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OAS: Advancing economic, social and cultural rights

Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay Presented at the OAS Advances in Economic and Social Rights

  October 17, 2015

The governments of Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay presented this week at the Organization of American States their advances in the areas of rights to health, education and social security. The reports were received by the Working Group of the Protocol of San Salvador during its meetings this week at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC. The five reports were analyzed and will be published next year by the working group, which will also include the contributions made by other signatory countries to the Protocol.

"What happened this week is not a minor issue; it confirms the commitment of the States of the Americas to advance toward the full recognition of the economic, social and cultural rights of their citizens. This is giving more rights to more people," said the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro. "We know that in the coming days more countries will present their reports and hopefully in the near future all member states of this Organization will do the same," he said.

This week's meeting was the first time in which the member states had a session with the working group to analyze and discuss the follow-up reports on the Protocol of San Salvador, which consecrates the economic, social and cultural rights of the Inter-American System of Human Rights.

The monitoring mechanism of the Protocol of San Salvador, designed at the OAS and approved by its member states, includes a pioneering system of indicators that allows for a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the progress made by countries. The mechanism divides the rights in two groups: first, rights to health, education and social security. In the second, rights to work, a clean environment, nutrition, the benefits of culture and trade union rights.

The Protocol of San Salvador is the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, by which member states commit in a binding way to guarantee their citizens' economic, social and cultural rights. To date, the Protocol has been signed by 19 States and ratified by 16: Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname y Uruguay.

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