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La crisis carcelaria en Ecuador parece no tener fin luego de la fuga de seis reclusos de la Penitenciaría del Litoral. | EFE

3 challenges to the human rights agenda in 2024: a Global South perspective

We present El Sur Global, an international newsletter to discuss international situations and trends from a human rights perspective.

Por: DejusticiaFebruary 21, 2024

2024 began with news that illustrated some of the challenges the human rights agenda will face this year in Latin America and globally. 

In the Americas, the violent events that shook Ecuador—including several explosions, kidnappings of police officers, prison escapes and the armed takeover of a television station—led to the declaration of a state of emergency and the opening of a regional debate on the security crisis resulting from a new wave of organized crime. This debate has once again raised the question of the effectiveness of militarization and other authoritarian measures that imply considerable risks to human rights. 

In the middle of an election year in the United States, the migration crisis on its border with Mexico—considered by the World Organization for Migration as the most dangerous land route in the world—shows how a politically sensitive issue such as migration represents a ticking time bomb for human rights. Connected to the security crisis, the tendency of some media and authorities to blame the migration of citizens from certain countries for the deterioration of security throughout the continent threatens to exacerbate xenophobia and trigger more restrictive migration policies.

Forest fires in Chile and Colombia, and heat waves in other countries in the region, have set off alarm bells about the effects of the current El Niño phenomenon and climate change. The high number of fatalities, environmental damage and loss of livelihoods for thousands of people show the human rights risks of the environmental and climate emergency. In addition to the international wars that led to 2023 being the year with the highest growth in the number of forcibly displaced people globally, the climate crisis and the fragility of the world economy pose a need for unprecedented global cooperation. This cooperation is integral to facing these and other challenges in the midst of a context characterized by strong geopolitical tensions and enormous fragmentation and polarization.

That is why Dejusticia has created a newsletter to discuss international situations and trends from a human rights perspective that focuses on the problems and perspectives of the countries of the Global South. This project provides accessible public reflections that combine academic rigor, human rights activism and the versatility of the multimedia world to promote concrete changes in the realities of our societies. 

In this second issue (see the first issue here), we address three key challenges for human rights in the Global South that correspond to some of the thematic emphases of our international team. 

In the first article, Sofía Forero Alba and Christy Crouse address the challenges of security policies in Latin America with regard to the response to the current crisis in Ecuador. In the face of citizen demand for more effective security policies, the trend to respond through regimes of exception and other regressive authoritarian tendencies should be reexamined. States should deploy intelligent security strategies capable of effectively striking at organized crime structures while not compromising basic civil liberties and respect for human rights. They must strengthen their institutional presence and social policies to prevent organized crime from having fertile ground to control territories and populations victimized by social marginalization.  

In the second article of this issue, Lina Arroyave Velásquez discusses the challenges for the protection of human rights in the context of migration policies in Latin America. The region has experienced an accelerated growth in migration flows in recent years and its transit routes are the scene of serious human rights violations. Although the challenges vary according to each context, all countries face common challenges such as the need to promote socioeconomic integration programs and policies that are sustainable over time, strengthen the infrastructure and capacity of services to respond to migrants, and protect the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees, among others.

In the last article, Sergio Chaparro Hernández addresses the importance of building a Global South-based alternative development agenda to face the climate crisis. Despite the divergence of interests of the countries of the Global South in scenarios such as COP 28 on issues such as the abandonment of fossil fuels, the shift towards a broader development agenda in climate negotiations is an important opportunity to connect the climate discussions with deeper reforms to the global economic architecture that benefit countries of the South. 

In addition to the international team’s analysis, we invite you to read the most recent entries to our global blog. This time, our blog brings together posts related to reintegration policies in peace processes, the role of archives in the work of peace commissions and cannabis regulation. 

We hope you enjoy the articles we have prepared for this edition and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter to receive future issues.

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