The Inter-American system of human rights and the right to vote for convicts: the case of felony disenfranchisement as a social conflicting application and its full impropriety under international human rights law

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Montenegro, Paulo : Maciel Porto
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This thesis evaluates whether the Inter-American System for Protection of Human Rights should allow all criminal convicts to take vote or not. The objective is to highlight the clear need for change and the outdated and social troubling standing regarding felony disenfranchisement in Latin America. For this purpose, the research relies on a multidisciplinary investigation to analyse felony disenfranchisement policies and its operation in the region under the scrutiny of the America Convention on Human Rights. While Latin American countries should ungently be engaged in policies to promote inclusion and social rehabilitation of prisoners, criminal disenfranchisement, as a mere punitive measure, is openly embraced by the America Convention on Human Rights (Article 23.2). Once is clear the social impacts of felony disenfranchisement and its critical and contradictory establishment under the Inter-America System for Protection of Human Rights, the research uncovers the impropriety of the denial of prisoners ‘voting rights under international human rights law. Even though criminal disenfranchisement policies seem to be a countermeasure to develop human rights’ protection, the Inter-American System does not review the matter. Keywords: Felony disenfranchisement; International human rights law; Unreasonable restrictions; Discriminatory policies; Inter-American System for Protection of Human Rights.
Second semester University: Panteion University, Athens
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, discrimination, human rights, international law, right to vote, prisoners, Latin America