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Updated 06/23/2006

American Convention on Human Rights

The American Convention on Human Rights, also known as the Pact of San Jose, Costa Rica, was signed in 1969 and went into effect in 1978. The convention reiterated and expanded on the rights outlined in the earlier American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. The convention also created one of the two supervisory bodies of the Inter-American Human Rights system: the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.   

The convention primarily covers civil and political rights, much like the U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, with only one article dedicated to economic, social and cultural rights. This perfunctory mention of economic, social and cultural rights was expanded upon in 1988 with the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, also known as the Protocol of San Salvador. The rights bestowed in the additional protocol are similar to those found in the U.N. International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, with the obvious exception of the rights to clothing, housing or an adequate standard of living. A second additional protocol to the convention prohibits capital punishment during peacetime.


For more information


Full text of the American Convention on Human Rights

Full text of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights