Latin American WHRDs demand greater protection

27.02.2015

Women human rights defenders across 15 countries in Latin America participated in a regional consultation in Guatemala on January 26-27 organised by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst. In doing so, they raised their concerns and condemned the harassment, threats and attacks that so many women human rights defenders have faced in their work to promote and protect human rights in Latin America.

 

Women human rights defenders across 15 countries in Latin America participated in a regional consultation in Guatemala on January 26-27 organised by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst. In doing so, they raised their concerns and condemned the harassment, threats and attacks that so many women human rights defenders have faced in their work to promote and protect human rights in Latin America.

They highlighted that gender discrimination endemic in the region leads to little recognition from their societies and governments of their legitimate work. This lends vulnerability to specific risks that are often not mitigated by protection mechanisms. In particular, women defending land and natural resources, as well as indigenous women and women working in conflict areas are particularly at risk. Many activists working on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, as well as sexual and reproductive rights are also often not recognised for their work as human rights defenders.

The group of women human rights defenders made concrete recommendations during the regional consultation. In particular, they called on States to implement UN General Assembly resolution 68/181 which focuses on the protection of women human rights defenders. They further stressed that governments and authorities must take measures to publicly recognise the role of women human rights defenders, and that effective protection mechanisms need to be set up that take into account their specific needs and respond efficiently to allegations of violations. 

Category:

Region
  • Latin America and Caribbean
Topic
  • Women's rights and WHRD
Mechanism
  • UN Special Rapporteur on HRDs
Country
  • Guatemala