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3 Life

From: The American Convention on Human Rights: Essential Rights

Thomas M. Antkowiak, Alejandra Gonza

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 June 2021

Capital punishment — Disappearances — Right to adequate standard of living — Right to health — Political violence — Armed conflict

The American Convention, in its Article 4, is the only human rights treaty that expressly determines the point from which the right to life must be protected: “in general, from the moment of conception.” The Court has found arbitrary deprivations of life in numerous contexts, such as cases involving the death penalty, disproportionate police or military force, and internal armed conflicts. The Inter-American System has been a pioneer in the conceptual development of the crime of forced disappearance. Inter-American human rights law demands that States adopt numerous positive measures to safeguard life, including legislative action, prevention of violence, and the investigation and punishment of crime—all according to the due diligence standard. At times, the Court’s judgments blur positive and negative State duties in this area. The Tribunal has recognized rights to health, education, culture, food, and clean water as components of the right to life.

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