On August 24, 2017, two members of the Asylum Access Latin America (AALA) team testified on the rights of asylum seekers during a Public Hearing before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights. The hearing focused on the right to apply for asylum and served as part of the Court’s procedure for issuing a Consultative Opinion on ensuring refugees are guaranteed their legal rights to international protection when they arrive to a destination country.
The forthcoming Consultative Opinion will be a vitally important instrument for work defending the rights of refugees at the regional level. It will influence how the region’s states will deal with a shifting refugee challenge. In Latin America, requests for asylum have increased severalfold over the past few years, fueled in part by the instability in Venezuela, gang violence in Central America, in addition to the ongoing legacy of a half-century of conflict in Colombia.
In its testimony, Asylum Access legal experts, Xavier Gudiño Valdiviezo and Daniela Ubidia, elaborated on the importance of recognizing asylum seekers’ rights — particularly given the constantly changing context of forced displacement in the region — and called on the court to continue observing and strengthening obligations of State governments to abide by international laws. Our participation in front of the court is part of ongoing efforts to advance regional protection standards and advocacy needs in coordination with other civil society organizations and national governments.
A recording of the hearing is available here. Jump forward to 00:15:16-00:27:07 to hear Asylum Access representatives Xavier Gudiño Valdiviezo and Daniela Ubidia speak.