Press Release

IACHR and SRESCER seek Advisory Opinion from Inter-American Court on freedom of association from gender perspective

July 31, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (SRESCER) sent the Inter-American Court of Human Rights a request for an advisory opinion, as established in Article 64 (1) of the American Convention on Human Rights.

Through this request, sent to the Inter-American Court on July 31, 2019, the Commission and its Special Rapporteur seek to obtain an joint interpretation of several key Inter-American norms on the obligations of the States in relation to the exercise of trade union freedom, and collective bargaining and strike as components of that freedom and catalysts for the protection of labor rights, and to ensure that those norms are interpreted from a gender perspective. The interpretation requested includes the scope of the obligations on guarantees in the processes of trade union formation and in its election and internal government procedures and the manifestations of the relations between trade union freedom, collective bargaining and freedom of association and between trade union freedom, freedom of expression, the right to strike and the right to assembly. It also includes the scope of specific guarantee obligations to guarantee freedom of association in the face of gender-based discrimination or violence at work and to ensure the effective participation of women as trade union members and leaders in compliance with the principle of equality and non-discrimination. In addition, it seeks an interpretation of the scope of the obligations regarding the effective participation of workers through the exercise of trade union freedom, collective bargaining and strike, in the processes of design, construction and evaluation of norms and related public policies to work in contexts of changes in the labor market through the use of new technologies.

The SRESCER is an Office of the IACHR, especially created to support the Commission in the fulfillment of its mandate for promotion and protection of the economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights in the American continent.

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.

No. 185/19