This past Tuesday, October 21, Inter-American Commissioner Rosa María Ortiz spoke at the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver as part of a tour through the United States to learn about the U.S. juvenile justice system. As the IACHR‘s Rapporteur on the Rights of Children, Commissioner Ortiz primarily spoke about the Commission’s report, Juvenile Justice and Human Rights in the Americas.
The report, as its title implies, assesses the plight of children and adolescents throughout the region who are caught up in the web of their country’s criminal justice system. She highlighted the toll that confinement takes on children and the lamented the number of countries in the Americas that allow prosecution of children under the age of 12 (the internationally accepted minimum). In her recommendations, Commissioner Ortiz urged the United States to focus on specialization for judges, attorneys, and police, meaning particular training in dealing with children and adolescents for people in these positions. The full report may be accessed here. Learn more about the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights here.