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26 April 2023

Business and Human Rights: Indigenous Peoples and the Inter-American Human Rights Courts

Salvador Herencia Carrasco

University of Ottawa

Salvador Herencia Carrasco

On Wednesday, April 26th, Professor Salvador Herencia Carrasco from the University of Ottawa delivered an excellent lecture at the Rio School on Global Governance, Democracy, and Human Rights, an activity organised by the FGV Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on EU-South America Global Governance and co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Programme.

The lecture discussed the Inter-American Human Rights System, which comprises the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. According to Prof. Herencia Carrasco, the Inter-American Human Rights System primarily focuses on state responsibility for violating Indigenous Peoples' rights to consultation and territory in extractive projects. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has a Special Rapporteurship on Business and Human Rights and Environment and has held various hearings and released thematic reports on the matter, including Indigenous Peoples, Afro-Descendent Communities and Natural Resources. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has focused mostly on cases involving Indigenous Peoples but is starting to expand to include cases on forced labour, provision of public services by private businesses, and environmental regulations.

Professor Carrasco also explained why the Inter-American Human Rights System is influential in Latin America, where International Human Rights Law is integrated into their internal legal system through a constitutional bloc. Finally, Prof. Herencia Carrasco also highlighted the participatory mechanism available at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and encouraged the students to engage with the Human Rights System as active Latin American citizens.

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