IACHR Adopts Resolution on the Right of Children and Adolescents to Participation

January 16, 2024

Resolution No. 05/23

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Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has adopted Resolution 05/23 on the right to participation of children and adolescents. The purpose of this resolution is to strengthen the IACHR's internal work to promote cross-cutting, effective, and long-term participation in the various mechanisms that make up its mandate. This resolution is a step toward empowering children and young people in decision-making processes.

The Inter-American Democratic Charter establishes that citizens' participation in decisions concerning their well-being is a fundamental human right that extends to children and adolescents. Likewise, this population's right to participation is recognized in several international instruments, in the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Human Rights System, and OAS General Assembly Resolution AG/RES. 2905, which establishes intergenerational dialogues as a means of promoting children's participation in public life.

In its Strategic Plan 2023–2027, the IACHR prioritized expanding opportunities for children and adolescents to participate in public life, taking into account all aspects of this right, the right to freedom of expression, and access to information.

Resolution AG/RES. 2905 is grounded in these priorities and incorporates the principles that apply in a cross-cutting manner to all initiatives related to the participation of children within the IACHR. It also sets out the measures needed to implement the resolution progressively, as part of the process of implementing the Strategic Plan 2023–2027.

These include: i) adapting the content and documents published by the IACHR; ii) drafting and publishing easy-to-understand explanations on the use of the different mechanisms; and iii) promoting a prominent role for children and adolescents in sessions on issues that concern them, especially in thematic hearings. In addition, activities will be planned annually as a management and follow-up mechanism to promote the participation of children and adolescents in the different mechanisms of the IACHR.

The IACHR thanks Save the Children and the Red Latinoamericana de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes (REDNNyA's) for their support in holding joint intergenerational meetings prior to the adoption of this resolution.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate stems from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as an advisory body to the OAS on the matter. The IACHR is made up of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

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