Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is a region with a diverse and active civil society. However, it faces both long-term and new challenges, with increasingly shrinking civic spaces for exercising democracy, human rights violations, environmental conflicts and gender-based violence in various countries.
Human rights are under attack
In general terms, the human rights situation is worrisome, especially for minority populations or those in vulnerable conditions. Societies have mobilized to protest and act in response to economic shocks, and many are still active as they are moved by the deeper problems involving corruption, poor governance, and economic inequalities. Unfortunately, the right to protest, associate and inform is under attack. Additionally, organized crime has a critical impact on minority communities, controlling legal and illegal economies and threatening social movements and human rights defenders.
Most dangerous region for environmental defenders
Latin America and the Caribbean is the most dangerous region to be an environmental rights defender. It has a highly unequal and inequitable distribution and use of land, and the climate and environmental emergency require to be kept high on the agenda. Even though the region is rich in biodiversity hotspots and natural resources, climate change and deforestation are affecting the livelihood and health of many communities and species as well as their collective and community rights.
Violence against women and LGBTQI people
Although significant progress has been made in LAC in terms of gender equality through changes in laws, policies and social norms, women and LGBTIQ people continue to experience high levels of violence and discrimination. 14 of the 25 countries in the region have the highest rates of femicides and crimes against women in the world. There is also an increase in the number of homicides of LGBTI people after restrictions of COVID-19 were lifted.
Examples of what ForumCiv contributes to
ForumCiv has been working in Colombia since 2001, supporting Colombian civil society through various programs, projects, and funds. ForumCiv’s work promotes access to and fulfilment of rights and the sustainable use of goods and services from local ecosystems through a gender perspective while contributing to peacebuilding and territorial development.
ForumCiv’s regional office, located in Colombia, operates as the sub-granting administrator of programmes and projects implemented by diverse Swedish civil society organizations with a presence in Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. ForumCiv also implements joint projects with local partners in Colombia.
Our ongoing project in Latin America and the Caribbean
This regional program aims to strengthen freedom of expression, the protection of journalists and investigative journalism, for the consolidation of an inclusive democracy in Latin America and a greater respect for human rights in the region.
The project aims to help rural communities and the reincorporated population in rural areas affected by the conflict to improve their living conditions after the signing of the Peace Agreement.
A Colombian Civil Society Support Fund, created by Swedish civil society organisations, with support from the Embassy of Sweden.
Regional strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean 2023–2028
This strategic plan was built with the participation of member organizations and local partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a roadmap for the articulated work we envision to promote and develop in the region. By seeking the strategic priorities of social, economic and climate justice; gender equity and equality; and democracy and human rights, the regional strategy will act as a guiding document for the design and development of all activities, relationships and support provided by ForumCiv regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean.