Peru: Executive Approves Mechanism for the Prevention, Protection and Access to Justice for Human Rights Defenders

Translation from original article by Protection International.

The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (MINJUSDH) today published Supreme Decree No. 004-2021-JUS, which creates the Inter-sectoral Mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders in the country, an initiative that establishes a set of coordinated measures and interventions for the prevention, protection and access to justice for human rights defenders in the face of attacks, threats and risk situations they face in the exercise of their work.

The Mechanism is binding for eight ministries and their attached bodies: Justice and Human Rights, Interior, Environment, Culture, Women and Vulnerable Populations, Foreign Affairs, Energy and Mines, and Agrarian Development and Irrigation. It also encourages coordination with regional and local levels of government, as well as with actors in the administration of justice.

The decree also establishes a new early warning procedure, with short deadlines for the granting of protection measures and urgent protection measures in the event of aggressions, threats or risk situations, which takes the form of the issuance of a Vice-Ministerial Resolution.

It also provides for new protection measures such as police patrols, the issuance of special visas and consular support, and environmental monitoring, among others, when rights other than life and personal integrity are at risk.

Urgent protection measures include the evacuation of the area at risk and personal police protection in the event that the life and/or integrity of the defender is at serious and imminent risk.

Finally, the Mechanism establishes a route for the articulation of efforts with the entities of the justice administration system to contribute to the access to justice of human rights defenders, with respect to the investigations and proceedings against the alleged perpetrators, as well as for capacity building in the knowledge of international standards of due diligence for the investigation of these crimes.

The Supreme Decree bears the signature of the President of the Republic and the heads of the Ministries of Environment, Culture, Agrarian Development and Irrigation, Energy and Mines, Interior, Justice and Human Rights, Women and Vulnerable Populations, and Foreign Affairs.

Find the original document here in Spanish (Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos).