Protection of Human Rights Defenders - SweFOR - Movimiento Sueco por la Reconciliación

Protection of Human Rights Defenders

We amplify the space of action for human rights defenders who are threatened

SweFOR has extensive experience in creating protection for human rights defenders and contributing to the widening of their space of action.

SweFOR’s peace observers are present in countries with violent conflicts, accompanying human rights defenders because unfortunately people who fight for the rights of others, are often targets for threats, harassment and attacks.

Currently we have international accompaniment projects in Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico.

The peace observers work under the methodology called proactive presence.

Axes of work

Physical presence in specific moments for example in trips, meetings or protests. Thereby we show in a concrete manner that the international community is present, and we can inform about eventual security incidents.

Strategic Communication, for example meetings with national authorities and international organs, and the diffusion of information. We remind that the work of the organizations that we accompany is legal, legitimate and that it is the states obligation to protect them. Furthermore, we gather and share information about certain emblematic cases.

Strategic communication is always based on international rights frameworks.

Trainings in self protection. SweFOR offer support in self protection with the goal of strengthening the capacity of the organizations that we accompany. Through workshops with participants of each organization, from the perspective of each one of them, analyzing and developing protection mechanisms suitable to their situations.

Fundamental principles

  • The accompaniment work that SweFOR does is always based on a request from the organizations and is adapted to the local context.
  • We are impartial in relation to the parts in the conflict but not neutral in relation to the crimes against human rights and international humanitarian rights.
  • We are committed to noninterference in the internal work of the organizations we accompany.

International accompaniment in Latin America

Colombia

SweFOR has had peace observers in Colombia since 2004.

Read more about our work through our offices in Bogotá and Quibdó

Guatemala

SweFOR has had peace observers in Guatemala since 2000 as part of the international accompaniment project ACOGUATE.

Read more about our work protecting human rights defenders in Guatemala

Mexico

SweFOR has had peace observers in Mexico since 2000 and an office with permanent presence since 2013.

Read more about our work through our office in Chiapas