Peru – Human rights defenders and whistleblowers


One of the most studied issues refers to the tense relationship between some business activities and the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples. In addition to the above, there is a lack of evidence that shows the commitment of companies to the particular protection of the rights of this group, as well as due diligence mechanisms that take into account their particularities. This is also reflected for human rights defenders (UN. Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, 2020, §§ 19-24), who witness an environment of stigmatization and lack of recognition of their work. In this regard, it is necessary to have state and corporate management instruments specifically aimed at managing social conflicts and their impact on the rights of human rights defenders. In addition, Guiding Principle 18 establishes that companies should “identify and assess the actual or potential negative consequences on human rights in which they may be involved either through their own activities or as a result of their business relationships” with the sectors concerned, which includes indigenous or native peoples, as well as human rights defenders. – page 36


3.2. Conclusions of the specific issues

Child labor

(…) the dissemination of whistleblower channels, and the protection of whistle- blowers and witnesses, as well as the identification of the institutions in charge of the reinsertion of the victims of this scourge should be strengthened. – page 44

Human rights defenders

As indicated by the Intersectoral Mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders, a human rights defender is a natural person who acts individually or as a member of a collective, ethnic-cultural group, organization, public or private entity, as well as legal persons, groups, organizations or social movements, whose purpose is the promotion, protection or defense of human rights, individual and/or collective, in a peaceful manner, within the framework of national and international law.26 Their protection is regulated, but needs to be strengthened interinstitutionally at the level of juris- prudence and legislation. It is also necessary to recognize and disseminate the importance of this group, deepening a policy of destigmatization and against their harassment, mainly against informal and illegal stakeholders. According to the MINJUSDH registry, situations of violation of the rights of human rights defenders are due to economic informality, the lack of legal security in the titling of communal lands, the resulting land trafficking, and criminality associated with illegal mining and illegal logging, and drug trafficking. However, the civil society database identifies violations in both formal and informal activities, also within the context of socio-environmental conflicts.

The recent creation of the Intersectoral Mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders, under the leadership of MINJUSDH, is a valuable instrument that links eight ministries and should be strengthened, based on the NAP, through the incorporation of the business and human rights The business sector shows commitment to respect for human rights defenders. In this regard, the SNMPE is part of the Roundtable of Human Rights Defenders where protection measures are foreseen. Likewise, it reports on the Guide for Complaints and Claims, in which measures to respect human rights are included. Except in the case of women and unionized workers, due to the long tradition of labor law, in Peru there were no specific mechanisms for protection and redress against violations that could affect human rights defenders. – page 47/48

Table 8: NAP strategic guidelines and objectives, and alignment with the axes of the Peru Vision 2050

Strategic guideline No. 1: Promotion and dissemination of a culture of respect for human rights in the business environment in accordance with the framework of international standards of the guiding principles and other international instruments.

Objective 2: Organized civil society (members of civil society organizations, trade unions, and indigenous peoples) are aware of and promote the implementation of the guiding principles and other related international instruments in their activities.


Action: Create and implement a permanent training program based on international standards on GP-RBC, from the Justice and Human Rights sector, with special emphasis on the specific needs of organized civil society, indigenous peoples, Afro-Peruvian people, trade unions, special protection groups, communities, and peasant patrols, and citizens in general.

Indicator: The number of training sessions to civil society organizations and/ or human rights defenders on GP- RBC and instruments for the protection of human rights defenders, to strengthen their work. – page 61


Action: Promote a change in the culture of trade unions as defenders of human rights.

Background: It is necessary to focus on the importance of trade unions as defenders of human rights. Thus, it is necessary to ensure that they have access to this right, so that they can freely decide their union membership.

Indicator: Number of people trained in the area of trade union participation as human rights defenders, considering the business and human rights approach; Number of training sessions for private and public companies and/or business associations on GP-RBC and other international standards, the role of human rights defenders, and the instruments for their protection.  (Action Indicator). – page 62

Objective No. 3: Review, design, and adoption of national plans and programs to guarantee human rights in the framework of business activities.


Action: Incorporate the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other international standards into the mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders.

Background: The protection of human rights defenders must incorporate international standards on the subject.

Indicator: Work plan to incorporate the GP-RBC and other international standards in the Mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders. – page 80


Action: Evaluate the implementation process of the Intersectoral Mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders, incorporating the business and human rights approach.

Background: The purpose of having an evaluation report on how the mechanism is implemented is to identify progress and the impact it has on access to rights, which would require the publication of one (1) annual evaluation report.

Indicator: Annual evaluation report on the implementation of the intersectoral mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders. – page 89

Strategic guideline No. 3: Design of public policies that promote respect for human rights by companies through accountability, investigation, and sanction for the impacts of their activities.

Objective No. 2: Technical assistance to companies for the observance of human rights in their business activities


Action: Produce, in coordination with the business sector, organized civil society, the competent state sector, indigenous peoples, and trade unions, specific guidelines for the business sector on the implementation of due diligence mechanisms for human rights defenders.

Background: In order to reflect the principles of the RBC and adapt them to specific business sectors, the MINJUSDH will produce a specific guide to implement due diligence mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders. These documents will be elaborated with the stakeholders linked to the type of activity.

Indicator: Due diligence guide on human rights defenders prepared and publicly presented. – page 108

Strategic guideline No. 5: Design and strengthening of mechanisms to ensure that those affected by human rights violations have access to judicial, administrative, legislative, or other means of redress.

Objective 1: Strengthen mechanisms at the state level to redress human rights violations in the corporate sphere.


Action: Disseminate information on how to access the Intersectoral Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.

Background: Disseminate information on how the Intersectoral Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders works, with cultural and linguistic relevance, so that human rights defenders can resort to it in case they require protection actions.

Indicator: Culturally and linguistically relevant information material that provides information on the Intersectoral Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, in the native languages of the places where the greatest risk situations have been identified. – page 121