American Convention on Human Rights

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People from La Oroya vs Peru, Inter-American Court of Human Rights: How Effective is International Law to Protect the Environment in Extractive Contexts?

On March 22nd, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled a landmark decision on the protection of the right to a healthy environment in the context of mining activities. The Court declared the international responsibility of the Peruvian State for breaching the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, specifically for violations of the right to a healthy environment (Article 26), the right to life (Article 4.1.), the right to personal integrity (Article 5), the rights of children (Article 19), and others. By evaluating environmental and medical evidence from decades ago to the present, the Court found that there is no doubt about the presence of high levels of environmental contamination in La Oroya, including lead, cadmium, arsenic, sulphur dioxide and other metals in air, soil and water. Importantly, it indicated that the principal cause was the activity of the La Oroya Metallurgical Center operating from 1922 (par. 263). Given the difficulty of establishing scientific causality, the Court also noted that it is not necessary to demonstrate that health diseases are directly caused…

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Pardon for Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori: New Chapter, Same Plot?

In December 2023, Alberto Fujimori, Peru’s President from 1990 to 2000, was released from prison by the order of the Peruvian Constitutional Court (CC). In response, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) declared Peru in contempt of the Court and imposed a reinforced monitoring of its judgments in the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta cases. Although both…

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State and Corporate Homophobia: A Commentary on the Olivera Fuentes v. Peru case

On 11 April 2023, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“the Court”) published its long-awaited ruling in the Olivera Fuentes v. Peru case. The decision holds personal significance to Crissthian Olivera, a pioneering defender of LGBTIQ+ rights in Latin America, as it was the culmination of a 19-year journey to deliver justice following discrimination he…

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25 Years after the Adoption of the ILO 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work: What is New in the Human Rights Turn in Labour Law?

June 2023 marked the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the ILO 1998 Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (the Declaration). The Declaration has been a catalyst for intense discussions and has wielded significant influence, within and beyond the ILO. This post explores the most notable impacts of the Declaration, spanning from its…

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Manuela et al. v. El Salvador: The Pitfalls of a Landmark Case for Reproductive Justice from a Torture Perspective

On November 30, 2021, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) published its judgment in Manuela et al v. El Salvador. ​​The case concerned El Salvador’s responsibility for the arbitrary detention, torture, and conviction of a woman who experienced an obstetric emergency and lost her pregnancy in 2008. The dispute took place in the context…

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