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Sharing research results with human rights defenders in Mexico


Human rights defenders (HRDs) face very high levels of insecurity and violence in Mexico. Examples of human rights violations that have occurred in recent years include extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances. Mexico is one of the 5 countries studied in the research project, Navigating Risk, Managing Security and Receiving Support: A study of Human Rights Defenders at risk in Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Kenya and Indonesia, led by Dr Alice Nah from the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR).

UN Special Rapporteur, Michel Forst, University of York staff, PBI staff and some of the participants.

UN Special Rapporteur, Michel Forst, University of York staff, PBI staff and some of the participants.

CAHR staff member, Patricia Bartley, travelled to Mexico in January 2017 to run a workshop jointly hosted by the University of York and Peace Brigade International (PBI) Mexico on 14th January. The workshop brought together participants (HRDs) from the research study, other HRDs from across the country, the UN Special Rapporteur for HRDs, Michel Forst, members of the UN office in Mexico City, staff from PBI and researchers from CAHR at the University of York.

After a general explanation of the project Erick Monterrosas and Paola Pacheco presented the research findings for Mexico. This was followed by questions and a discussion of some of the main issues raised. Women defenders were keen to stress that they regularly face greater levels of violence, abuse and economic hardship than their male counterparts.

The second part of the workshop was devoted to a discussion on the working of the National Protection Mechanism for HRDs and Journalists which started operating in Mexico in 2012.  The UN Special Rapporteur was keen to gather the views and experiences of the participants on this new mechanism in advance of the start of his official visit between 16th and 24th January. The workshop participants reported that they appreciated the opportunity to hear more about the study and to be consulted on the recommendations.

Both the discussion paper with the research findings for Mexico and a series of policy briefs being produced from this study will be available very soon on the website: