Prioritize human rights in EU-LAC relations

In view of the upcoming European Joint Communication on EU-LAC (Latin American and Caribbean Countries) relations and the EU-CELAC Summit that will take place in July in Brussels, SOLIDAR joined a CSOs call asking the EU to put human rights at the centre of its future bi-regional relations between EU and Latin America.  

The EU-CELAC Summit will take place in Brussels in July 2023, and it will be an occasion for the European Union and Latin America to renew their bi-regional partnership. The European Commission and the European External Action Service are about to release a Joint Communication on EU-LAC relations in which the EU’s vision and priorities will be defined.  

In this framework, SOLIDAR within the EU-LAC CSOs group, and together with other civil society organisations, has joined the call for a human rights centred EU-LAC relations. 

The protection and implementation of human rights and of their defenders is one of the most urgent issues for many Latin American countries. Currently, in many LAC countries the space for civil society is shrinking due to restrictive legislations, violent repression of protests and discriminatory practices for minorities. At the same time, human rights defenders are facing threats and harassments, and the region is the deadliest for human rights defenders in the world.  

In this context, 37 CSOs called the EU and its member states: 

  1. To put human rights at the centre of EU-LAC relations, promoting human rights-based approach in all policymaking and cooperation from the forthcoming Joint Communication onwards;  
  2. To ensure the genuine consultation and fully involvement of civil society in the development and implementation of any agreements and political dialogues with LAC region as well as ahead of, during and after the July 2023 EU-CELAC Summit; 
  3. To explicitly stand for human rights, ensuring protection of human rights defenders and civil society and enhancing efforts for an enabling environment for their work;   
  4. To include, in the renewed agenda for EU-LAC relations, concrete commitments on the fight against discrimination, particularly referring to gender equality issue; and on protection of the right to peaceful protest and the right to a fair trial, through strengthening of independent and impartial judiciary. 

You can read the full Joint Public Statement “The EU should prioritize human rights in deepening relations with LAC” in English and Spanish.

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