Promoting human rights in Latin America

Colombian natives of the Kogi tribe (file photo)

Colombian natives of the Kogi tribe (file photo), © Th. Koehler / photothek.net


A common commitment to universal and indivisible human rights links Germany with its partners in Latin America. Despite these shared values, there are still major tasks to be tackled in some Latin American states.

Upholding and protecting human rights are key principles guiding the German Government’s foreign policy action. A common commitment to universal and indivisible human rights links Germany with its partners in Latin America. However, a number of challenges in this sphere remain in some Latin American countries. The German Government is therefore working to improve the human rights situation in this region, both through its bilateral relations and in the multilateral framework.

The countries of Latin America are faced with tasks of varying magnitude for which the German Government can lend its support. Championing human rights also featured prominently in the German Government’s Strategy on Latin America and the Caribbean. The German Government is supporting Latin American countries in their efforts to combat impunity, advance judicial reform, guarantee freedom of the press and of expression, combat child labour and child prostitution, foster the non-discrimination of minorities and strengthen the economic and social rights of disadvantaged population groups.

Guatemalan woman in traditional Mayan clothing
Guatemalan woman in traditional Mayan clothing© dpa / picture-alliance

By voting in favour of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the German Government demonstrated its determination to support the implementation of this Declaration.

Promoting human rights projects

The German Government is conducting an active dialogue with civil society in Latin American countries – in particular with NGOs, which have assumed a key role as partners in German-funded projects. Hundreds of thousands of euros are made available every year to finance human rights projects in Latin America. These include projects dealing with issues such as:

  • promoting women’s rights
  • promoting democratic institutions
  • strengthening the human rights dialogue and human rights training courses for state security forces; protecting human rights defenders
  • protecting migrants in border areas
  • investigating human rights violations
  • implementing penal reforms.


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