Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
For more information on activities in this area, please see
the following Web sites:

Summit of the Americas

Santa Cruz Summit for Sustainable Development Santiago
 Summit of the Americas
Quebec City Summit of the Americas Special Summit of the Americas: Monterrey, Mexico January 12-13, 2004

Human Rights mandates from the
Third Summit of the Americas

Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

The Heads of State and Government of the Americas are committed to protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all, including those who are vulnerable, marginalized, disabled or require special protection.  As a reflection of this commitment, they have taken the following actions in the Summits of the Americas. 

At the 1994 Miami Summit of the Americas, countries emphasized the importance of promoting and protecting human rights.  Leaders suggested that laws be reviewed and strengthened for the protection of minority groups, and that inhumane conditions in prisons be remedied.  Moreover, the right to freedom of speech was established as a fundamental right of all people.  The Miami Plan of Action was comprehensive, as well, in its inclusion of under-represented groups, such as indigenous peoples, migrant workers, women and incarcerated peoples. 

Furthering the scope of this mandate, the importance of human rights was strengthened at the 1998 Santiago Summit of the Americas, where Heads of State and Government not only reiterated the actions outlined in the Miami Summit, but committed to confront new issues and challenges in human rights. These new mandates included the training of police and correctional officers, the reduction of pre-trial detainees, and the enhancement of human rights education for judges, magistrates and other court officials.   

The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) created the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression in 1997, as a response to the recommendations of broad sectors of society from throughout the hemisphere that shared a deep concern over the constant restriction of freedom of expression and information.  At the Santiago Summit, the hemispheric leaders recognized the importance of a free press and the right to the freedom of expression, information and opinion.  The first rapporteur began his work, then, shortly after the celebration of the Santiago Summit, with the full support of the Heads of State and Government of the Americas. 

At the Quebec City Summit of the Americas, countries not only reiterated and strengthened past Summit mandates, they also further recognize the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the citizens of the Americas and include the fight against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes within the human rights panorama.  Moreover, leaders urged all Member States to recognize the importance of the Regional Preparatory Conference of the Americas against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance, which was held in Santiago, Chile, in December 2000.  Along with this, they supported the efforts made to elaborate an inter-American Convention against racism and all forms of discrimination and intolerance. 

Please see the following links to access more information on the promotion of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the hemisphere:

Upcoming Events in the area of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms can be found in the calendar of events.

Please click here to see the archive of meetings that have taken place in the area of 
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.