N° 19/10




Washington, D.C., February 19, 2010 — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) conducted a working visit to Argentina on February 15-17, 2010. The IACHR delegation was headed by Commission Chair Luz Patricia Mejía Guerrero, in her capacity as Rapporteur for Argentina. The object of the visit was to promote compliance with IACHR friendly settlement agreements and recommendations, and to this end Rapporteur Mejía Guerrero met with high-level national and provincial authorities, as well as with representatives of civil society organizations.


Rapporteur Mejía Guerrero focused her visit on promoting recommendations of a legislative and regulatory nature, such as the draft legislation to classify the forced disappearance of persons as a crime; preliminary bills for a new National Procedural Code on Criminal Matters and a law on minimum principles in relation to the right to appeal; and the Regulatory Decree of the New Migration Law.


At a meeting with the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the Commissioner received the first report on compliance with a friendly settlement agreement signed last October between the State of Argentina and a group of retirees, under which the National Social Security Administration (ANSES) settled and paid out pending retirement benefits to thousands of people.


The IACHR Chair underscored the importance of the friendly settlement procedure contemplated in the American Convention on Human Rights, which makes it possible to resolve individual cases in a non-contentious manner. This mechanism has proved to be an important and effective means for solution in cases involving various countries in the region, particularly Argentina. The friendly settlement mechanism, which can be used by both parties, also makes it possible to implement measures that can help strengthen state institutions and lead to the improvement and adoption of public policies that are beneficial for society as a whole.


In addition to the visit with the Argentine President, the delegation met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Worship; the Minister of Justice, Security, and Human Rights; the Vice-Minister of the Interior; and the National Deputy Director of Migration. It also held meetings with the Human Rights Commission of Argentina's Chamber of Deputies and with members of the Senate Commission on Rights and Guarantees. At the provincial level, the delegation met with the State Attorney General and the Deputy Director of Human Rights of the province of Chubut; the Minister of Justice of Córdoba province; and the Deputy Secretary of Human Rights of the province of Santa Fe.


The Commission appreciates the cooperation provided by the government of Argentina, especially its Foreign Ministry, for this visit to take place.        


A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.


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