São Paulo – The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved, on January 25, the final report of the Special Working Group to Reflect on the Workings of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with a view to Strengthening the Inter-American Human Rights System. Meanwhile, civil society organizations have expressed their concern, since several of the report’s recommendations could lead to a weakening of the system.
“The final document makes no mention of the obligation of governments to implement the recommendations and decisions of the Inter-American System, such as the cases in which Brazil had its interests thwarted, namely the Amnesty Law and the construction of Belo Monte,” said Juana Kweitel, Program Director at Conectas.
Other serious problems identified by Conectas include the excessive number of recommendations made to the system’s bodies and the small number of recommendations made to States. Also of concern is the preference for the conciliatory character of the system and the tougher conditions for the adoption of precautionary measures.
The report of the Working Group has a recommendatory character. Conectas hopes that these recommendations are interpreted in a way that genuinely strengthens the Inter-American System, taking into consideration its autonomy and independence.
On December 23, 2011, Conectas requested a meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Relations to discuss the issue. A second request was made on January 24 and it has still not received a response to either one.