Ninth Conference of Spouses of Heads of State and Government of the Americas


Backgrounder:  Inter-American Children’s Institute

Headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay, the Inter-American Children’s Institute (IACI) has been an active and steadfast promoter of the rights and needs of children in the region for almost 73 years. A specialized agency of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACI has been urging a greater mobilization of resources to improve children’s living conditions since its foundation in 1927.

When the international community approved the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, it showed a strong global trend toward the kind of work that the IACI had already been doing in the Americas for decades: advocating the inalienable rights of children. The IACI continues to develop a keen awareness among decision-makers and civil society of problems affecting children and young people in the western hemisphere.

Since its earliest days, the IACI has been a pioneer in social and pediatric issues, focussing especially on children at high biological risk and in marginalized populations. It helped to integrate preventive services in OAS member states. The IACI also campaigned to develop methods of early diagnosis aimed at reducing the rates of child mortality and morbidity across the Americas.

The 1980s saw the IACI initiate activities in the prevention of drug abuse. The agency developed a pioneer methodology for training young people, parents and community leaders. This method has since been adopted by other agencies throughout the world.

Every four years, the IACI organizes the Pan American Child Congress to promote the exchange of specialized knowledge and experience among the people of the Americas. The IACI continues to strengthen its links with human rights organizations, offering technical support to OAS member states to help them overcome the circumstances leading to violations of the human rights of children and youth in the region.

For more information, contact:

Inter-American Children’s Institute
Av. 8 de Octubre
2904 Casilla de Correo 16212
Montevideo (11600), Uruguay
Tel: (598)(2) 487-2150
Fax: (598)(2) 487-3242