Mahira Dasgupta of Al Jazeera writes about IACHR.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) brings together 35 independent countries of the Americas to promote regional peace. It is concerned with a variety issues: including the eradication of extreme poverty, working towards meeting their developmental goals and promoting representative democracy. The primary function of this commission is to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the Americas. Its four pillars are democracy, human rights, security and development. This commission discusses, debates and ponders upon a number of contentious issues including drug trafficking, illegal migration, LGBTQI+, rights of indigenous people and journalistic freedom and corruption. Each of these has a grave impact that seems to magnify with each passing day.
Thus, this seems like an opportune moment to question the will and effectiveness of the IACHR. The next 3 days seek to answer the following questions: whether the commission exudes democratic principles or is it the fiefdom of certain countries? The ‘War on Drugs’ has done more harm than good. Without making a significant impact on the drug cartels, it has lead to serious abuses by the security forces. The government has made little progress in prosecuting widespread organized crime. The criminal justice system also routinely fails to provide justice to victims of human right violations.
The situation is Columbia is not much better. Seventy seven percent of the population lives in extreme poverty. Its civil war has left refugees living in constant fear of violent assault, rape and kidnappings. The United States of America is also under the public scanner for its continuous violations of human rights on national and international land. To combat these issues, the commission has laid out various treatises including the Inter-American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the American Convention of Human Rights.
However, the Resolution will not come from overarching political or economic reforms. A change will only come from dealing with these problems at the grass root level and helping every individual who faces these human right violations. We are yet to see whether the IACHR will be able to meet this challenge.