In November 2011, the Center for Reproductive Rights participated in the 2nd Latin American Congress on Reproductive Rights Law in San José, Costa Rica. Over 300 dedicated human rights advocates interested in reproductive rights law from around the world attended the Congress, including members from the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
The Congress brought together government officials, lawyers, judges, medical practitioners, students, and human rights advocates, and enabled them to share their experiences and lessons learned from working to advance reproductive freedoms through a human rights framework in Latin America. It opened with statements from Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and current Executive Director of UNWOMEN, and Anand Grover, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. The Center’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mónica Arango, presented at a two-day panel on conscientious objection, and discussed the Center’s efforts in Colombia as an example of our recent work on the issue, as well as international human rights standards around it. Alejandra Cárdenas, Legal Adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean, gave a workshop on the “Use of the Inter-American System for the Promotion and Protection of Reproductive Rights,” in which she used the Mamérita Mestanza v. Peru, Paulina Ramírez v. Mexico, and F.S. v. Chile cases as examples of the Center’s engagement with the Inter-American System to protect and advance reproductive rights. Katrina Anderson, Human Rights Counsel for the U.S. Legal Program, co-facilitated a workshop that identified linkages between legal efforts to address sexual violence and reproductive rights, and made recommendations for advocates in each field to work more collaboratively.