Human Rights Reforms in Mexico
March 31, 2011 | From the field | Human Rights

The Mexican Senate approved the most significant constitutional human rights reform in decades. Years of joint efforts by MacArthur grantees and other members of civil society, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the national Congress resulted in changes to 11 articles of Mexico's Constitution. These reforms elevate the legal standing of human rights treaties to which Mexico is a signatory. Previously, laws contained in the Constitution were superior to Mexico's international human rights obligations. The reform now gives them equal weight, ushering in a host of new legal human rights protections, for example placing limits on government's ability to expel migrants and prohibiting discriminatory practices motivated by sexual preference. The reform further strengthens the powers of the National Human Rights Commission. A similar version of the bill previously passed the Chamber of Deputies. The amendments must now be approved by a majority of state legislatures before they become law.

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