Status: Adopted national law or policy
In Peru, a protection policy for human rights defenders (HRDs or defenders) has been in place since 2019. Several modifications and additional protocols have followed since, such as the protection mechanism for environmental defenders. Despite these initiatives, attacks against human rights defenders continue.
In 2018, Peru presented its National Human Rights Plan 2018-2021, in which human rights defenders were mentioned prominently. Following this plan, Peru adopted Resolution N. 0159-2019 on 25 April 2019, approving the Protocol to Guarantee the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. This resolution implemented by Decree N° 004-2021 in April 2021, which created the Intersectoral Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. In parallel, the government of Peru also enacted special provisions for the protection of environmental defenders through Resolution Nº 028-2021 and Ministerial Resolution N° 134-2021-MINAM.
Like all countries worldwide, Peru is monitored by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, who last visited Peru in 2020. The report of this visit includes the policy developments described above, but also notes a continuing stigmatization, criminalisation and lack of recognition of human rights defenders in Peru. In the report, the UN Special Rapporteur recommends, amongst other elements, the Peruvian government to ensure the active participation of women defenders in the development of policies, to improve the registration of individual complaints by defenders, to better monitor and respond to attacks against defenders, and to provide more means to protect defenders against illegal mining activities. It also recommends Peru to ratify the Escazú agreement, which has been stalled until the date of this entry’s publication.
Peru is also monitored through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). In the last report of 2017, the Peruvian government mentions their willingness to recognise human rights defenders as a group needing special protection and their plans to include defenders in their National Human Human Rights Plan (see above). Peru received and supported several recommendations to improve the protection of human rights defenders and to develop an effective public policy to protection them.
Peru is rated as “obstructed” by CIVICUS monitor 2022, which means that civic space is “heavily contested by power holders, who impose a combination of legal and practical constraints on the full enjoyment of fundamental rights”. Peru has not been rated by the Freedom House Democracy Index. Concerns around Peru include continuing killings of and violence against defenders and increasing restrictions on the freedom of speech.
Updated on 01/2023