17h May 2018, Bogota
One of the primary purposes of the Universal Rights Group (URG) is to deliver real change and real on-the-ground impact on human rights issues of immediate relevance and importance around the world. With that in mind, in 2015, the URG took the decision to explore opening regional offices in different regions of the world, including Latin America, Africa and Asia. On 9th May, the first of those regional offices – for the Latin American region (LAC) – was officially incorporated in Bogota under Colombian law.
The new office will look to improve access to, and understanding of, the universal human rights system in Latin America. It will thus seek to make that system more relevant, effective and impactful vis-à-vis human rights in the region – helping turn universal norms into local reality. As part of that effort, URG LAC will translate URG’s policy reports, policy briefs, articles and explainer videos into Spanish; and will organise regular capacity-building workshops to support the on-the-ground implementation of international human rights standards. To begin with, the URG LAC office will focus on a number of priority themes including: the human rights ‘Implementation Agenda;’ environmental human rights defenders; the on-the-ground impact of the UN Special Procedures system; links between the universal and regional human rights systems; prevention; and corruption and human rights.
The registration of the URG as a Latin American non-profit organisation will help it undertake these and other projects, by allowing it to work directly with a broader number of partners and stakeholders in the region, and will help provide continuity to the URG’s work programme.
URG LAC will be headed by Mariana Montoya Pineda, a graduate of the University of Cambridge in the UK who previously served as an Analyst at URG’s office in Geneva, Switzerland.
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