Harris Institute Presents Testimony on Gun Violence at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Members of the Commission, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

On February 27, 2018, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held a hearing on “The Regulation of Gun Sales and Social Violence in the United States” in Bogotá, Colombia. The Commission invited the U.S. government and four members of civil society— the Harris Institute, the Center for American Progress, Amnesty International, and the Igarapé Institute — to present testimony on this important issue.

As part of the Gun Violence and Human Rights Project recently launched by Harris Institute Director Leila Sadat, WashULaw students Jiyeon Kim and Nicole Smith attended the hearing. The Harris Institute’s testimony can be found at minute 6:43 of the hearing video. A copy of the Harris Institute’s Written Statement submitted to the Commission is available at this link.

From left: Eugenio Weigend and Joel Martinez (Center for American Progress), Jiyeon Kim, Katherine Aguirre (Igarapé Institute), Zeke Johnson (Amnesty International), and Nicole Smith.

The hearing highlighted that there are proven and effective measures that the U.S. government can implement to reduce the number of lives lost due to gun violence. An appropriate government response that takes a public health and human rights approach to this problem would reduce homicide and suicide rates in the United States, and reduce illegal gun trafficking that is rampant in the Americas.

During the joint recommendation at the end of the hearing, the Harris Institute urged the Commission to conduct a study on gun violence in the U.S., with a special focus on school shootings, and hold a thematic hearing on this important issue. Visit the Harris Institute’s website to learn more about the Gun Violence and Human Rights Project.

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