A. Activities of the Rapporteurships

B. Thematic reports adopted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

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B. Thematic reports adopted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

  1. As stated in section A of this chapter, the purposes of thematic rapporteurships include strengthening, promoting, and developing legal standards. They also promote awareness of the human rights situations of specific groups. One way to pursue these objectives is to compile thematic reports, some of which describe and analyze specific situations and examine legal standards.

  1. Nine thematic reports have been adopted in 2015. A summary of their content follows.

  1. Refugees and Migrants in the United States: Families and Unaccompanied Children. The report examines measures adopted over time in the United States in response to an exponential increase in arrivals in U.S. territory of refugees and migrants, especially families and unaccompanied children, from countries of the Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) and Mexico since mid-2014. In greater detail, the report discusses how the actions of state agents affect access to procedures for determining refugee status; the automatic, widespread practice of detaining migrant families; procedural guarantees under migration proceedings; and deportations in the light of the USA's international human rights obligations.

  1. Legal Standards: Gender Equality and Women's Rights. This report summarizes and analyzes the inter-American system's legal standards concerning gender equality and women's rights and how the inter-American system's recommendations and decisions have affected judgments rendered at the domestic level in the region. It includes the text of the report adopted in November 2011 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention of Belém do Pará and an update thereto.

  1. Access to Information, Violence against Women, and the Administration of Justice in the Americas. In this report the IACHR offers an initial assessment of challenges facing women in the Americas and efforts to secure proper access to state-controlled information on violence and discrimination; provides a systematic view of international standards on the matter that developed in the inter-American system; and identifies good practices in the region in the application of, and compliance with, such standards.

  1. Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Persons. The report deals with the problem of violence against LGBTI persons by state and non-state agents, focusing on physical violence and the lack of an effective state response, in contravention of the duty of states to prevent, investigate, punish, and redress such violence. In this text the IACHR develops the concept of violence based on prejudice against persons whose sexual orientation or gender identity or expression are non-standard, or whose bodies differ from “feminine” and “masculine” norms. The IACHR notes that, despite significant progress in several countries of the region in recognizing the rights of LGBTI persons, high rates of violence--particularly cruel and vicious--persist in all countries of the region. The Commission also found that most murders of, and acts de violence against, LGBTI persons go unpunished, and it identified the most significant obstacles to access to justice for LGBTI persons and their relatives.

  1. Violence, Children, and Organized Crime. This report deals with the impact of organized crime and violent youth gangs on the rights of children and adolescents in the region; shows how they are used, exploited, manipulated, and coerced by those organizations; identifies the main ways states respond to violence and organized crime, in terms of preventing and reducing violence and crime, as well as monitoring and enforcement; measures to prevent adolescents from joining these groups, as well as programs to extricate and protect victims; identifies problematic aspects of some existing state responses; and offers recommendations for public policymaking on citizen security with a focus on children's rights.

  1. Report on the Human Rights Situation of the Dominican Republic. This report discusses issues relating to nationality, the right to juridical personhood, and the right to equality and nondiscrimination with respect to persons of Haitian background born in Dominican territory. It also examines questions of the human rights of migrants in the Dominican Republic.

  1. Misuse of the Criminal Justice System to Criminalize Human Rights Defenders in the Americas. This report analyzes the use of criminal justice proceedings against defenders in reprisal for their work to defend and promote human rights. Its aim is to promote full use of international standards to guide member states in confronting this obstacle.

  1. Indigenous Peoples, Afro-Descendent Communities and Natural Resources: Human Rights Protection in the Context of Extraction, Exploitation, and Development Activities The report deals with the situation of the human rights of indigenous and tribal peoples in the context of extraction and investment activities. It offers an initial approach to the general obligations of states in this context and with specific respect to indigenous and tribal peoples, seeking to promote consolidation of legal standards on the matter at the level of the inter-American human rights system; to increase awareness of human rights violations in this arena; and to identify key challenges that require the Commission's attention.

  1. Human Rights of Migrants, Refugees, Stateless Persons, Victims of Human Trafficking, and Internally Displaced Persons. Norms and Standards of the Inter-American System. This report is the Commission's main project to identify, systematize, and analyze the standards developed by the Inter-American Commission and the Inter-American Court on human rights in the context of human mobility. This draft report fully examines standards established by the bodies of the inter-American system through reports on cases, judgments, advisory opinions, and thematic and country reports with respect to migrants, asylum-seekers, refugees, stateless persons, trafficking victims, internally displaced persons, and persons subject to extradition.

1 See Article 18 a) of the IAHRC Statute.

2 See Article 106 of the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) and Article 41 of the American Convention on Human Rights.

3 See Article 41 of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 18 d) of the IACHR Statute.

4 Article 41 of the ACHR and Articles 58 and 59 of the Rules of Procedure of IACHR.

5 Article 15(4) of the Rules of Procedure of IACHR.

6 The activities of the Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression are part of Volume II of the present Annual Report.

7 The IACHR indicated, by a press release on October 28, 2015 that: “Unfortunately, there are not as yet any of the resources needed to establish the Special Rapporteurship, as a result of which the IACHR has decided to extend the mandate of the Unit that is working on the subject under the coordination of Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi. Efforts will continue to be made to find funding to establish this Special Rapporteurship in the future”: //www.oas.org/es/cidh/prensa/comunicados/2015/120.asp

8 Commissioner Robinson did not participate in the Jamaica component of this trip. The attorney specialist supporting the work of the Rapporteurship on Women accompanied this part of the trip.

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