A little-known UN Committee recently denied consultative status to the NGO Committee to Protect Journalists, another example of the growing trend of authoritarian governments extending their intolerance for human rights and civil society to a global level.
This week the Inter-American Commission—a keystone in the inter-American system of human rights—warned that it will have to curtail activities and staff due to a budget shortfall. Will member states step up in time to save it?
If Prime Minister Trudeau truly wants to bring Canada back to being a leader on the world stage, he needs to reconcile Canada’s promotion of its resource extraction industry with a fairer, more progressive policy in its investments and practices overseas.
Latin American and Caribbean states have been astoundingly cheap in supporting the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In 2013, Chile only contributed $80,000, and the same year Brazil and Venezuela gave nothing to the Commission.
A recent Spanish report by DeJusticia details the modern challenges of the inter-American system of human rights: political consensus; countries refusing to pay their obligations; and countries cutting their contributions when they receive decisions they don’t like.
The net effect of these new bodies has been to create parallel forums more favorable to the interests of autocrats. That may be OK for Venezuela and others, but why are Brazil and other countries going along? And where are the media?
Even in Latin America, a region often thought to share the same democratic orientation and values of the U.S. and Europe, there are some striking differences among groups of countries regarding supporting norms and practices on human rights internationally, with some countries lining up more with autocratic countries of the Global South.
Ecuador and Venezuela on the UN Human Rights Council? The UN General Assembly just voted Ecuador to the organization’s human rights body and renewed Venezuela’s mandate—two countries that have some of the worst human rights records in the Western Hemisphere.