Original: Spanish declarations and resolutions adopted by the general assembly




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STUDY OF THE RIGHTS AND THE CARE OF PERSONS
UNDER ANY FORM OF DETENTION OR IMPRISONMENT

(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 7, 2011)



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
RECALLING resolutions AG/RES. 1816 (XXXI-O/01), AG/RES. 1897 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 1927 (XXXIII-O/03), AG/RES. 2037 (XXXIV-O/04), AG/RES. 2125 (XXXV-O/05), AG/RES. 2233 (XXXVI-O/06), AG/RES. 2283 (XXXVII-O/07), AG/RES. 2403 (XXXVIII-O/08), AG/RES. 2510 (XXXIX-O/09), and AG/RES. 2592 (XL/O/10); Updated (AG/RES. 2510)
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT:
That in the inter-American system the member states of the Organization of American States undertake to respect and protect the human rights of persons who have been deprived of liberty, including all applicable rights established in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and those established in all other human rights instruments to which they are party;
That consultations with the member states on this subject have continued within the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs and that a number of them have replied to the questionnaire prepared for that purpose (CP/CAJP-1853/01 rev. 1);
The conclusions and recommendations of the Sixth Meeting of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA-VI), including those on a possible inter-American declaration on the rights, duties, and care of persons under any form of detention or imprisonment and those on the feasibility of preparing a hemispheric manual on penitentiary rights, taking as a basis the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (REMJA-VI/doc.21/06 rev. 1, paragraphs 4.b and 4.d); and
The conclusions and recommendations of the Second Meeting of Officials Responsible for Penitentiary and Prison Policies of the OAS Member States (GAPECA/doc.8/08 rev. 2, paragraph 2.L.ii.), held in Valdivia, Chile, from August 26 to 28, 2008, and the recommendations of the Eighth Meeting of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA-VIII/doc.4/10 rev. 1, paragraph VI.2.), held in Brasilia, Brazil, from February 24 to 26, 2010, to hold the Third Meeting of Officials Responsible for the Penitentiary and Prison Policies of the OAS Member States for the purpose of continuing the exchange of information and experiences and strengthening mutual cooperation among them;
RECALLING the “Principles and Best Practices on the Protection of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas,” adopted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights at its 131st regular session through resolution 01/08; and
UNDERSCORING the need to take concrete measures to prevent overcrowding and violence in detention centers in the Americas in order to ensure the exercise of the human rights of persons deprived of liberty,
RESOLVES:
1. To urge member states to comply, under all circumstances, with all applicable international obligations to respect the human rights of persons under any form of detention or imprisonment, including the rights established in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and those established in all other human rights instruments to which they are party.
2. To instruct the Permanent Council to continue studying the question of the rights and the care of persons under any form of detention or imprisonment, in cooperation with the competent organs and entities of the inter-American system; and to convene the Third Meeting of Officials Responsible for the Penitentiary and Prison Policies of the OAS Member States for the purpose of continuing the exchange of information and experiences and strengthening mutual cooperation among them, taking into account the conclusions and recommendations of the Second Meeting of Officials Responsible for Penitentiary and Prison Policies of the OAS Member States (GAPECA/doc.8/08 rev. 2, paragraph 2.L.ii) and the recommendations of the Eighth Meeting of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA-VIII/doc.4/10 rev. 1, paragraph VI.2.).
3. To request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), through the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas, to continue reporting on the situation of persons under any form of detention or imprisonment in the Hemisphere and, using as a basis its work on the subject, to continue making reference to the problems and best practices it observes.
4. To congratulate and acknowledge those member states that have invited the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas of the IACHR to visit their countries, including their detention centers; and to encourage all member states to facilitate such visits.
5. To recognize the important work of the International Committee of the Red Cross, within its sphere of competence, to help persons deprived of liberty in detention centers and prisons to receive humane treatment.
6. To call upon member states to consider allocating more funds to the IACHR to enable it to support the effective fulfillment of the mandate assigned to its Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas.
7. To reiterate to the Permanent Council that, on the basis of the results of the discussions and studies conducted, including the inputs of the IACHR, such as the document entitled “Principles and Best Practices on the Protection of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas,” the work of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas of the IACHR, and the results of the Second Meeting of the Working Group on Penitentiary and Prison Policies, held pursuant to the REMJA-VII decision, it should consider the possibility of drafting an inter-American declaration on the rights, duties, and care of persons under any form of detention or imprisonment, with a view to strengthening existing international standards on these topics, and also consider the feasibility of preparing a hemispheric manual on penitentiary rights, taking as a basis the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, and keep the member states abreast of developments in this regard.
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. To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its forty-third regular session on the implementation of this resolution. The execution of its activities shall be subject to the availability of financial resources in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources. Updated (AG/RES. 2510)


AG/RES. 2669 (XLI-O/11)

THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL MIGRANT WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES


(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 7, 2011)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,


HAVING SEEN the Annual Report of the Permanent Council to the General Assembly on this issue;
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT resolutions AG/RES. 1717 (XXX-O/00), AG/RES. 1775 (XXXI-O/01), AG/RES. 1898 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 1928 (XXXIII-O/03), AG/RES. 2027 (XXXIV-O/04), AG/RES. 2130 (XXXV-O/05), AG/RES. 2224 (XXXVI-O/06), AG/RES. 2289 (XXXVII-O/07); AG/RES. 2502 (XXXIX-O/09); and AG/RES. 2593 (XL-O/10);
REAFFIRMING that the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man proclaims that all persons are equal before the law and have the rights and duties enshrined in that Declaration, without distinction as to race, sex, language, creed, or any other factor;
EMPHASIZING that the American Convention on Human Rights recognizes that the essential rights of man are not derived from one’s being a national of a certain State, but are based upon attributes of the human personality;
REAFFIRMING that the principles and standards enshrined in both documents take on special relevance with regard to protection of the human rights of migrant workers and their families;
RECALLING that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State, and to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country;
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT:
That at the Summits of the Americas, the Heads of State and Government have consistently indicated the importance of guaranteeing the protection of the human rights of migrant workers and their families, and have shown an intent to take a comprehensive approach to the migration phenomenon and to bring about closer cooperation among the countries of the Hemisphere to ensure the protection of migrants;
The annual reports of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in particular the chapter on the work of the Special Rapporteurship on Migrant Workers and Their Families, resolution CJI/RES. 150 (LXXIII-O/08), “Opinion of the Inter-American Juridical Committee on the Directive on Return Adopted by the Parliament of the European Union,” and Permanent Council resolution CP/RES. 938 (1654/08), “OAS Action on the European Union’s Return Directive on Migration Issues”;
Advisory Opinions OC-16/99, of 1 October 1999, “The Right to Information on Consular Assistance in the Framework of the Guarantees of the Due Process of Law,” and OC-18/03, of 17 September 2003, “Juridical Condition and Rights of the Undocumented Migrants,” issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights;
The judgment of the International Court of Justice of March 31, 2004, in the case of Avena and Other Mexican Nationals, and the ruling of the Court of January 19, 2009, reaffirming the obligations set forth in the Avena ruling; and
The special meetings of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs of the Permanent Council, held on January 14, 2008, and February 12, 2009, on implementation of the Inter-American Program for the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Migrants, Including Migrant Workers and Their Families, and of the proposals for new optional activities by the states, as well as the presentations by the organs, agencies, and entities of the Organization of American States (OAS);
UNDERSCORING the close nexus among migration, development, and human rights, and recognizing respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants as pillars of development and as essential to the effective exercise of these rights and freedoms and to taking advantage of the positive aspects of international migration, as was recognized in the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development and the Global Forum on Migration and Development, and in forums for regional consultation of the Americas;
EMPHASIZING:
The important contribution of remittances from migrants to the economy of their country of origin and to enhancing the quality of life; and
The entry into force on July 1, 2003, of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; the installation and launch of the work of the United Nations Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; and the entry into force, on January 28, 2004, of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and, on December 25, 2003, of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, both supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention);
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the Inter-American Program for the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Migrants, Including Migrant Workers and Their Families, through resolution AG/RES. 2141 (XXXV-O/05); as well as the presentation by the Secretary General, on February 13, 2007, of the Work Plan of the Inter-American Program for the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Migrants, including Migrant Workers and Their Families (CP/CAJP-2456/07);
WELCOMING the work done by the Special Committee on Migration Issues (CEAM) in fulfillment of its mandate;
CONSIDERING:
The global character of the migration phenomenon, the importance of international, regional, and bilateral cooperation and dialogue in this connection, as appropriate, and the need to protect the human rights of migrants, especially in view of the increased migration flows in the globalized economy; and
That virtually every country in the Hemisphere is a country of origin, transit, or destination for migrants and has the authority to regulate the migration of persons entering its territory in accordance with applicable international law, including international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international refugee law;
RECOGNIZING:
The programs for migrants adopted by some countries that enable them to be integrated into their host countries, facilitate family reunification, and promote an environment of harmony, tolerance, and respect;
The positive contributions of migrants to both countries of origin and countries of transit or destination, and their gradual integration into their host societies, as well as the efforts made by some transit and destination countries to meet the needs of migrants, in order to ensure them dignified and humane treatment with adequate protections, and to address the needs of the host or local community;
The need to identify appropriate means of maximizing development benefits and responding to the challenges which migration poses to countries of origin, transit, and destination, especially in the light of the impact of the economic and financial crisis, and committing to ensuring dignified, humane treatment with applicable protections and to strengthening mechanisms for international cooperation;
The importance of a broad and balanced approach to international migration, bearing in mind that migration enriches the economic, political, social, and cultural fabric of states and the historical and cultural ties that exist among some regions;
The obligations of the countries of origin, transit, and destination under international human rights law;
CONCERNED about the extremely vulnerable situation in which many migrant workers and their families in the Hemisphere find themselves, and the persistent obstacles that prevent them from fully enjoying their human rights;
EMPHASIZING the global nature of international migration and, therefore, the importance of international, regional, and bilateral cooperation, as appropriate, of stimulating dialogue on migration, and of the need to protect the human rights of migrants, particularly at a time when migration flows have increased in the globalized economies in a context marked by new security and safety concerns;
BEARING IN MIND that migration policies and initiatives, including those concerning orderly migration management, should promote comprehensive approaches that take into account the causes and consequences of the phenomenon, as well as full respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants;
BEARING IN MIND ALSO that migrants are often the victims of crime, mistreatment, discrimination, racism, and xenophobia, and that unaccompanied women migrants or women heads of household, as well as migrant children, are especially vulnerable to gender-based violence and other forms of sexual and labor exploitation, which calls for wide-ranging cooperation between countries of origin, transit, and destination to counter these situations, as well as the potential vulnerability of migrants’ families in the countries of origin;
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the obligations of States under international law to act with due diligence to prevent and investigate crimes against migrants, and to punish perpetrators, and that not doing so violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of victims;
AFFIRMING that certain crimes against migrants, including human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants, remain a serious problem and that it has been shown that an assessment and a concerted international response are called for, through effective multilateral cooperation between the countries of origin, transit, and destination to eradicate them;
REITERATING the call to the Organization of American States to ensure strict observance of the human rights of migrants and for the fight against unlawful discrimination against them to continue;
WARNING that the increasing feminization of migration, driven in large part by socioeconomic factors, requires greater attention to gender-related matters in all policies and activities related to international migration, taking into account that women are more exposed to abuse and exploitation;
RECOGNIZING ALSO the importance of promoting actions to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of children and adolescents in the context of international migration;
NOTING the regional initiatives, activities, and programs of the Regional Conference on Migration (Puebla Process) in North America, the Central American countries, and the Dominican Republic; the ministerial dialogue among Mesoamerican countries, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Colombia; the First Meeting of the Andean Forum on Migration; as well as the VIII South American Conference on Migration, held in Montevideo, Uruguay, and the Specialized Forum on Migration of MERCOSUR; and
BEARING IN MIND that all migrants and their defenders have a duty and an obligation to obey all laws of the countries of origin, transit, and destination,
RESOLVES:


  1. To urge states to promote and protect effectively the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrant workers and their families, especially of women and children, regardless of their immigration status, in accordance with international human rights law and to address the issue of international migration through international, regional, or bilateral cooperation and dialogue through a holistic and balanced approach, recognizing responsibilities of the countries of origin, transit, and destination in promoting and protecting the human rights of all migrants and avoiding approaches that could heighten their vulnerability.

  2. To express its concern about the impact of the economic and financial crisis on international migration and migrants, and therefore urges the governments to fight the unjust and discriminatory treatment of migrants.




  1. To express its concern about the legislation, interpretation, practices, and other measures and initiatives adopted by some states that could restrict the human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants; and to reaffirm that, in exercising their sovereign right to enact and enforce measures regarding migration and their border security, the states must fulfill the obligations incumbent upon them under international law, including international human rights norms, to ensure full respect for the human rights of migrants.




  1. To vigorously condemn all manifestations or acts of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related forms of intolerance against migrants, among them those related to access to employment, professional training, housing, education, health care services, social services, and public services; and to urge states to enforce and strengthen legislation and policies in force to address these situations, especially in order to prevent the impunity of those who commit acts of racism or xenophobia.




  1. To request the states to guarantee that their laws and policies fully respect the human rights of migrants in the exercise of their sovereign right to enact and enforce measures dealing with migration and border security, especially in regard to fighting terrorism and transnational organized crime, as well as against human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants.




  1. To encourage those states that have not already done so to enact national laws and adopt more effective measures to combat international human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants, bearing in mind that said crimes can endanger the lives of migrants or expose them to harm or servitude, including debt bondage, slavery, sexual exploitation, or forced labor, and requests the states to strengthen international cooperation to combat that trafficking and smuggling.




  1. To urge the member states to avoid enacting laws that unlawfully discriminate against migrants and to encourage the states to continue their efforts to fulfill their international obligations in connection with the treatment of migrants.




  1. To reiterate categorically that no state should consider an individual’s migration status as a crime in itself or, for that reason, adopt criminal sanctions or those of equivalent effect.




  1. To request the countries to adopt concrete measures to prevent violations of the human rights of migrants while in transit, including in ports and airports and at borders and migration checkpoints, to train public officials who work in those facilities and in border areas to treat migrants and their families respectfully and in accordance with the law, and to prosecute, in conformity with applicable law, any act of violation of the human rights of migrants, such as arbitrary detention, torture and violations of the right to life, including extrajudicial executions, during their transit from their country of origin to the country of destination and vice versa.




  1. To request all states, in accordance with national legislation and applicable international legal instruments to which they are party, to enforce labor law effectively and to address violations of such law in connection with migrant workers’ labor relations and working conditions, inter alia, those related to their remuneration, workplace health and safety, and right to freedom of association.




  1. To encourage states to facilitate the safe and expeditious transfer without restrictions of remittances, earnings, goods, and pensions of migrants to their countries of origin or to any other country, in accordance with applicable legislation, bearing in mind that the funds belong to the migrants themselves, and to consider, as appropriate, measures to resolve other difficulties that may impede such transfers.




  1. To reaffirm that the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man ensures that every person may resort to the courts to ensure respect for his legal rights. There should likewise be available to him a simple, brief procedure whereby the courts will protect him from acts of authority that, to his prejudice, violate any fundamental constitutional rights.




  1. To express its concern about the increasing activities of transnational and national organized crime and others who profit from crimes against migrants, especially migrant women and children, without regard for the dangerous and inhumane conditions to which they subject their victims and in flagrant violation of domestic and international laws, as well as the high level of impunity enjoyed by traffickers, smugglers, and their accomplices, as well as other members of organized crime and, in this context, the denial of rights and justice to migrants who have suffered from abuse.




  1. To welcome the immigration programs adopted by some countries that allow migrants to integrate fully into the host countries, facilitate family reunification, and promote an environment of harmony, tolerance, and respect; and to encourage the states to consider the possibility of adopting these types of programs.




  1. To request all states, international organizations, and other interested parties to take into account in their policies and initiatives on migration issues the global nature of the migration phenomenon and to give due consideration to international, regional, and bilateral cooperation in this area by organizing dialogues on migration with the participation of the countries of origin, transit, and destination and of civil society, including migrants, in order to give exhaustive consideration to, among other things, the causes and consequences of migration and the problem of undocumented or irregular migrants, giving priority to protection of the human rights of migrants. These dialogues should include an exchange of positive experiences and best practices in regularizing the status of migrants in the host countries.




  1. To reaffirm emphatically the duty of the states parties to the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to fulfill their obligations under the Convention, including the obligation of the States Parties to inform foreign nationals detained within their territory of their right to communicate with their consular officers; and in that regard, to call to the attention of the states Advisory Opinion OC-16/99, issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and the ruling of the International Court of Justice, as well as the jurisprudence of other international courts in the area.




  1. To call to the attention of the states Advisory Opinion OC-18/03, issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which maintains that “the migratory status of a person cannot constitute a justification to deprive him of the enjoyment and exercise of human rights, including those of a labor-related nature.”

  2. To encourage the member states to consider the adoption of programs for the integration of migrants into their societies, with a view to promoting an environment of harmony, tolerance, and respect.




  1. To encourage constructive dialogue and cooperation among member states in order to refine their migration policies and practices, aiming to establish adequate protection for all migrants, including migrant workers and their families, and to promote migration procedures in accordance with the domestic legislation of each state and applicable international law.




  1. To urge the member states to consider signing and ratifying, ratifying, or acceding to, as the case may be, the instruments of the inter-American human rights system, and to take the necessary measures to guarantee the human rights of all migrants, including migrant workers and their families.




  1. To urge the member states to consider signing and ratifying the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families as a priority.




  1. To instruct the Permanent Council to continue supporting the work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in this area and to take into account the efforts made by other international organizations in support of migrant workers and their families, in order to contribute to improving their situation in the Hemisphere and, in particular and where applicable, the efforts of the Special Rapporteurship on the Human Rights of Migrants of the United Nations and those of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).




  1. To encourage the member states to collaborate in the exchange of information and experiences within the framework of the Regional Conference on Migration, the South American Conference on Migration, the MERCOSUR Specialized Forum on Migration, the Andean Forum on Migration, and the Special Committee on Migration Issues (CEAM) to better coordinate and align positions on migration issues.




  1. To instruct the Secretary General to update the Work Plan of the Inter-American Program for the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Migrants, including Migrant Workers and Their Families (CP/CAJP-2456/07) to ensure that the distribution of activities is consistent with the new structure of the Organization, and to present the updated Program to the CAJP.




  1. To request the organs, agencies, and entities of the Organization to report to the CAJP, in the last quarter of 2010, on the implementation of the activities assigned by the Inter-American Program, by means of a comparative table indicating assigned tasks, progress made, and deadlines for completing pending tasks.




  1. To arrange for regulations to be developed to govern the fund of the Inter-American Program for the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Migrants, Including Migrant Workers and Their Families; and to request the Permanent Council to consider and adopt rules of procedure for it at the proposal of the General Secretariat.




  1. To request the General Secretariat to take account of the crosscutting nature and priority of the human rights of migrants in coordinating the efforts of all relevant OAS organs, agencies, and entities; and to request the states to ensure that those efforts are complementary to those being made by the CEAM.




  1. To entrust the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with:




    1. considering the advisability of participating in joint cooperation projects implemented by Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI) in this area;




    1. providing its Special Rapporteurship on Migrant Workers and Their Families with the necessary and sufficient means to perform its functions in accordance with the resources allocated in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources; and




    1. submitting to the Permanent Council reports on the situation of the rights of migrant workers and of their families prior to the forty-second regular session of the General Assembly.




  1. To invite member states, permanent observers, organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system, and other funding sources to contribute to the Voluntary Fund of the Special Rapporteurship on Migrant Workers and Their Families of the IACHR.




  1. To urge the member states to consider the possibility of inviting the Special Rapporteur on Migrant Workers and Their Families to visit their countries to enable the Rapporteur to fulfill his or her mandate effectively.




  1. To request the General Secretariat to report to the General Assembly at its forty-second regular session on the implementation of this resolution, the execution of which shall be subject to the availability of financial resources in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.

AG/RES. 2670 (XLI-O/11)


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