Because the state ignores it, activists and organizations continue to make significant progress in advancing the rights of indigenous communities and building the capacity of the next generation of advocates.
This past year, IWHC’s partners REOJIP (Peruvian Network of Indigenous Youth) and Chirapaq (through its Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Cultures of Peru) organized a series of trainings in Lima, Ayacucho, and Ucayali with 75 young indigenous men and women. These trainings ensure that young people are informed of their rights and have a safe space to discuss issues related to sexual and reproductive health. The workshops also offer youth a space to discuss and challenge stereotypes and biases about sexuality, gender, and relationships, all while affirming and strengthening their indigenous identity.
Chirapaq was formed in 1986 in Ayacucho, Peru, by a group of Andean and Amazonian women to defend indigenous rights and strengthen indigenous identity. Today, Chirapaq investigates violations of indigenous peoples’ rights, offers human rights trainings, and works to document and preserve local culture.
After participating in these trainings, indigenous adolescents and young people are not only better informed of their rights, but also many form their own groups and train their communities.
In fact, Tania Pariona participated in CHIRAPAQ’s workshops on cultural identity when she was 10 years old and later went on to participate in IWHC’s Advocacy in Practice (AiP) trainings and has become a leading voice for indigenous rights in Peru and throughout the region.
IWHC and Chirapaq share the belief that awareness-raising and training are the first steps to nurture advocateswho will go on to fight for the health and rights of women, girls, and young people.
Hopefully the state will step up and punish those accountable for these atrocious crimes. Even if the courts will not hold these disgusting individuals accountable, activists will continue to educate people so this type of thing does not happen again.