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Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Holds Hearing on Access to Asylum in the United States


Letter to Secretary of State Tillerson Urging US to Reaffirm Commitment to Protect and Defend Human Rights

Today, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), along with 14 other organizations and seven individuals, all participants in hearings held during the 161 Period of Sessions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressing their deep disappointment in the failure of the United States to participate in those same hearings convened on March 21, 2017. The first hearing was on a case being litigated before the IACHR, regarding acts committed against Japanese-Peruvians by the United States during WWII; the second was convened by the IACHR on the human rights impact of recently issued executive orders; and the third was on policies that prevent access to asylum in the United States.

The United States’ absence at these hearings breaks with at least two decades of uninterrupted participation and calls into question this administration’s commitment to protecting human rights within the United States and abroad.

Instead of embarking upon an isolationist policy of disengagement with regional and international human rights bodies – a tactic used by authoritarian regimes, the undersigned organizations and individuals call upon this administration in today’s letter to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to protect and defend human rights through meaningful engagement with international human rights bodies, such as the IACHR.

Rights and Justice