On 18th March 2021, an oral statement (in English and Spanish) was delivered during the General Debate under Item 6 during the 46th session of the Human Rights Council to point out issues related to the follow-up and implementation by Bolivia of UPR recommendations related to violence against women, children and adolescents, the protection of human rights defenders and the prevention of human trafficking and smuggling.
The Statement was delivered by the CCIG on behalf of a NGO coalition consisting of Edmund Rice International (ERI), International Movement of Apostolate in the Independent Social Milieus (MIAMSI), International Volunteerism Organization for Women, Development, Education (VIDES) and Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA).
The video of the oral statement delivered by CCIG is available here. The full text of the statement is also available below.
The Plurinational State of Bolivia accepted several recommendations at the last UPR in 2019 on the issues of violence against women, children and adolescents, the protection of human rights defenders and the prevention of human trafficking and smuggling. However, we are concerned that sexual violence against women continues despite the existence of norms such as the Political Constitution of the State and specific laws to protect women from all forms of violence. In 2020, 113 feminicides were registered and so far in 2021, 24 feminicides have been registered. The four bodies of women found in the Chapare with signs of physical violence and indications of possible sexual aggression caused consternation. These events are allegedly linked to drug trafficking. Children and adolescents have also raised their voices to warn about trafficking and smuggling.
Regarding the situation of human rights defenders, to date the Government of Bolivia has not adopted effective measures to protect their rights and physical integrity, making them vulnerable to legal and police persecution. Likewise, in the peripheral and rural communities where the government has a minimal presence, there are leaders threatened by criminal groups involved in illegal activities such as logging, mining, drug trafficking, among others.
We therefore demand that the government adopt effective measures to guarantee human rights defenders the protection of their lives and the exercise of their right to freedom of expression.
We also ask the government to investigate with transparency the cases of violence against women, children and adolescents and to adopt measures to bring the perpetrators to justice.