Press Release

IACHR Welcomes Sessions of the Working Group to Examine Progress Reports of States Parties to the Protocol of San Salvador

October 29, 2015

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes the fact that the Working Group to examine the progress reports of the States Parties to the Protocol of San Salvador—the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights—has held its second session. IACHR Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi, a member of the Working Group, and Commissioner Rosa María Ortiz, an alternate member, highlighted the importance that in this second session there were public sessions.

Under the mandates established by the States Parties, the Working Group held public sessions to examine the national reports related to the first group of rights under the Protocol of San Salvador: health, education, and social security. The sessions created a space in which to discuss the reports and to provide guidance to the Member States through dialogue and the exchange of information and best practices, in order to advance toward the full observance of economic, social, and cultural rights. Moreover, this was the first time public sessions were held with the States that presented their reports, in implementation of the mechanism provided in the Protocol of San Salvador.

The coordinator of the IACHR Unit on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ESCR), Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi, said that “these sessions confirm that the Protocol of San Salvador is fully operational and therefore compliance with it is mandatory. As a Working Group, we hope that those who are protected by the Protocol will make it their own and that we will achieve definite progress in the pursuit of economic, social, and cultural rights for more people. We are also convinced that more and more States will join this process of implementing ESCRs.”

For her part, Commissioner Ortiz underscored “the historic value of the fact that for the first time it has been possible to hold a dialogue with the States concerning their progressive compliance with their obligations under the Protocol of San Salvador, in the sense that this will make it possible to establish participatory processes for the redesign and implementation of national public policies with an approach on economic, social, and cultural rights approach, geared toward the enjoyment and exercise of these rights without discrimination of any kind.” The Protocol of San Salvador, she said, “serves to address the inequity and inequality that characterizes the region, taking on the challenge of measuring how human rights are being met.”

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 area. 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. 121/15