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Inter-American Human Rights System: Pact of San José of Costa Rica

The American Convention on Human Rights, also called the Pact of San José, Costa Rica, was signed on November 22, 1969, in the city of San José, Costa Rica, and ratified by Brazil in September of 1992. The international convention seeks to consolidate among the american countries a system of personal liberty and social justice based on respect for essential human rights, independently of the country where the person resides or is born.

The Pact is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which embraces the ideal of the free human being, exempt from fear and misery and under conditions that allow him to enjoy his economic, social and cultural rights, as well as his civil and political rights.

The document is composed of 81 articles, including transitional provisions, which establish the fundamental rights of the human person, such as the right to life, liberty, dignity, personal and moral integrity, education, among others. The Convention prohibits slavery and human servitude, deals with judicial guarantees, freedom of conscience and religion, thought and expression, freedom of association and protection of the family.

Since the enactment of Constitutional Amendment 45/2004 (Reform of the Judiciary), treaties approved in two rounds by at least three fifths of the votes in the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate are assimilated as constitutional norms. The first of them to be received as a constitutional norm from EC 45/2004 was the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, focused on the social inclusion of these people and the adaptability of spaces.

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