Universal Periodic Review - Peru session (8 November)

19 November 2017

On 8 November, Peru’s human rights record was assessed by the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, during the 28th Universal Periodic Review (UPR) meetings. The session took the form of what is called an “interactive dialogue” between representatives from 69 different States and the government of Peru, in which Peru’s delegation presents its report on the State's efforts to comply with international human rights standards, and specifically on progress in the implementation of the recommendations made in the previous UPR session which considered Peru, in 2012 (see PSG submission, March 2017).

The interactive dialogue considered three reports submitted to the HRC in the months prior to the session: 1. A national report, 2. Compilation of UN information and 3. Summary of stakeholders' information [click on E for english versions, S for spanish versions].

The total of recommendations made to Peru is 182, of which 69 were made by the various country representatives during the interactive dialogue.

Peru’s delegation, headed by Jose Manuel Coloma, vice-minister of Human Rights and Access to Justice, presented Peru’s legislative and policy efforts to strengthen the human rights framework, including the formulation of the Third National Human Rights Plan (2017-2021). This will introduce for the first time policies for the protection of LGBTI rights, as well as a commitment to develop a framework of protection for human rights defenders. The delegation also stated that they intend to develop policies to implement the UN Guidelines on Business and Human Rights. They cited many efforts to combat poverty and discrimination and to increase access to education and health care, particularly in remote areas. They pointed to the new primary education curriculum, which incorporates a gender perspective.

The delegation's presentation described Peru's efforts to combat gender violence and human trafficking, including the National Plan against trafficking and the establishment of a national commission to combat forced labour. It was admitted that the budget assigned to these initiatives is still small. The delegation also cited the national plan to combat gender violence (2016-2021), introduced to oversee the implementation of policies to address the provision of services and attention to victims of violence. They pointed to the introduction in 2015-2016 of a normative framework which includes a law to prevent, sanction and eradicate violence against women.

Recommendations made to Peru covered a wide range of human rights issues, including issues relating to:

Women: There were approximately 28 recommendations addressing violence against women and gender inequality (including sexual and domestic violence). These included the need to develop and implement a strategy to combat human trafficking; improve access to health services and improve access to and education of sexual and reproductive rights. There were also a number of recommendations aimed at decriminalising abortion in cases of rape, danger to the mother and severe foetal impairment. With regard to forced sterilisations, a recommendation put forward by Argentina asked the government to fulfil its commitments to provide reparations to the victims and continue with judicial investigations. This recommendation was also backed by Belgium, Canada and Portugal.

LGBTI (approximately 15 recommendations): These included making sure that the rights of LGBTI are included in the human rights national plan, and to ensure that LGBTI people are identified as a vulnerable group; amending legislation to include acts of gender violence or violence against LGBTI as acts of discrimination, and allowing these acts to be admissible in court as hate crimes.

National human rights framework: Recommendations included ratifying the second optional protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights concerning the abolition of the death penalty, and providing adequate resources to the Office of the Ombudsman to fulfil its mandate as the national mechanism for the prevention of torture.

Human rights defenders (approximately 9 recommendations): These included the guaranteeing of protection of human rights defenders, and adopting and implementing the protocol on the protection of human rights defenders, developed by the Minister of Justice.

Indigenous People: there were some 7 recommendations regarding the application of the law on prior consultation, guaranteeing its implementation and ensuring that self-identified indigenous communities are also consulted. Various countries mentioned indigenous rights to their land and asked the Peruvian government to guarantee these rights by granting territorial titles. Canada also recommended the creation of an official comprehensive database that identifies and demarcates all indigenous land.

Impunity: With regard to human rights violations from the past, many countries asked that Peru continue its efforts to provide reparations for victims of past human rights violations and to implement the national plan on the search for the disappeared. With regard to social protests and the handling of the police, there was a recommendation to revoke provisions that allowed the police to provide security services to private companies, as well as to ensure that security forces abide by the international principles of necessity and proportionality in the use of force.

Business and Human rights: some countries mentioned the impact of extractive industries on local livelihoods (including infringement of Indigenous rights over their land) and on the environment, as well as the lack of measures to mitigate and remedy environmental impact. Some countries recommended the development of a national plan of action on business and human rights, in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles, and that Peru should sign up to the UN Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

Following the session, the working group on the UPR adopted its draft report on Peru which contained a list of all the recommendations put forward. Peru will examine the document and is due to provide a response no later than the 37th session of the HRC in March 2018.

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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.

  • Historical Overview

    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. 

  • Human Rights

    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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