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Venezuela: International treaty status

The Constitution specifies that human rights treaties to which Venezuela is a party have constitutional rank and prevail over national legislation, provided that they contain provisions more favourable to human rights than those recognized in the Constitution and laws.[1] They are directly applicable by the courts and other organs of public power.

The following table sets out the status of a range of human rights treaties in Venezuela as of 21 August 2014:

Ratification accession or succession
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights  10 May 1978
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 10 May 1978
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty  22 February 1993
International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights 10 May 1978
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights  4 October 2011 (signature only)
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  29 July 1991
Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  1 July 2011 (signature only)
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 21 October 2008 (signature only)
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 10 October 1967
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women 2 May 1983
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women  13 May 2002
Convention on the Rights of the Child 13 September 1990
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict 23 September 2003
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children Child Prostitution and Child Pornography 8 May 2002
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure No signature or ratification
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families 4 October 2011
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 24 September 2013
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 24 September 2013
Ratification accession or succession
Geneva Convention I for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field 13 February 1956
Geneva Convention II for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea 13 February 1956
Geneva Convention III relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War 13 February 1956
Geneva Convention IV relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 13 February 1956
Additional Protocol I relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts  23 July 1998
Additional Protocol II relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts 23 July 1998
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 7 June 2000
Convention against Corruption  2 February 2009
Ratification accession or succession
American Convention on Human Rights  23 June 1977 (Denounced — effective as of 10 September 2013)

Venezuela announced its intention to denounce the American Convention on Human Rights and thereby to remove itself from the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court in a letter to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States dated 6 September 2012. It alleged that the “operational scheme between the Commission and the Court has allowed these two organs to act in an articulated fashion against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela by means of the admission of denunciations on cases that were being heard and processed by the legal instances of the country, or admitting denunciations that were never filed before said instances, in flagrant violation of Article 46.1 of the American Convention.”[2] The denunciation became effective on 10 September 2013; nevertheless, under Art 78(2) of the Convention, Venezuela is still subject to the obligations set out in the Convention and the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court “with respect to any act that may constitute a violation of those obligations and that has been taken by that state prior to the effective date of denunciation.”[3]

 

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. 1. Constitution, Article 23.

    The treaties, pacts and conventions relating human rights which have been executed and ratified by Venezuela have a constitutional rank, and prevail over internal legislation, insofar as they contain provisions concerning the enjoyment and exercise of such rights that are more favorable than those established by this Constitution and the laws of the Republic, and shall be immediately and directly applied by the courts and other organs of the Public Power.

  2. 2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, Letter of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) denouncing the Inter-American Convention on Human rights, 6 September 2012. Consulted at: http://www.ucab.edu.ve/tl_files/CDH/recursos/Nota%20000125_Republica%20Bolivariana%20de%20Venezuela_al_SG.PDF (Accessed 21 August 2014).
  3. 3. American Convention on Human Rights, article 78(2).

    Such a denunciation shall not have the effect of releasing the State Party concerned from the obligations contained in this Convention with respect to any act that may constitute a violation of those obligations and that has been taken by that state prior to the effective date of denunciation.

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