Human Rights in Latin America: A Politics of Terror and Hope

By Sonia Cardenas | Go to book overview

3
Global Governance

When human rights violations occur, people need forums where they can go to demand justice. Domestic legal courts and political institutions, however, often fail to provide human rights accountability. Perpetrators go unpunished, victims are not compensated, and the truth remains untold. Fortunately, in situations where human rights victims or activists have exhausted all domestic remedies, they can turn to international and regional forums. Internationally, the UN system provides several interlocking mechanisms for upholding human rights. Regionally, the inter-American human rights system offers a range of possibilities for those seeking protection. Together, international and regional institutions act as a global safety net for human rights victims, giving them hope that justice will be served and violators will be held accountable.

The global system of human rights governance consists of specific international and regional institutions, including human rights treaties, commissions, and courts. These institutions create expectations about what constitutes human rights and what procedures should be followed when these rights are violated. Just as these institutions exist at the international level (under the umbrella of the United Nations), some regions have their own systems of human rights governance. In this regard, Latin America has one of the most developed region-wide mechanisms for regulating human rights. The inter-American human rights system is composed of numerous relevant treaties and institutions, including the American Convention on Human Rights; the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This chapter

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