Today is Human Rights Day: the anniversary of when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document proclaims the rights everyone is entitled to as a human being, regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. On this day we take the opportunity to share an update on a very relevant project we are proud to be helping to support through CAFOD.
Every year CPL Aromas contributes to CAFOD and that donation helps support numerous projects that they run around the world. One such project is Protecting and Supporting Human Rights Defenders in Latin America, still deemed as one of the most dangerous parts of the world for human rights defenders to work. The 3-year project facilitates resources, provides training and monitors activities to protect and develop the skills of human right defenders.
Throughout the project, over 860 human rights defenders from 15+ indigenous communities will be supported. There has been great progress so far:
- The project has helped build and strengthen skills and capabilities helping them with their strategic participation in decision-making processes.
- 85 HRD leaders participated in a training to increase their knowledge on local rights (land, environment, territory etc.)
- Participation in the Latin America Human Rights Defenders’ Exchange.
- Progress to improve individual and collective prevention and protection strategies, providing them with the skills and resources to put measures in place to face threats, criminalization and stigmatization.
- Strategies were put in place such as mapping exercises to prevent patterns of violence.
- Immediate assistance to those in need of support and emergency funding was provided.
- Legal support has been given to HRDs to help at different stages of legal action.
In the first 12 months, CAFOD and their partners CALDH and CINEP have been able to support 67% of the total targeted beneficiaries of the project, during an increasingly hostile environment.
COVID-19 has been tough on everyone and it has added a huge challenge and triggered further difficulties in the implementation of the action plan. However, the teams are continuing to work remotely and are progressing despite this.
Now more than ever, it is important to support those defending the less fortunate and the rights of every human being. CPL are committed to help CAFOD continue to support, monitor and raise awareness for this vital work.