By Ezequiel Indriago Perez
As my time at the IDEHPUCP comes to an end, I am filled with inspiration and a desire to continue working with human rights in Canada. Although my work was research-heavy and sometimes felt far removed from the realities of those who suffer human rights violations, I was reminded that human rights advocacy can take many forms. Research continues to be an effective instrument for addressing systemic issues. This summer, it was evident that actively contributing to improving our world through our work is incredibly important, regardless of its scale.
The past 12 weeks at the IDEHPUCP have taught me much about human rights, especially in Latin America. I learned and worked with the continent’s most influential human rights mechanism, The Inter-American Human Rights System. This instrument serves over 700 million individuals in the region, and they have promoted human rights since 1948 through their conventions, advisory opinions, and sentences, among others. Coming from Canada, I was taught to view international human rights conventions with intense skepticism and criticism; however, I have realized that millions of individuals rely on the Inter-American System to safeguard their rights when their national institutions fall short. Briefing the Merit reports and Cases of the Inter-American Commission gave me a newfound understanding of the relevance and necessity of these systems. While imperfect and accompanied by its limitations, the Inter-American system remains an invaluable resource for pursuing justice in the region.
During my last days at the institute, I co-wrote an article with the coordinator of the academic division that critically analyzed a Bill in Congress attempting to create and implement a new sub-category of police officers in Peru. This new police force, known as the “order and security police,” would demand just one year of training, a significant reduction from the 3-year requirement for joining the Peruvian National Police. Yet, they would be armed and engage in virtually the same tasks as regular police officers. While researching information for the article with my coordinator, I learned about the dynamics of policing in Peru, their public perception, and the reform efforts that institutes like the IDEHPUCP are constantly advocating for, which encourage community-focused policing that prioritizes human rights.
I am left with much inspiration and admiration for my coworkers’ constant effort into daily human rights work and their sense of community. Their compassion while dealing with these complex and often challenging human rights issues is incredibly inspirational. I am bringing back all the valuable insight I gained to Montreal on what it takes for persuasive human rights advocacy and the need for cultural sensitivity when promoting human rights globally. I will miss all the wonderful people I have met and learned from this summer. I want to thank the IDEHPUCP for opening its doors to me and allowing me to collaborate on relevant and timely human rights concerns in the region.