Moving toward Improved Human Rights Enforcement in the Americas

Claudio Grossman


With the dawning of the new millennium, most of the states of the Americas have arrived at a point where civil - and political rights are acknowledged and accepted, at least in the theoretical sense. These rights include life, liberty, and security of the person as set forth in the American Convention on Human Rights (American Convention), ratified by twenty-four countries and/or the American Declaration on Human Rights, which is binding on all thirty-five Organization of American States (OAS) member states. In addition, the states of the Americas have begun to link human rights with democracy, recognizing that only in a democratic political system is respect for human rights possible. In fact, thirty-four of the thirty- five independent states in the region now have democratically elected governments, and many are experiencing fewer incidences of arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances, and summary executions.