Raúl A. Bernal
Human rights in the Americas are being impacted by social crises and political changes that pose to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) the challenge of maintaining constant supervision against the risk of setbacks, told to Acan-Efe on Friday the new president of the organization, the Panamanian Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño.
"The situation of some countries in the region is of great concern due to the political implications, which strongly impact the satisfaction of basic rights for the protection of life and the integrity of people", said Arosemena de Troitiño, elected this month as the new president of the IACHR to replace the Jamaican Margarette May Macaulay.
Arosemena de Troitiño, who since 2015 is one of the seven commissioners of the entity of the Organization of American States (OAS) in charge of the promotion and protection of fundamental rights, said in an e-mail to Acan-Efe that she observes some speeches in the region anti-rights, as well as situations that can lead to significant risks of regression in this area.
The ex-judge of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) of Panama did not point to any specific nation, but she was emphatic in expressing the Commission's commitment to "contribute" to "the important changes in the political life of many countries" that are expected to occur this year "are translated into progress and the full recognition of human dignity".
The election of the Panamanian jurist as president of the IACHR for a period of one year was announced during the celebration in Bolivia of the 171st session of the Commission, which addressed issues such as respect for the environment, violence against the women and the indigenous, labor, sexual and immigrant rights, and the role of justice systems in the face of corruption, among others.
Arosemena de Troitiño -who as commissioner of the IACHR has been Rapporteur for Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia and Suriname on children's rights- stressed that in the meetings held in Bolivia, serious violations of rights were denounced of migrant children.
Valuable information was also received about situations that affect groups that face vulnerability factors in the exercise of their rights, as explained.
In this context, this graduate in Philosophy, Arts and Education, as well as in Law and Political Sciences, said that one of her priorities as president of the IACHR will be to promote the universalization of the Inter-American Human Rights System through the ratification of the American Convention on the subject by some countries that to date have not done so.
That goal is intended to achieve in its year of direction through "a strategy of promotion and disclosure of the benefits that for the citizenship means" the Inter-American Human Rights System.
The legacy that Arosemena de Troitiño would like to leave after passing through the presidency of the Commission is "to achieve greater dissemination and knowledge of the meaning and usefulness of the Inter-American System, so that all the citizens of the continent know its benefits and constitutes the mechanism for the international defense of their rights".
For this magistrate who has been a university professor in Civil Law and has integrated the teams of trainers in the Accusatory Penal System of Panama, being president of the IACHR represents "a special opportunity to assume the responsibility that the position implies, with the commitment for the defense and protection of the human rights of all the people of the continent without any exclusion".