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Organization of American States: Western Hemisphere Countries Sign Conventions Against Discrimination

(July 8, 2013) On June 6, 2013, the Organization of American States (OAS) announced that <?Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Uruguay have become the first countries to sign the Inter-American Convention Against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance and the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Related Forms of Intolerance. (Press Release, OAS, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Uruguay Sign the Conventions Against Racism and Discrimination (June 6, 2013).)

These Conventions will take effect once they are approved by the legislative bodies of two of the signatory countries. (Id.)

According to a press release issued on the occasion of the signing, the Inter-American Convention Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Related Forms of Intolerance improves and reaffirms some of the principles stated in the 1965 United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. (Id.)

The press release also noted that the Inter-American Convention Against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance condemns discrimination on the basis of a wide variety of grounds, including

nationality, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, language, religion, cultural identity, political or other opinion, social origin, socioeconomic position, level of education, migration status, status of refugee or repatriated, stateless, or internally displaced person, disability, genetic characteristic, mental or physical health status, including infectious or contagious disease status, or psychologically disabling condition, or for any other reason. (Id.)