Méndez Principles: Organization of American States endorses effective interviewing

Friday, March 17, 2023

The 2022 annual human rights resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) has devoted an entire section to theMéndez Principles.

The omnibus Resolution on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (AG/RES. 2991 (LII-O/22)), adopted by the OAS General Assembly at its 52 regular session in October 2022 contains specific recommendations on the Méndez Principles to the 35 OAS member states.

The resolution devotes a complete section to the Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering.

In Section v, the General Assembly encourages member states to incorporate the Méndez Principles into their legislation, regulations, training techniques, procedures and national practices. It further encourages them to establish training modules on the Méndez Principles for public authority officers who conduct interviews.

According to the General Assembly, the Principles constitute an essential tool for the protection of human rights and the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

In the preamble, the General Assembly emphasises the importance of due process of law and its fundamental principles and guarantees in the effective protection of the human rights of persons deprived of their liberty.

The General Assembly also acknowledges that the Méndez Principles aim to provide practical guidance for States to strengthen preventive measures against torture and other forms of ill-treatment during the investigation process, in particular during interviews.

The Méndez Principles received growing support during 2022. The Principles were referred to intwo resolutions adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly in New York during its 77th session (the resolutions on torture and on the administration of justice) and were addressed in astandalone resolution adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.


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