IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 72/22 on December 19, 2022, to grant precautionary measures in favor of a girl identified simply as KLR in Mexico, in the belief that she faces a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to her rights.
The requesting party (the beneficiary's mother) said that the girl KLR had been missing since she was abducted by her father on February 8, 2020. The girl's disappearance had been reported to the judicial institutions of competent jurisdiction. However, so far, the authorities were said not to have taken suitable, effective action to locate her nor legally established who should have custody of her and what her parents' visitation rights may be. Finally, the request for these precautionary measures said that the mother had no contact with her daughter.
The State detailed the measures it had taken before various organizations in order to protect the beneficiary's rights. The State also said that delays in proceedings were due to multiple causes, including procedural backlog and the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, the State said that various alerts had been issued to restrict the mobility of the girl and her father and to prevent them from leaving the country. The father is the child's caretaker pending court decisions regarding custody.
The Commission commended the State on its measures but found that alleged delays in decisions concerning custody had kept the proposed beneficiary in an uncertain position in terms of her contact and ties with her biological mother. The Commission further expressed concern about comments made by domestic judicial authorities in August 2022, noting that no suitable, effective action had been taken to locate the girl and protect her rights.
In keeping with Article 25 of the IACHR's Rules of Procedure, the Commission granted precautionary measures and asked the State of Mexico to immediately adopt all suitable, effective measures necessary to protect KLR's rights to a family, to an identity, and to humane treatment, by establishing her whereabouts and by safeguarding, based on the child's best interests, her ties with her mother, in compliance with the applicable international standards.
The fact that these precautionary measures have been granted and their adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the applicable instruments.
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 and to defend 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.