The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) will conduct it’s periodic review of Mexico on 12 – 13 March 2018, and will question the government on it’s implementation of human rights protections under the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights(ICESCR). The Committee has recognised the right to information as essential to the rights to water, health, and education, through empowering individuals and communities to realise their human rights. ARTICLE 19’s submission to CESCR ahead of the review highlights failures on the right of access to information on sexual and reproductive health, in the availability and accessibility of healthcare, on access to the Internet and technological advances, and in guaranteeing the right to information as essential for promoting participation in cultural and social life, in particular to guarantee the security of journalists and the free exercise of their profession.
The submission draws attention to serious shortcomings in the implementation of the country’s landmark access to information law and the ability of individuals to exercise their right to information. This is particularly the case for individuals from marginalised communities and groups.
In addition to this, ongoing impunity for the epidemic of killings of journalists in Mexico has a serious impact on press freedom, and as a result people’s ability to access information through reporting on key issues which affect their rights. From the year 2000 to date, ARTICLE 19 has documented a total of 109 murders of journalists thought to be have been targeted for their work, with 41 perpetrated since 2012, the period under the Committee’s consideration. According to the UNESCO Director General’s 2016 report into the safety of journalists, of 58 recorded killings between 2006 – 2015, no cases have been resolved, the Government admit they have not resolved 51 (88%) and failed to provide information on 7 (12%).
Our recommendations set out the action the Mexican government must take to implement its commitments under ICESCR, in particular related to access to information, to enable the enjoyment of the full range of rights under the Covenant for all people in the country.