What is the situation of civil society organizations in Latin America?
Civil society organizations play an essential role in the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Latin America, particularly in highly unequal societies, where they help people enforce their rights, support minorities in their struggle and strengthen the actions of human rights defenders. Their role in promoting access to justice has gained importance in the region, where the level of social and political conflict has increased.
Unfortunately, CSOs, and those operating at local level, face obstacles in obtaining funding, and lack the human resources and technical capacity to respond to the needs of populations.
The Latin American context
Since the COVID 19 crisis, the region has experienced acute economic stagnation, which has increased poverty and led to a regressive distribution of income simultaneously with a fall in GDP, the dismantling of public services and their privatization, high levels of corruption in an environment of impunity, human rights violations, the increase of authoritarian tendencies, the persecution and criminalization of defenders of human rights, economic, social, environmental, cultural and labor rights, the repression and criminalization of citizen protest, as well as the spread of legal warfare that fosters polarization and political violence. Moreover, in some countries of the region, the Latin American CSOs are facing growing restrictions imposed by the States to obtain financial, material, and human resources, as part of an attack on their operating space.
In this context, their role is fundamental to the changes needed, to avoid the deterioration of the planet, to recognize the protection of the living and of human rights. It is therefore urgent to guarantee the survival of CSOs and strengthen their capacity to respond and react to the multiple crises endured by the population.
The priorities of RIDHE
- Strengthen our members’ access to information and technical capacities and preserve a favorable environment for their activities.
- Organize and coordinate meetings to conduct diagnostics and implement advocacy strategies.
- Support CSOs in drafting complaints, petitions, and third-party interventions (Amicus Curiae).
- Facilitate and support the implementation of the Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals in our members’ activities.
- Contribute to and support the participation of civil society in the accountability processes of countries in the region for the implementation of the Agenda 2030.