Peru is a country with a tumultuous past. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, insurgent guerilla organizations battled the government – a conflict that resulted in the death of nearly 70,000 people. By 2000, the conflict slowed down and since then the government has focused on integrating human rights in Peru into national law.
The Constitution of Peru protects human rights, claiming that humans have the right to respect, dignity, life and equality. Even so, there is still conflict over human rights in Peru.
According to Human Rights Watch, security forces in Peru have occasionally responded to protests over large development projects with gunfire, which has killed or injured protestors. There are also significant threats to freedom of expression and violence against women.
Journalists who publish pieces critical of the government can face intimidation, assault and even murder at the hands of individuals supporting or hired by the government.
Unfortunately, even a well-intentioned policy can fail to ensure the universal human rights. For example, the Peruvian Constitution promises free education to children ages six through 16. In reality, parents are faced with administrative and educational material fees that prevent less wealthy children from receiving a quality education. Students in rural areas receive lower quality education than those in urban areas. Gender and ethnicity can also factor into the quality of education that children receive.
However, there are some positive outcomes in terms of human rights in Peru. Health services are provided for free by the Peruvian government and workers are free to unionize. The Peruvian Constitution also promises a healthy environment for its citizens. Successive administrations have focused on eliminating violence against women, and political parties are now required to include a minimum of 30 percent of female candidates.
While human rights in Peru can be messy and complicated, the government is eager to put the violent history of the country firmly in the past and continue expanding human rights and ensuring those rights are upheld.
– Brock Hall