GUATEMALA: State to be confronted on adoptions at Inter-American Commission

Summary: Today, 12 October, at 15.00 in Washington, D.C., Casa Alianza and the Center for International Justice and Law (CEJIL) will present a hearing to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights on the irregularities of adoption proceedings in Guatemala. They will propose mechanisms to protect and guarantee the human rights of Guatemalan children.

[12 October 2007] – More than four thousand Guatemalan children are given up for adoption every year, placing Guatemala behind only Russia and China in the number of international adoptions it grants, and the populations of Russia and China are between 50 and 100 times larger.

The proliferation of international adoption cases, which have increased significantly in recent years, has generated deep concern and attention, both nationally and internationally, from human rights organisations who say that the fundamental rights of Guatemalan children are violated in these proceedings. In addition, the lack of transparent legislation and procedures have discredited the country, which is widely seen as neglecting its children.

Casa Alianza and CEJIL requested a hearing before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, which will take place today, to ask for precautionary measures to protect children in adoption cases. They will make the following recommendations to the Inter-American Commission.

  • The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights should express its concern for the situation of adoptions and urge the Guatemalan State to immediately adopt the necessary measures to guarantee that adoption cases comply with due process and international obligations.
  • It should constantly monitor the situation of adoptions in Guatemala, in particular, the approval of the Adoption Law, to ensure that it is not weakened by the inclusion of amendments contrary to those recommended by the experts in the Bureau of The Hague.
  • It should pay special attention and process in a timely manner the petition relating to violations committed against Osmin Ricardo Tobar Ramírez, a Guatemalan child who was separated from his father and given up for adoption in an irregular manner.
  • It should order precautionary measures against the Guatemalan State to end adoptions of children which do not comply with the due process established by the Law on the Protection of Children and Young People, which requires that all cases must be reviewed by a judge before international adoption proceedings are initiated.
    Casa Alianza and CEJIL hope that the Guatemalan State ensures the protection of its children and that the country regains the good name that it has lost because of its lack of controls on international adoption.

Further information

Owner: Translated by CRIN


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