Press Release

IACHR Welcomes Haiti’s Ratification of The Hague Convention on International Adoptions

June 26, 2012

Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes the ratification on June 11, 2012, by the Haitian Congress, of The Hague 1993 Convention on Protection of Children and cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

This Convention uses as a reference and develops the contents of Article 21 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Specifically, it aims to establish the necessary safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoptions are implemented respecting in all cases the fundamental rights of the children, as recognized in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Hague Convention establishes the framework that the States need to take into account to regulate intercountry adoptions, as well as the necessary measures to prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children, through the creation of an international cooperation system among the States Parties. It also establishes that, in all cases, the decisions to be made will take into account the best interests of the child.

During a visit to Haiti conducted from February 27 to March 2, 2012, Commissioner Rosa María Ortiz, IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child and Rapporteur for Haiti, observed with concern a high number of intercountry adoptions without a clear legal framework to ensure the protection of the rights of the children subject to adoption. For that reason, the Rapporteur urged Haitian authorities to ratifiy The Hague 1993 Convention, signed by Haiti on March 2, 2011. In addition, the Rapporteur recommended the authorities the approval of a new law on adoption, given that the law currently in force, approved in 1974, does not comply with principles on the protection of the rights of the child.

The Inter-American Commission congratulates Haiti on this fundamental step in the protection of the rights of the child and hopes that the ratification of The Hague Convention will prompt the approval of the bill on adoption and help adapt it to the international standards regarding the rights of the child. The IACHR also hopes that the Central Authority designated in order to comply with the obligations established in The Hague Convention is provided with sufficient human and financial resources.

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. 75/12