International Human Rights Law: Regional Human Rights Systems

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Inter-American Human Rights System of the Organizations of American States (OAS)

The Organization of American States (OAS), comprised of 35 member States, was formed in April 1948. Canada became a permanent observer in 1972 and joined as a member State 8 January 1990 by ratifying the OAS Charter. As a State Party to the OAS Charter, Canada is obliged to observe the human rights obligations set out in the Charter, which the Inter-American Commission has stated are represented by the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man. Canada has not ratified the American Convention on Human Rights (American Convention) or the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Protocol Of San Salvador). The Inter-American Commission has ruled that the American Declaration must be interpreted in light of developments in the overall body of international human rights law, including the American Convention and jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court. The Inter-American Commission has described the American Convention as representing “an authoritative expression of the fundamental principles set forth in the American Declaration.”

European Human Rights System

African Human Rights System

ASEAN Human Rights System

Commonwealth Human Rights Documents

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