In 1959 the Americas formed ‘The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ (IACHR) to combat violations of human rights in their region. IACHR serves to hear petitions submitted by individuals, groups of individuals or non-governmental organisations whose rights have been violated by the State and who have exhausted all domestic remedies. However, it would be a lie to say that the situation has drastically improved since its formation.
Although the turmoil in Latin America is similar in nature to that of the Middle East, the amount of humanitarian aid being flown in is limited. The International Humanitarian Law requires the situation to be termed as an ‘armed conflict’ for the citizens to receive judicial and humanitarian support and for them to migrate as refugees and not illegal immigrants. The crisis in Latin America deserves to be termed as an ‘Armed Conflict’, however calling it so would legitimize both the extra-judicial killings carried out by the States, and the very existence of drug lords and gangs that wreak havoc in these nations.
The United States of America has agreed to provide shelter to those who successfully cross the USA borders but the journey is marked by kidnappings, rapes and murders carried out by drug cartels and human traffickers, dehydration due to the scorching heat of Arizona and the overturning of overloaded boats that sail from Cuba. Worryingly, the leading Republican in the US Presidential Elections, Donald Trump, plans on walling up the US borders to keep immigrants out. Such a measure, however, is very impractical considering that building a fort has never managed to keep the issues faced by neighbouring regions from seeping in. What we need today is to recognise the human community as one and understand that one of its factions cannot truly be prosperous if the other isn’t. Instead of investing money in the rehabilitation of these immigrants, money and humanitarian aid needs to be given to the places they come from. Being a very prosperous nation and an advocate of democracy, it is the moral duty of the USA to intervene when there is a violation of basic human rights.
Every day, various communities, be it the Mayans and Anuak people or the LGBTQI+, face discrimination, alienation and torture. With Honduras having the highest murder rate, with Mexico still fighting its war on drugs and with Columbia in a constant state of civil war, the Commission has a lot to tackle.