bolivia's Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights entitled "International Standards on Pre-Trial Detention and Human Rights," aimed at administrators of criminal justice (judges, prosecutors, and ministries of justice).
Lima, Peru, November, 2014
In the context of an academic visit by a research team from Stanford Law School, the Rapporteur visited the Lurigancho prison outside Lima for several days in November. The Rapporteur also had the opportunity to meet with authorities at the detention center, as well as with National Prisons Director José Luis Pérez Guadalupe.
Cochabamba, Bolivia, November 11, 2014
On November 11, 2014 Staff from the Executive Secretariat participated via Skype in the Seminar - Workshop "International Law on Persons Deprived of Liberty and New Models in the Fight against Crime and Drugs, which took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia, from December 11th to 12th, 2014.
Bolivia, from November 5 to 7, 2014
From November 5 to 7, 2014, Staff from the Executive Secretariat participated in the Seminar on Pretrial Detention: situation in Latin-American and Bolivia. This seminar was organized by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights, and took place in La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. The Representative of the High Commissioner of Human Rights of the UN, Denis Racicot; the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Jorge Von Borries; the President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Department of Santa Cruz, Misael Salguero; the President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Department of Cochabamba, Nuria Gonzales; and an important number of judges, prosecutors, attorneys and representatives of civil society participated in this event.
October 20 to 22, 2014
The IACHR carried out a visit to Colorado, United States, from October 20 to 22, 2014, led by the Commissioner Rosa Maria Ortiz, Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child, and accompanied by personnel of the Executive Secretary of the IACHR. The objective of the visit was to gather information on the situation of persons under the age of 18 treated as adults in the adult system of criminal justice, as well as the conditions of youth in detention and incarceration facilities.
During the visit, the delegation was received by authorities including the Deputy Legal Counsel of Governor John Hickenlooper, Ben Figa; Public Defender of the State of Colorado, Doug Wilson; Executive Director of the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council, Tom Raynes; and Colorado State Representative Daniel Kagan. The Rapporteur also met with formerly incarcerated youth and families, as well as civil society representatives. Furthermore, the delegation visited confinement facilities for youth convicted as adults to the Youthful Offender System, as well as for youth committed in the juvenile system to the Division of Youth Corrections. Additionally, Commissioner Ortiz presented a lecture and held a public hearing at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.
Panama, from September 30 to October 2nd, 2014
Staff from the Executive Secretariat participated in the Regional Forum of the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) on the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OP-CAT), held in Panama City September 30 to October 2, 2014. This activity included the participation of representatives of the States parties to the OP-CAT (14 to date), of all the national and local mechanisms for prevention of the region, and of other national, regional, and international actors who work on the prevention of torture with the objective of strengthening the role of mechanisms of prevention; increasing cooperation among all the actors around the common challenges facing the region; and promoting progress in the application of the Optional Protocol in Latin America. By participating in this important event, the Inter-American Commission ratifies its commitment to firmly support the process of ratification of the OP-CAT and the implementation of the national prevention mechanisms established therein as an important measure for preventing torture in the region.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 25, 2014
On September 25, 2014, staff of the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR participated in the seminar "Public defense and monitoring human rights in centers for deprivation of liberty," held in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. This event was organized by the program EUROSOCIAL II, with the cooperation of the Inter-American Association of Public Defenders (AIDEF) and the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsperson of Argentina. The topics covered in the presentation were focused on (i) the mechanisms for coordination between the IACHR and international and national organizations with a view to increasing the impact and efficacy of the monitoring work in centers for deprivation of liberty; and (ii) the functioning of the IACHR’s system of petitions and cases, with special emphasis on the developments in the case-law related to the rights of persons deprived of liberty.
São Paolo, Brazil, September 5, 2014
On September 5, 2014, the Rapporteur presented the Report on the Use of Pretrial Detention in the Americas in São Paulo, Brazil, at an event organized by Global Justice that was held at the Law School of the Universidade de São Paulo. During his stay in that city, the Rapporteur held a technical meeting on the issues of pretrial detention and conditions of detention with representatives of civil society, social organizations, and social movements.
Lima, Peru, on May 26 to 29, 2014
On May 27, 2014 Commissioner James L. Cavallaro officially launched in Lima, Peru, the the Report on the Use of Pretrial Detention in the Americas. In an event sponsored by Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), the Center for the Advancement of Justice and Citizen Security (CERJUSC), the Legal Defense Institute (IDL) and Open Society/Justice Initiative and the Latin American Network for Pretrial Detention.The Ombudsman, Eduardo Vega, the Attorney General Pablo Sanchez, and representatives from civil society, also participated.
During his visit to Peru the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty met with government officials and other stakeholders, and conducted other activities within his mandate. In particular, the Rapporteur visited the Ancon II Prison, the Chorrillo Women’s Prison, and the Lurigancho Prison. At Ancon II, a maximum security facility, he visited the wings for foreigners and nationals convicted for drug trafficking, as well as the wing for women convicted for the crime of terrorism and accused of being part of Shining Path leadership. At the Chorrillos Women’s Prison, he visited various wings for women convicted of common crimes, as well as the prison’s handicraft workshops and kitchen. He also visited the annex where some foreign women are housed, as well as women convicted of terrorism. Finally, he visited the Lurigancho Prison where men convicted of common crimes are held. At that prison he visited various wings, as well as the prison health center.
IACHR Headquarters, March 26, 2014
The IACHR officially launched the Report on the Use of Pretrial Detention in the Americas , in the course of the 150th period of sessions of the Inter-American Commission, in Washington, D.C. In the event the Chairperson of the IACHR, Tracy Robinson; the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty James Cavallaro; the Ambassador Jorge Hevia, Permanent Observer of Spain before the OAS; Nataly Ponce, Coordinator of the Regional Network of Pretrial Justice in Latin America; and Robert Varenik, Program Director of Open Society/Justice Initiative participated as panelists. The Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Emilio Alvarez Icaza participated as moderator.
The Report analyzes the general situation on the use of pretrial detention in the region, identifies common challenges, presents official information, reiterates the main international standards on the matter and advances in the development of new standards. The Inter-American Commission stresses that pretrial detention must be the exception, and it should only be applied with the aim of ensuring the proper conduction of the process. Furthermore, it lays out a number of recommendations aimed to assist the States on their compliance with the international standards in the matter.
Mexico, March 10
The newly appointed Rapporteur on Persons Deprived of Liberty, James L. Cavallaro conducted a series of activities in México in order to promote the Report on the Use of Pretrial Detention in the Americas, which included meetings with representatives of civil society organizations and other stakeholders, as well as a formal launching of the Report in the Senate of the Republic of Mexico. These activities were co-sponsored by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and OpenSociety/Justice Initiative.
Bogotá, Colombia, December 2
On December 2, the Rapporteur delivered a conference about the Report on the Human Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas at the University of St. Thomas, in Bogotá, in the course of an International Congress on the creation of a committee for the prevention of torture in the Americas.
New York, USA, October 22
On October 22, the staff of the Rapporteurship participated at the side event Reviewing the Standards Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners - Preventing Torture and ill-treatment?, organized by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in the frame of the 68th period of sessions of the General Assembly of the UN, in New York. The goal of this event was to provide an opportunity to draw attention to the on-going review process and to discuss the recommendations rendered by the Special Rapporteur in his recent report (A/68/295), delivered specifically for this process. Also participated in this panel discussion: Malcolm Evans, Chair of the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT); Claudio Grossman, Chair of the Committee Against Torture (CAT); Andrea Huber, Policy Director of Penal Reform International (PRI); Jamil Dakwar, Director Director of the Human Rights Program of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); y Yuval Ginbar, Asesor Legal Advisor of Amnesty International (AI).
Tegucigalpa, Honduras, September 25
On September 25, a specialist from the Rapporteurship participated in the Expert Meeting on "Standards for the Design and/or Strengthening of a National Registry System for Detained Persons" in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. This event was organized by the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), the Human Rights Center "Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez" (Centro Prodh) and the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH). Also participating were representatives from the United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (ILANUD), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Working Group of the United Nations on Arbitrary Detentions, and other experts on this field.
On September 10, the Rapporteur participated in the forum: "Prison, Pressure and Process: The Judicial Independence and its Impact on Pre-trial Detention ", sponsored by Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF). In this event, the DPLF officially launched a recently finished study on the situation of the judicial independence in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. More detailed information about the event and the full text of the report in Spanish are available at here .
From August 14 to 16 the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Mr. Rodrigo Escobar Gil, participated at the First Working Meeting on the Prevention of Torture in the Southern Cone , sponsored by the Procuración Penitenciaria de la Nacion and the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT). This event counted with the participation of public authorities, representatives from the civil society and national human rights institutions from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, as well as representatives from international human rights organizations. The meeting provided an opportunity to focus on the main challenges faced by the countries of the region in the prevention of torture, and to explore possible actions and solutions based on the successful experiences shared.
August 1 and 2
On August 1 and 2, the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Commissioner Rodrigo Escobar Gil, headed the delegation that visited Tegucigalpa to present the Report on the Situation of Persons Deprived of Liberty in Honduras. The Report was presented to the President of the Republic, Porfirio Lobo; to family members of the victims of the fire at the National Penitentiary of Comayagua; to other high-level State authorities; and to civil society organizations and the people of Honduras, through the media. The report was prepared based on an April 2012 working visit to Honduras by an IACHR delegation led by Rapporteur Escobar Gil, which was carried out with the financial support of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS).
On July 10, a representative from the Rapporteurship participated in a meeting of experts on the review of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners organized by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Mr. Juan Mendez. This event took place at Oxford, England; and was sponsored by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Center for Human rights & Humanitarian Law of the American University and the project Human Rights for Future Generations of the University of Oxford.
On June 14, the Rapporteur launched in person the Report on the Human Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas in the city of Panama, in a ceremony organized by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), which was also attended by Mrs. Carmen Rosa Viila, Regional Representative for Central America of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN, officials from the Government of Panama and representatives of civil society.
On April 25-26, 2013 a representative from the Rapporteurship participated in a meeting of experts on "Indicators for Measuring the Use of Pre-Trial Detention: What does "exceptional measure" in pre-trial justice mean in the Americas?" This meeting was held in Bogota, Colombia. It was organized by Open Society/Justice Initiative and the Regional Network on Pre-Trial Justice of Latin America. The opening session was offered by a representative of the Rapporteurship, who presented the topic: "Registration of Detainees and Measurement of the Use of Preventive Detention in International Human Rights Law."
On April 5-6, 2013, the Coordinator of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Maria Claudia Pulido, participated, along with the Assistant Executive Secretary, Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, in the Expert Meeting called "The Right to Reparation for Torture: the Role of African Human Rights Mechanisms." This event took place on Kololi, Gambia, and was organized by the Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and The REDRESS Trust, in collaboration with other organizations.
On March 15, 2013, in the context of the 147th Period of Sessions of the IACHR, the Rapporteurship officially launched the Report on the Human Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas, in the Padilha Vidal Room at the Headquarters of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Participants in this panel included Ambassador Andres González Diaz, Chairman of the CAJP of the OAS; Ambassador Guillermo Marin, Deputy Observer from Spain before the OAS; Dr. Veronica Filippeschi Program Officer for the Americas of the Association on the Prevention of Torture (APT); and Commissioner Rodrigo Escobar Gil, Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty of the IACHR. Dr. Emilio Álvarez Icaza, Executive Secretary of the IACHR acted as a moderator of the panel.
A specialist of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty participated in the international workshop on "Enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and regional human rights mechanisms", which took place in Geneva, Switzerland from December 12 to 14. The specialist spoke during the first session in the panel on "How to improve information sharing between UN and regional human rights mechanisms, based on the example of prevention of torture mandates and activities". Commissioner Dinah Shelton and Executive Secretary of the IACHR Emilio Alvarez Icaza also participated in this workshop.
This event had as its objective identifying means for enhancing cooperation between the United Nations’ human rights mechanisms and the regional human rights mechanisms, specifically in the following three areas: information sharing, joint activities and the follow-up to each other’s recommendations.
On October 9-10, the staff attorney/specialist with the Office of the Rapporteur participated in a series of promotional events in Mexico organized by the Mexico City Human Rights Commission (CDHDF) and the Institute of Criminal Justice (Instituto de Justicia Procesal Penal). The activities included a presentation of the IACHR's Report on the Human Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas, in the Digna Ochoa Room II of the CDHDF. Participants included Rosalinda Salinas—one of the CDHDF officials (Segunda Visitadora General) who handles complaints and investigates human rights violations—and Gerardo Sauri, Secretary for Promotion and Involvement in Public Policy. A roundtable was also held with civil society organizations on the use of pretrial detention in Mexico, and a visit was carried out to the Reclusorio Norte prison in Mexico City.
For more information on the opinions expressed by participants at the presentation of the IACHR's Report on the Human Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas, see Press Bulletin 376/12 issued by the CDHDF .
On September 17 and 18, 2012, the team of the Rapporteurship and the IACHR Executive Secretary , Emilio Álvarez-Icaza, participated in the Third Meeting of Authorities Responsible for Penitentiary and Jail Policies . This meeting was organized in the context of the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or other Ministers or Attorney Generals of the Americas (REMJA), and in follow up to Resolution AG/RES.2657 (XLI-0/11). At this technical meeting, the delegats of the member States discussed topics such as the administration of penitentiaries, good practices that some countries have implemented, rehabilitiation and social reintegration programs, and the main challenges that the States of the region face to realize the respect and guarantee of fundamental rights of the persons deprived of liberty.
In its presentation, the team of the Rapporteurship emphasized the duty of the States in adopting policies orientated to the managing of the penitentiaries.
On August 30 and 31, lawyers from the Rapporteurships on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Children's Rights, and the LGTBI Unit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights participated in the sessions of the " Encounter on social integration and drugs in Latin America ", an event that took place at the headquarters of the OAS, in Washington DC This meeting is part of the effort of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States (CIDAD / OEA) to help develop drug policies in member states, through the definition of a referential framework in public policies on social integration and drugs.
From July 9 to 10, 2012, the staff of the Office of the Special Rapporteur attended a regional meeting in Latin America on pre-trial justice, organized in the city of Lima by the Open Society / Justice Initiative. The objective of this meeting was to follow up on criteria shared in the first regional meeting of the Global Campaign for Pretrial Justice, held in Cocoyoc, Mexico, in 2011.
On July 5, 2012, the staff of the Office of the Special Rapporteur participated in a forum organized by the Institute of Comparative Studies and Criminal Sciences of Guatemala (ICCPG) in which a presentation was made of the Report on the Human Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas. Representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner in Guatemala also participated in this activity.
The Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Rodrigo Escobar Gil, participated as a speaker at the Fourth International Penitentiary and Human Rights Symposium, which was held from July 4 to 6, 2012 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. In this event also participated as exhibitors: Luigi Ferrajolli, Manuel Ventura Robles, Elías Carranza and Juan Carlos Esguerra, among others.
At this Symposium, the Rapporteur made a formal presentation of the Report on the Human Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas.
On June 13, 2012, the staff of the Office of the Special Rapporteur participated in the panel: "A look at the recent thematic work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights", organized by the Washington College of Law of American University , as part of the activities of the Academy of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. The Deputy Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, and other attorneys from the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR also participated in this panel.
On May 10, the Office of the Special Rapporteur formally launched the Report on the Human Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas , through Press Release No. 45/12 , which was widely disseminated in various press media in the region . This is the first comprehensive thematic report issued by the Inter-American Commission regarding the human rights situation of persons deprived of liberty in the Americas, it refers to the main problems faced by the penitentiary systems of the region and presents the applicable international standards, formulated concrete recommendations to the States.
From April 23 to 27, the Office of the Special Rapporteur carried out a monitoring visit to Honduras as part of the follow-up that the IACHR is giving to the serious prison situation that exists in that State and that led to the tragedy that occurred on February 14 of this year in 362 people died in a fire that broke out in the Comayagua National Penitentiary. Preliminary observations on this visit were issued through Press Release No. 43/12 .
In February, a specialist from the IACHR Executive Secretariat represented the Office of the Rapporteur at a roundtable held in the state Oaxaca, Mexico, on recommendations made by the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture. The event took place February 1-2, 2012, at Vasconcelos University. The aim of the event was to draw attention to a report adopted by the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture on May 27, 2009, and to follow up on recommendations that body issued after its 2008 visit to Mexico. The activity was organized by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT).
On its Spring 2011 edition (Volume 18, Issue 3), Human Rights Brief of American University's Washington College of Law published an interview with Commissioner Rodrigo Escobar Gil, Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty. The interview was published in English and Spanish, and it is available in this PDF document , which we reprinted with the magazine's authorization.
Kingston, Jamaica, December 2 to 3, 2011
The Rapporteur concluded the Second Regional Conference on Best Practices of Prison Management in the Caribbean, held December 2-3 in Kingston, Jamaica. Participants included the States of the English-speaking Caribbean-Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago-as well as international experts, the International Red Cross (IRC), and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The conference addressed issues related to incarcerated individuals' rights to medical care and mental health; the prevention of prison violence; disciplinary rules; the personal rehabilitation and social readaptation of inmates; prison legislation and public policy; detention conditions; and corrections staff. In addition, the first day of the event included a panel discussion on the situation of persons deprived of liberty in Jamaica.
An IACHR specialist participated, in representation of the Office of the Rapporteur, in a Latin American Meeting on Justice Before the Trial , held November 29 - December 2, 2011 in Cocoyoc, Morelos, Mexico. The event was organized by Open Society/Justice Initiative and the Project Presumed Innocent of Mexico.
The Rapporteur, Rodrigo Escobar Gil, participated imparting a conference in the First International Congress on the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Persons Deprived of Liberty, held November 9-11, 2011, in Medellin, Colombia. The event was sponsored by, among others, the United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (ILANUD), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights.
The coordinator of the Office of the Rapporteur, Human Rights Specialist María Claudia Pulido, participated in the Global Forum of the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) on the effective implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT), held in Geneve, Suitzerland.
On September 29-30, 2011, the Office of the Rapporteurship participated in the First State Seminar for the Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ("Seminário Estadual para a Prevenção da Prática de Tortura e de outros Tratamentos ou Penas Cruéis, Desumanos ou Degradantes"), which was organized by the Minas Gerais Secretariat for Social Development and its Sub-Secretariat for Human Rights. Leonardo Hidaka, a Human Rights Specialist at the IACHR, made a presentation about the work of the IACHR related to monitoring places of deprivation of liberty, and the work of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, during the Panel "Vulnerable groups: historical and social perspectives." The public of 500 participants included police officers and prison guards from the state of Minas Gerais. The objective of the seminar was to discuss the implementation of a state mechanism for the prevention of torture, according to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which was ratified by Brazil on January 12, 2007.
On April 25, 2011, specialist Andrés Pizarro, of the Office of the Rapporteur, participated as remote panelist (through conference call) in the Forum of Citizen Consultation on the Penitentiary Administration System of Panama. This activity was organized by Panama's Ombudsman.
In light of the grave detention conditions and numerous cases of torture reported in the Americas, representatives of the United Nations anti-torture mechanisms and the IACHR Office of the Rapporteur on the Right of Persons Deprived of Liberty have decided to strengthen their relations and more closely coordinate activities. They held their first meeting toward that end at the headquarters of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on March 16, 2011. Participants in the meeting discussed the direct correlation between, on the one hand, the trend toward repressive political policies on citizen security and, on the other, the increase in overcrowding in correctional facilities, the rise in the number of torture cases and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment and punishment, and the decline of detention conditions.
Those participating in the meeting included the IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas, Rodrigo Escobar Gil; the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Juan Méndez; the Chairperson of the UN Committee against Torture, Claudio Grossman; Vice-Chairperson of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, Mario Coriolano; the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Santiago A. Canton; the head of the Americas Section of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, María Clara Martin; and other specialists from the inter-American and universal human rights systems.
Rapporteur Rodrigo Escobar Gil gave a talk entitled "An Overview of the Prison Situation in Latin America," as a participant in a panel entitled "Analysis of the Prison Situation, Criminal Policy, and Judicial Responses in Latin America." The event took place in Bogotá, Colombia, in November 2010.
At the VI Constitutional Jurisdiction Meeting: Talks with the Nation-held at the Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada Convention Center, in Bogotá, Colombia-Rapporteur Rodrigo Escobar Gil gave a talk entitled "The Perspective of the Bodies of the Human Rights System regarding Constitutional Jurisprudence on Human Rights." The event took place in October 2010.
Rapporteur Rodrigo Escobar Gil participated in the University of Chile's II Human Rights Congress, where he gave a speech on non-imprisonment measures. The event took place in Santiago, Chile, in August 2010.
Rapporteur Rodrigo Escobar Gil and the Office of the Rapporteur's attorney specialist were speakers at the International Symposium on Prison Law and Human Rights , organized by Colombia's National Prison Institute (INPEC). The event took place in Medellín, Colombia, in July 2010.
The Office of the Rapporteur's attorney specialist was a panelist at the Seminar on National Mechanisms to Prevent Torture, organized by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The event took place in Montevideo, Uruguay, in July 2010.
The Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Rodrigo Escobar Gil, and the Office of the Rapporteur's attorney specialist, Andrés Pizarro, offered a seminar on June 8, 2010, in the Auditorium of the Supreme Court of Justice in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Those attending included representatives of the judiciary and the Provincial Office of the Ombudsman, as well as members of the general public.
On November 12, 2009, Commissioner Florentín Meléndez gave the OAS Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs a detailed report on his five-year term as Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty.
The Rapporteur participated as a speaker at the First Conference on Prison Issues: "Detainees in Preventive Custody," which took place in November 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was organized by the University of Buenos Aires. He gave a keynote address on "Principles and Best Practices on the Protection of Persons Deprived of Liberty."
In February 2009, Rapporteur Florentín Meléndez was a speaker at an international congress held in Cartagena, Colombia, on the use of the inter-American system by Ombudsmen's Offices in Latin America.
In January 2009, Rapporteur Florentín Meléndez participated in the Central American Seminar on Protection against Torture , held in Guatemala City.
Buenos Aires, November 12 to 16, 2007
The Latin American seminar on "Best Prison Practices," was held November 12-16 in Buenos Aires. Participants included 16 countries, local and international nongovernmental organizations, universities, experts, and officials of the Argentine government, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations. During the event, the governments reported on successful prison practices being implemented in their respective countries and shared positive experiences on how to prevent, combat, punish and eradicate poor prison practices and human rights violations in prisons, in order to better confront this important challenge that affects all countries in the region.
The Office of the Rapporteur participated in the XXV Inter-Disciplinary Course on Human Rights , organized by the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR). Rapporteur Florentín Meléndez gave a presentation on precautionary measures and special rapporteurships. The event took place in July 2007 in San José, Costa Rica.
The Rapporteur participated as a speaker at the II Prison Seminar on Latin America and the Caribbean , which took place in June 2007 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The Office of the Rapporteur participated in a conference entitled "The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT): Preventive Mechanisms and Standards," held in April 2007 at the School of Law of the University of Bristol, England. The Office of the Rapporteur's attorney specialist gave a talk on the relationship between OPCAT and the regional mechanism of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Rapporteur Florentín Meléndez taught classes at the Second Specialized Course for State and Foreign Ministry Employees on how to use the inter-American system for the protection of human rights. Sponsored by the Inter-American Court, the IACHR, and the IIHR, the event took place from September 26 to October 3, 2006, in San José, Costa Rica.
Rapporteur Florentín Meléndez participated in the Sixth Meeting of Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA-VI), held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on April 24, 2006. He gave a presentation on best practices and prison reform in the Americas.
On December 6, 2005, with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty held a Workshop on the Inter-American Human Rights System in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The event was geared toward civil society organizations.
The Rapporteur participated in the Academic Symposiums on Prison in Colombia , which were organized by the Office of the High Commissioner and the National University of Colombia, and took place November 9-11 in Bogota.
The Office of the Rapporteur sponsored and participated in the "Symposiums on Best Practices in Juvenile Criminal Justice," held in September 2005 in the city of Buenos Aires. The symposiums were organized in conjunction with the Human Rights Secretariat of Argentina's Ministry of Justice.
The Office of the Rapporteur participated in a seminar on "Building Restorative Justice in Latin America," which took place in September 2005 in San José, Costa Rica. The event was sponsored by the United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (ILANUD) and the Prison Fellowship International.
The Office of the Rapporteur participated in a seminar organized by the Association for the Prevention of Torture, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), and the Teotônio Vilela Commission on "The Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture: Implementation in Brazil and other Federal and Decentralized States." The event took place in São Paulo, Brazil, in June 2005.
In 2005, the Office of the Rapporteur offered symposiums for students and professors. In February, it made a presentation at Brown University and in March at Harvard University.
The Office of the Rapporteur participated in the Inter-American Course on Prevention of Torture , organized by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and geared toward ombudsmen and human rights public prosecutors in Latin America. The event took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in July 2004.