Press Release

IACHR and MERCOSUR Coordinate Joint Efforts

October 21, 2011

Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) met yesterday with the Human Rights Public Policy Institute (IPPDH) of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), as well as with representatives of MERCOSUR member countries, as part of an ongoing dialogue on potential areas in which to cooperate and coordinate efforts.

Representatives of the Presidency Pro Tempore of MERCOSUR, currently held by Uruguay; representatives of three States Party, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay; and the Executive Secretary of the IPPDH, Víctor Abramovich, were received October 20 by the full Commission, which had begun its 143rd regular session the day before.

"We believe the efforts of the MERCOSUR IPPDH and the IACHR are complementary," Abramovich said. "For the countries that make up MERCOSUR, the idea is to consider the standards of the inter-American system as a minimum in terms of human rights," he added.

In this context, Abramovich informed the Commission about the request for an advisory opinion that Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay presented to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on July 7, 2011, on the matter of States' obligations toward child migrants.

"This is the first time since 1982, when the Court began its advisory functions, that the four States have gone to the Court to request an advisory opinion. This demonstrates the firm commitment of the four States Party to MERCOSUR to continue strengthening the inter-American human rights system," said the Interim Representative of Uruguay to the Organization of American States (OAS), Graziella Reyes, speaking as representative of the Presidency Pro Tempore of MERCOSUR.

The Commissioners thanked the MERCOSUR delegation for the information it had shared and expressed their interest in working together with the Human Rights Public Policy Institute. They also informed the visitors that the IACHR is currently working on a document, to be presented to the Inter-American Court, on the rights of child migrants.

The meeting between the IPPDH and representatives of MERCOSUR countries is part of a series of efforts the IACHR is making to coordinate its work with other regional human rights organizations.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 109/11