The American Convention on Human Rights,1969, and its Protocols of 1988 and 1990


  • The Convention reinforced the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which since 1960 had existed as “an autonomous entity of the Organization of American States”.
  • It became a treaty-based organ which, together with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, “shall have competence with respect to matters relating to the fulfilment of the commitments made by the States Parties” to the Convention (art. 33).
  • In 1988, the General Assembly of the OAS further adopted the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, also called the Protocol of San Salvador.
  • Lastly, in 1990 the General Assembly also adopted the Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty, which entered into force on 28 August 1991
  • American Convention on Human Rights also expressly recognizes “that the essential rights of man are not derived from one’s being a national of a certain State, but are based upon attributes of the human personality”.