Nº 16/01




The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States have signed an agreement aimed at strengthening the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).


The IDB was represented by its President, Dr. Enrique Iglesias, and the IACHR by: its President, Dean Claudio Grossman; Commissioner and Rapporteur for the Rights of the Child, Dr. Hélio Bicudo; the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Ambassador Jorge E. Taiana; and Dr. Santiago Canton, Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Executive Secretary-elect of the IACHR.  Ambassador Jorge E. Taiana also acted as the representative of the General Secretariat of the OAS.


The purpose of the agreement is to support the strengthening of the Office of the Rapporteur for the Rights of the Child and its activities aimed at promoting and defending the human rights of children.  In thanking the Inter-American Development Bank for its much-appreciated cooperation, the President of the IACHR, Dean Claudio Grossman, stressed that the agreement between the two institutions would “strengthen and help consolidate the Office of the Rapporteur for the Human Rights of the Child of the IACHR as a key body in the promotion and defense of the human rights of the children of the Hemisphere.”


For his part, the Rapporteur for the Rights of the Child, Dr. Hélio Bicudo, reaffirmed a statement by the IACHR that “respect for the rights of the child is a fundamental value in a society that claims to practice social justice and observe human rights… [A large number of children in the countries of the region] suffer from the hardships of social injustice that translate into lack of access to such basic necessities for survival as proper diet, health, housing … education, recreation … and find themselves subjected to [severe] labor exploitation.  A high percentage of children in the region live in the streets, menaced by violence from police squads and paramilitary groups and subject to illegal incarceration, torture, and murder.”


Dr. Santiago Canton, who will be taking up his post as Executive Secretary of the IACHR on August 1 of this year, stated that “the subject of the human rights of the child will be a priority” during his term at the Inter-American Commission.



Washington, D.C., July 24, 2001