Mexico: Constitutional reform on human rights approved

Photo @ El Universal

On 18 May was approved the constitutional reform regarding human rights.  For many civil society organizations and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico, the reform represents the most important change that the country has had in many decades, given that it will allow for all persons to have the protection of the rights contained in he Constitution and international agreements.  With this, the Magna Carta or the Universal Declaration on Human Rights approved in 1948 are placed in the vanguard of modern constitutional law.

Javier Hernández Valencia, representative of the High Commissioner in Mexico, assured that it is a great advance that all states have ratified the human-rights refom.  “It opens without a doubt the incorporation into the constitution all international human-rights treaties approved by Mexico, and so will expand and strengthen the protection of these rights for Mexicans,” he stated.  Although he added that other tasks are now needed, such as the approval of secondary laws or the establishment of punishment for the crime of forced disappearance, now that Mexico is a signatory to the Convention in this regard.

The reform, approved in the Senate and the House two months ago, gives the Supreme Court of Justice in the Nation (SCJN), the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), and other public entities the power to evaluate, monitor, and defend the position that human rights should be central to the policies of the government at the municipal, state, and federal levels.  In the Congress was found resistance to the faculties granted the CNDH which had been exclusive to the SCJN, but at the end of the day, the legislators approved it regardless.

The states that approved the advance are Nayarit, Michoacán, Veracruz, Aguascalientes, Coahuila, Chiapas, Colima, Yucatán, Chihuahua, Campeche, Zacatecas, Quintana Roo, Estado de México, Durango, Sonora, Tamaulipas, and Baja California Sur.

For more information (in Spanish):

Celebra Naciones Unidas ratificación, El Universal, 19 May 2011

Ratifican ley de derechos humanos, El Universal, 19 May 2011

Reforma histórica, El Universal, 19 May 2011

Se cumple con el procedimiento constitucional para la aprobación de la Reforma Constitucional en materia de Derechos Humanos, CMDPDH, 18 May 2011

Celebra Conapred aprobación de reforma constitucional en derechos humanos,, 19 May 2011

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