Canada must do its part to protect human rights in the Americas


Rights & Democracy at the OAS General Assembly

Statement of the International Coalition of Organizations for Human Rights in the Americas

Organisation of American States (OAS) General Assembly
Quito, Ecuador
June 6 – 8, 2004

MONTREAL – June 4, 2004 – The Canadian government must take urgent steps to strengthen the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and the budgets that allow it to function effectively, Rights & Democracy says in a joint-letter with Amnesty International Canada.

The letter, addressed to Bill Graham, Minister of External Affairs Canada, comes on the eve of the 34th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Quito, Ecuador.

The human rights Commission’s budgets are at risk of being cut significantly this year, despite vows to the contrary in numerous resolutions by the OAS General Assembly, the Summit of the Americas process and in the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Rights & Democracy and Amnesty International Canada are asking Mr. Graham to promote measures that will ensure permanent, substantial and continuous increases in the regular budgets of Commission and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Rights & Democracy and Amnesty International Canada also reiterated their demand that Canada clarify its position regarding the Inter-American human rights system, particularly with respect to Canada’s ratification of the American Convention on Human Rights.

Rights & Democracy will join the 150 member organizations of the International Coalition of Organizations for Human Rights in the Americas at the OAS General Assembly in Quito to demand that OAS Member States adopt an approach to the struggle against corruption and terrorism that respects human rights.

For the full text of the letter to Mr. Graham, please click here. To read the International Coalition’s Declaration, please click here.

The International Coalition of Organizations for Human Rights in the Americas will hold a press conference on Sunday, June 6, at 1:30 pm in the Galapagos Room of the Radisson Hotel in Quito (Avenida 12 de Octubre y Cordero 444).