Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty and to Prevent and Combat Torture

Mandate

The mandate of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty and for the Prevention and Combat of Torture consists of monitoring the situation of persons subjected to any form of deprivation of liberty or detention in the member states.

Under the Principles and Good Practices on the Protection of Persons Deprived of Liberty, deprivation of liberty includes any form of detention or custody of a person, ordered by or under the de facto control of a judicial or administrative authority or any other authority, either in a public or private institution, in which they cannot have their freedom of movement. Considering the foregoing, the category of persons deprived of liberty does not only include those who have been prosecuted or convicted, but also persons in psychiatric hospitals and other establishments for people with disabilities; institutions for boys, girls, and the elderly; immigration detention centers, and any other institution intended for the deprivation of liberty of persons.

Likewise, under what was decided by the IACHR in February 2019 - during the 171st period of sessions, the mandate of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty extends to preventing and combating torture.

To fulfill its mandate, the Rapporteurship performs various functions, such as the following:

  • It makes visits to the States to do observation and documentation in the field.
  • It prepares reports (thematic and countries) that contain specialized recommendations addressed to the Member States of the OAS to advance in respecting and guaranteeing the human rights of persons deprived of liberty.
  • Develops innovative standards on the deprivation of liberty.
  • Follow up on the recommendations issued in the respective country reports.
  • Advises the Commission in the processing of petitions and individual cases, and of precautionary and provisional measures in which violations of the human rights of persons deprived of liberty are alleged.
  • It uses different monitoring mechanisms of the IACHR to follow up on the situation of persons deprived of liberty, such as a) press releases; b) requests for confidential information from the States, and c) collaboration in the organization of public hearings.
  • Provide advice and recommendations on public policies to the OAS Member States and OAS political bodies related to the protection and promotion of the human rights of persons deprived of liberty.
  • It generates awareness regarding the obligations of States to respect and guarantee the human rights of persons deprived of liberty.
  • Carries out promotional activities, such as seminars, workshops, and consultation meetings with specialists in the field.