CITIZEN SECURITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
INTER - AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COMISION INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS
COMISS√O INTERAMERICANA DE DIREITOS HUMANOS
COMMISSION INTERAM…RICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
WASHINGTON, D.C. 2 0 0 0 6 U.S.A.
December 10, 2007
I have the honor of addressing Your Excellency on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to send to you a questionnaire designed to compile information that will assist the Commissionís work in the area of public security and human rights.
In the Commissionís view, it is imperative that the States immediately adopt effective laws, policies and practices to guarantee the publicís security and respect for human rights. The Commission is in the process of preparing a regional study that will serve as a guide and make recommendations to the member states of the Organization of American States pertaining to their obligation to protect their inhabitants, especially victims of crime and violations of human rights. Through the cases it receives, the precautionary measures it orders, its studies on specific issues and visits to a number of the member states, the relationship between citizen security and human rights continues to be one of the Commissionís priorities.
The report that the Commission is preparing in connection with this regional study will take into account the information received from state sources and from civil society. Enclosed Your Excellency will find a questionnaire whose purpose is to compile information on the principal achievements and challenges that the States of the region are facing in the area of citizen security and human rights. The questionnaire is looking for qualitative and quantitative data. The Commission hopes to compile information at the local and national level; in the case of federal systems, it hopes to get information from the national governments and the federated units, so that it can consider the challenges they face. The Commission would appreciate any replies, reports, statistics and other data you might be able to offer in this regard.
I am respectfully requesting that Your Excellencyís Government make the necessary arrangements to get this information to the Inter-American Commission before February 4, 2008. The responses to this questionnaire should be sent to the following address: (...)
Accept, Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.
1. Which are the principal provisions of the Constitution and the law that concern protection and promotion of public security and the functioning of the public security sector?
2. Which are the principal provisions of the Constitution and the law on the structure and functioning of the police and the armed forces and the relationship between them?
3. Which are the principal provisions of the Constitution and the law that specifically pertain to organized crime?
4. Which provisions of the Constitution and the law specifically concern the production, marketing and use of firearms?
5. What are the countryís main challenges in terms of public security and rule of law? Have the rates of robbery and homicide increased or decreased in the last five years? Please explain how the robbery and homicide rates are figured.
6. Does the country have a national policy and/or plan of action with respect to public security? What prevention-oriented components do those policies and/or plans of action feature, apart from the rule of law?
7. Do the national policies and/or plans of action on public security feature specific instruments to protect the rights of specific groups, such as children, women, ethnic/racial minorities and indigenous groups?
8. Does the country have a national policy and/or plan of action with respect to organized crime?
9. Does the country have a national policy and/or plan of action specifically targeted at organized crime involved in the drug trade?
10. How much progress has been made in implementing policies and/or plans of action on public security? What have been the principal problems during implementation? Political support? Public support? Economic resources? Scientific and technological capacity? Professional competence?
11. What is the best example of progress and/or success in implementing policies and/or plans of action to improve public security? How are progress and success measured when it comes to public security?
12. What are the main difficulties in implementing, monitoring and evaluating the reforms, policies and programs to promote citizen security and human rights?
13. Which are the principal initiatives to reform the police and/or improve strategies for law enforcement and preventing crime and violence in the country?
14. How many police organizations are there in the country? How many police officers are employed in the countryís police organizations? In federal states, please provide this information in relation to state/provincial and municipal/local agencies?
15. Are there military police organizations in the country? How many? Which are they? In countries that do have military police organizations, how many police officers are employed in those organizations?
16. Do police organizations have specific strategies and programs for preventing crime and violence, apart from the job that law enforcement officers perform?
17. Do police organizations have specific programs to protect particular groups, such as children, women, ethnic/racial minorities and indigenous groups?
18. Are there specific policies and programs to protect and assist victims of violence and crime? Which organizations run these programs and policies?
19. What percentage of national and/or state/provincial spending goes toward public security?
20. What percentage of the national and/or state/provincial spending goes to the police?
21. In the executive branch, which ministry/secretariat/department is in charge of public security? In federal states, which secretariat/department is in charge of public security? Are there councils/committees on which members of civil society organizations serve?
22. In the executive branch, which ministry/secretariat/department is in charge of human rights? Are there councils/committees on which members of human rights organizations serve?
23. Does the legislative branch have a specific body/committee in charge of public security issues? If so, what is its name? In federal states, which organizations/committees are in charge of security issues in the federal and state/provincial legislatures?
24. What are the principal organizations in charge of external oversight of the police? In federal states, which federal and state/provincial organizations are in charge of external oversight of police organizations at the federal and state/provincial levels?
25. Are there unofficial vigilante groups or paramilitary groups in the country? If so, what mechanisms are used to control and monitor these groups?
26. How many private security firms are there in the country? How many people are employed by private security firms? Which are the principal watchdog organizations monitoring private security firms?
27. What percentage of the national and/or state/provincial budget goes to the Public Prosecutorís Office or the Attorney Generalís Office? How many prosecutors are there nationwide?
28. What percentage of the national and/or state/provincial budget goes toward the Judicial Branch? How many judges are there nationwide?
29. How do civil society organizations participate in developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating public security programs and policies?
do civil society organizations interact with police organizations? How do
they monitor and evaluate the police?
Please indicate the following: