R4C in Mexico:

In March 2012 R4C experts Marjan Wijers and Margreet de Boer visited Mexico, in order to find partners to collaborate with on projects on trafficking and domestic violence.

R4C did recieve a small grant from the Oak foundation to develop plans for the implementation of the Right Guide and DOVA in India en Mexico. Earlier we visited India, now it was time for Mexico.

trafficking - the RighT Guide

In Mexico we met with several organisations working on trafficking; most of them collaborating within the Colectivo contra  trata de personasWe also had a workshop, in which we presented the RighT Guide. In addition, we visited Casa de las Mercedes, a shelter for girls which also houses victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation, and the House of the Oblata's Sisters, in which they provide child care for the children of sex workers, and all kinds of support for the women as well.
We learned that trafficking is a major problem in Mexico, which is also related to the fact that in great parts of Mexico organised crime is determing society. A new law to combat trafficking has passed the Congress, and is now waiting to be considered by the Senate. During our sessions, it became clear that the proposed law can have a negative impact, not only on victims of trafficking, but also on sex workers, migrants and other groups. A RighTGuide assessment may be very helpful to assess these effects, and relate them tot human rights obligations Mexico has committed itself to.

At the end of the visit, the Colective agreed to take de lead in the development of a joint project to do such an assessment.

domestic violence - DOVA

With regard to domestic violence, or better: violence against women within the family, we met with several organisations, not yet collaborating so closely. Women changing paradigms, a new organisation, did a lot of organisational work for us, and invited several organisations working on volence against women to the workshop. The diversity of the organisations was big, both regarding the focus of the work (advocacy, services to victims, awareness raising/education) and the region they were working. With two of the organisations we had also seperate meetings:  CDD (Catholicas par el derecho a decidir), which is also coordinating the national observatory on femicide, and with CIMAC, an organisation focussing on gender and the media.
In the workshop it became clear that -as in many other countries- the law on violence against women in Mexico is rather well, but implementation is lacking. Most participants saw acces for justice as one of the major problems for women victims of family violence.

Women changing paradigms is willing to take the lead in developing a DOVA-project around this topic, and CDD agreed to contribute to the coordination of such a project.

follow up

We are confident there will be a follow up to this visit, we are looking forward to visit Mexico again, in order to provide further training on doing human rights impact assessments.

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