The American Convention on Human Rights1 was adopted in 1969 with the objective of consolidating in the Americas, within the framework of democratic institutions, a system of personal liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man2. The Convention makes specific reference to protecting human dignity and prohibiting discrimination3, and guarantees a range of civil and political rights and freedoms including the right to life4, the prohibition of torture5, the prohibition of slavery and forced labour6, the right to liberty and security7, the right to a fair hearing8, the prohibition of retrospective punishment9, the right
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