Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights

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Reproductive Rights Victory and Challenges Ahead in the Inter-American Region

Artwork - Cristy C. Road @

Artwork – Cristy C. Road @

By Ciara O’Connell

University of Sussex

On January 21, 2015, Guadalupe, a Salvadoran woman sentenced to thirty years imprisonment after suffering a miscarriage, was pardoned seven years into her sentence. Guadalupe was one of a group of 17 women who are imprisoned in El Salvador as a result of obstetric complications, where the women have been found guilty of attempting to abort their pregnancies.[1] There is a complete ban on abortion in El Salvador, which means that even women who are raped or whose health is at a significant risk cannot abort a pregnancy. It also means that a pregnancy resulting in a malformed foetus that cannot survive outside the womb will not be terminated. For women in El Salvador, the ban on abortion is not only a violation of reproductive rights to health and autonomy, but in some situations may even take on characteristics of torture. Continue Reading →

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Indigenous Peoples and FPIC: When does the ‘C’ mean ‘Consent’?

By Jackie Hartley, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales

Indigenous Rights Now! Photo courtesy of the Rainforest Action Network:

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights may soon have an opportunity to confirm whether, and under what circumstances, States are required to obtain the consent of Indigenous peoples in relation to resource development.

Indigenous peoples have long asserted a right to determine whether resource development can occur within their traditional territories. In a range of international fora, advocates for the rights of Indigenous peoples frequently argue that States should obtain the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of Indigenous peoples before authorising development projects that affect them. To a significant extent, the emergence of this standard reflects the need for Indigenous peoples to protect the integrity of their lands and their relationships with them. However, the standard also reflects a strong belief that States ought to respect Indigenous peoples’ decision-making authority, governance structures and laws in relation to their territories. Continue Reading →