Deprived of Liberty


James Cavallaro
ComissionnerJames L. Cavallaro
Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons
Deprived of Liberty

The Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty is James L. Cavallaro. The Inter-American Commission designated him for this function on January 30, 2014. Commissioner James L. Cavallaro is a citizen of the United States. He was elected during the 43rd regular session of the OAS General Assembly in June 2013 for the prescribed four-year term, which began on January 1, 2014. James L. Cavallaro is a lawyer with an undergraduate degree from Harvard College, as well as a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Currently, James L. Cavallaro is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and Founding Director of both the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic at Stanford and the Stanford Human Rights Center. Previously, he was a Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Executive Director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard. He founded the Brazil-based Global Justice Center and served as Director of the Brazil offices of Human Rights Watch and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). He is the author of dozens of articles, books, and other publications on human rights and the inter-American human rights system.

Former Rapporteurs

Rodrigo Escobar Gil

Rodrigo Escobar Gil Rodrigo Escobar Gil, a citizen of Colombia, was in office as a Commissioner from January 2010 to December 2014, during that period he was also the Rapporteur for the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty of the IACHR. Mr. Escobar is an attorney graduated from the Universidad Javeriana and has a doctorate degree from the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid; he was also a Justice of the Constitutional Court of Colombia from 2001 to 2009, being its Chairman from February 2007 to February 2008. During its term as a Rapporteur of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Commissioner Escobar conducted several visits to States Members of the OAS, promotional activities, and prompted the publication of the Report on the Human Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas, the Report on the Situation of Persons Deprived of Liberty in Honduras, and the Report on the Use of Pretrial Detention in the Americas. During the term of Commissioner Escobar the Rapporteurship was institutionally strengthened, consolidating itself regionally and internationally as one of the main reference in the field.

Florentin Meléndez

Florentín Meléndez

Florentin Meléndez, citizen of El Salvador, was Commissioners from January 2004 to December 2009, and during the same period he was Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas. As such, he prepared the Declaration of Principles on the Protection of Persons Deprived of Liberty, which was approved by the IACHR in March 2008. During his tenure as Rapporteur, he visited jails, penitentiaries, police holding cells and other detention centers in several countries in the region. Former Commissioner Meléndez has a doctorate in international human rights law and a Master’s in human rights at the Complutense University of Madrid and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the National University of El Salvador. He lectures and holds seminars on human rights, international law, and constitutional law and has been a guest lecturer at several universities in the Americas. In the course of his professional career, former Rapporteur Meléndez has worked at the United Nations and in public and private institutions in his country on human rights-related subjects. He is currently a magistrate of the Supreme Court of Justice of El Salvador.