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The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) supports efforts from national human rights institutions of Central and Northern America to protect human rights of Central American on the move



During the last few days, thousands of men, women and children including unaccompanied children, are moving north through Mexico towards the United States borders in search of opportunity and safety. 

Against these concerning developments, the four national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the region – the National Commissioner for Human Rights (CONADEH) of Honduras, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) of Mexico, the Human Rights Ombudsman (PDH) of Guatemala and the Procuraduria of Human Rights of El Salvador (PDDH) – are coordinating their actions as they work to protect the human rights of the people on the move, to provide humanitarian assistance and to prevent the situation from further aggravating.

The four NHRIs have also coordinated outreach to both the UN and regional human rights system. In a joint petition submitted to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on 12 November 2018, the four NHRIs call on the IACHR to support the NHRIs’ efforts and ensure the human rights of the persons on the move are respected, in accordance with international treaties, universal standards and the Inter American System for the Protection of Human Rights.

“It is encouraging and very welcome that in a situation of human rights and humanitarian concern and of transnational nature of this kind the four NHRIs in the regions are demonstrating the impact they can have by coordinating their monitoring and protection activities, both among themselves and with UN, the IACHR and civil society organisations. I call on the IACHR and all other actors involved to support the NHRIs in their effort to protect the human rights of the persons on the move” said GANHRI Chairperson Prof Dr Beate Rudolf.

In line with international norms and standards, the four NHRIs request the IACHR’s subsidiary or complementary support as the NHRI carry out activities aimed at:

A) Supporting the precautionary measures issued by the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico (CNDH) which reaffirm humanitarian assistance, supervision and surveillance issues, access to humanitarian transport and protection of the human rights of members of the mass migration phenomenon, mixed and complex called "Caravan of migrant";

B) Complying with the measures recommended by the IACHR, in the communication of October 23,[1] as applicable also to Mexico and, in particular, to the United States of America:

1. Ensure the right to request and receive asylum from people who require international protection and meet their urgent humanitarian needs, as well as respect and guarantee the principles of family unity and the best interests of the child;

2. Guarantee, through fair and effective procedures, the recognition of refugee status to people who have a well-founded fear of persecution in case of return to their country of origin or who consider that their life, integrity or personal freedom would be threatened due to to the situation of violence, massive violations of human rights and serious disturbances of public order in the terms of the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees of 1984. In this regard, the States concerned must rapidly strengthen and mobilize the personnel and resources that are necessary for national asylum systems to respond adequately and effectively to the asylum and complementary protection applications that are presented;

3. Respect the principle and right to non-refoulement;

4. Respect the principle of prohibition of rejection at the border and, for this purpose, carry out an analysis of the particular conditions and needs for international protection and special protection for the people who make up the caravan of migrants have, in order to determine whether they should be recognized as refugees or if they require additional protection;

5. Respect the right and the principle of prohibition of collective expulsions;

6. Implement mechanisms to identify people with specific protection needs, particularly women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and LGBTI people;

7. Protect and provide humanitarian assistance to migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees within their jurisdiction, in coordination with international organisations such as UNHCR, as well as national human rights institutions and civil society organisations; and

8. Guarantee that the returns carried out are made on the basis of a true and fully informed and valid consent of the migrants, in a dignified and safe manner, guaranteeing respect for the human rights of the people involved and the adoption of appropriate measures for the evaluation of their needs and their reintegration in the country of origin.

GANHRI will keep monitoring the situation, and support the efforts of the four NHRIs. 

News Date







Created at 19/11/2018 21:28 by iccgeneva
Last modified at 19/11/2018 21:28 by iccgeneva