Today, the ICJ called on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to guarantee transparency and participation in its activities in Venezuela in an oral statement delivered during the interactive dialogue on the oral update by the UN’s High Commissioner of Human Rights on Venezuela.
The statement reads as follows:
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) welcomes the High Commissioner’s oral update on the situation of human rights in Venezuela, particularly regarding the cooperation between her office and the Venezuelan authorities.
The ICJ underscores the importance of transparency on the activities conducted under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both parties. Publication of the MoU to inform the public and ensure the optimal engagement of stakeholders is critical to its success.
The ICJ stresses that in addition to civil and political rights, economic, social, cultural rights continue to be violated in Venezuela, a situation aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of January 2021, at least 37 health workers have died due to the lack of protective equipment and basic supplies in healthcare centers.
In light of recent announcements by Venezuelan authorities, political considerations appear to be a driving factor in the COVID-19 vaccine prioritization plan, instead of objective and public health criteria, which could lead to discrimination and a denial of equal protection of law.
The ICJ recommends that the High Commissioner monitor and report on the status of the Venezuelan authorities’ compliance with her previous recommendations, and on her broader engagement with local civil society with a view to protecting human rights.
Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949AdvocacyNon-legal submissions