FIDH: Corruption prevents access to fundamental rights

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Joint statement as part of the 8th Summit of the Americas, Lima, Peru

Paris, Lima, 10 April 2018. The FIDH Coalition of 25 human rights organisations of the Americas who are attending the Summit of the Americas from 9 to 14 April is calling on the continent’s States to broach effectively and as a priority the issue of corruption from a human rights perspective. The document ‘La corrupción socava la democracia y el acceso a los derechos fundamentales’ [corruption undermines democracy and the access to fundamental rights] published today presents the coalition’s proposals for lines of action to achieve democratic governance in the Americas.

Several of the current political and legitimacy crises and the recent scandals of the region’s governments are the product of serious acts of corruption. Examples of countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Bolivia, among others, show that in these countries where corruption is established and deeply rooted, it coexists with how policy is made, and that it is vital to produce a radical change in our practices and ways of dealing with this issue. The coalition of organisations is firmly convinced that to do so from the human rights perspective will empower us and lead us in the right direction.

"Corruption has been demonstrated to be a plague that undermines the foundations of democracy and affects the ability of millions of people in the region to realise their rights. Corruption massively affects everything from the building of a school or access to effective justice to the making of public policies. For this reason, it is a high priority that, amongst the measures to discourage it, governments take action to strengthen active citizenship working towards this same goal"

declared Jomary Ortegón, FIDH Representative to the OAS and lawyer of the lawyers’ collective CAJAR (Colombia).

As considered in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in its preamble, corruption undermines "the institutions and values of democracy, ethical values and justice" and jeopardizes "sustainable development and the rule of law", values intimately related to the full force of human rights and the rule of law.

The document presents four fundamental lines of action: fight against corruption to strengthen democratic governance in the Americas; grant civil society true participation and protection in anticorruption strategies; strengthen democratic rule of law and the administration of justice; and strengthen and extend transregional mechanisms to fight against impunity.

The Coalition, which has been working on this since its strategy meeting in Lima, is represented at the Summit by a delegation made up of FIDH and its member organisations, CALDH (Guatemala), CIPRODEH (Honduras), CNDH (Dominican Republic), CAJAR (Colombia), CAJ (Argentina), as well as APRODEH and EQUIDAD (Peru).

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