Peru sets out human rights plan

17 February 2018

The Peruvian government approved its National Human Rights Plan (2018-2021) on 1 February. Its purpose is to provide a strategy document that “seeks to guarantee the implementation of public policies in favour of groups that require special attention”.

Civil society organisations point out that there was little consultation in the development of this plan, notably with Afro-Peruvian groups. And, according to the NGO Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR), nor were the criteria used for the selection of those civil society organisations consulted made public.

However, there are many points that are to be welcomed.

The plan is framed according to five strategic alignments that reflect the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, including a chapter dedicated to the design and execution of policies in favour of groups that require special attention. These include Afro-Peruvian communities, persons with disabilities, LGBTI people, human rights defenders, Indigenous groups, women, children, and people living with HIV. With regard to human rights defenders, the development of a protection programme is included as one of the “action points” envisaged for 2021.

According to the minister of justice, Enrique Mendoza, another achievement is the introduction of monitoring and follow-up procedures that involve a participatory methodology. There are over 150 action points with indicators for progress under each one.

With regard to business and human rights, in the fifth strategic alignment the plan highlights the duty of private and public companies to fulfil their international responsibilities through a progressive implementation of international human rights standards. It mentions a commitment to producing proposals for a national plan of action on business and human rights. However, as DAR points out, it only mentions the intention to draft a proposal, not any specific measures for its elaboration.

The fourth alignment contains some good intentions vis-a-vis indigenous peoples. It mentions plans to modify the Congressional Procedural Code (Reglamento del Congreso) so as to incorporate within it the right to prior consultation for all legislative measures that affect indigenous groups. This is something that both indigenous and human rights organisations have long pushed for.

But the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. We await to see how all this is to be implemented and how progress is to be monitored.

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  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

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    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

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    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

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