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Latino Daily News

Sunday May 6, 2012

UN Fears Venezuela Departing Human Rights Commission

The United Nations today voiced concern over Venezuela’s announcement that it is establishing a committee to evaluate the possibility of withdrawing from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  The IACHR is an organ of the Organization of American States (OAS) whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the Americas.

“Regional human rights bodies play a very important role in the promotion and protection of human rights mechanisms and reinforce universal human rights standards and treaties,” stressed Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“The IACHR, which is more than 50 years old and is a highly respected body, has in particular had a very positive impact in the region, and it has been crucial in obtaining justice for large numbers of victims of human rights violations, particularly during the period when dictatorships ruled many countries in the region,” he said.

Mr. Colville noted the longstanding relationship between the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) and the IACHR in areas such as citizen security, juvenile justice, torture prevention and prison conditions, as well as the collaboration between the UN Human Rights Council and IACHR experts on issues relating to freedom of expression, torture and indigenous rights, among others.