Addressing the rights of indigenous women and girls with disabilities throughout Latin America by advocating within the Inter-American Human Rights System with reference to regional and international human rights treaties
A band of black background contrasts with the white text of the title, Advocacy before the Inter-American System: A Manual for Attorneys and Advocates. A blue-gray silhouette shows the shape of Central and South America. At bottom are the logo for the International Justice Resource Center (IJRC) and the subtitle Preventing and Remedying Human Rights Violations through the International Framework.

Cover for Advocacy before the Inter-American System: A Manual for Attorneys and Advocates

Introduction

Indigenous women and girls with disabilities face marginalization, discrimination, and exclusion on the basis of their indigenous identity, their gender, and their disability status. Protecting their human rights may require both domestic advocacy (within your country) and also regional or international advocacy. In North, Central, and South America, indigenous women with disabilities can use various regional human rights instruments to advocate for their rights within the Inter-American human rights system.

Toolkit on the Inter-American human rights system for indigenous women

This publication was developed in coordination with indigenous women from many Latin American countries. It explains different aspects of the Inter-American human rights system and how indigenous women and their advocates can use the system effectively. Some of the content is general enough to be helpful for other people, including people with disabilities, who also need to advocate within the Inter-American human rights system.

The publication provides an overview of the structure of the Organization of American States and how the Inter-American human rights system supervises the compliance of American countries with human rights norms. It discusses how advocates can use the different Rapporteurships that focus on specific areas of human rights law. Although none of the Inter-American Rapporteurships focus specifically on disability rights, there is one focused on the rights of indigenous peoples and another focused on the rights of women.

Advocacy before the Inter-American System: A Manual for Attorneys and Advocates

This manual assists civil rights, social justice, and human rights advocates and attorneys throughout the Americas in engaging with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Right. It explains what the Inter-American System is and how it protects human rights. It also explains how advocates can file complaints, how to identify the relevant laws and decisions, and what kind of evidence they should collect and how.

Inter-American Human Rights Instruments

Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru have ratified or otherwise signified support for a number of regional human rights treaties and declarations that may be relevant to the rights of indigenous women and girls with disabilities.

  • American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities
  • Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence Against Women "Convention of Belem do Para" -- See Article 9 for reference to disability
  • Inter-American Convention on the Granting of Political Rights to Women
  • Inter-American Convention on the Granting of Civil Rights to Women
  • Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights "Protocol of San Salvador"
    • See Article 9, Article 13 paragraph 3.e., and Article 18 for reference to disability
    • See Article 6 paragraph 2, Article 9 paragraph 2 for reference to women
  • American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man -- See Article 8 for reference to women
  • American Convention on Human Rights -- See Article 4 paragraph 5, Article 6 paragraph 1 for reference to women

International Human Rights Instruments

In addition to using regional instruments, people advocating within the Inter-American system can refer to relevant international standards. The Inter-American Commission and InterAmerican Court have often referred to the principles of international law outside the Inter-American system to help clarify legal obligations within the Inter-American system. Other pages in this website provide guidance about various international-level treaties and declarations meant to protect the rights of women, indigenous peoples, peoples with disabilities, and children.

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