On 22 September in Mexico City, 21 Mexican women human rights defenders took part in a roundtable with 14 representatives of the diplomatic corps in Mexico, in which participants reflected on the implementation of the EU Guidelines on human rights defenders and on the prevention of violence against women. The roundtable was organised within the framework of an EU project which aims to develop tools to help Mexican WHRDs strengthen their capacities in areas crucial to their work. As part of the project, PBI is developing a learning platform to build defenders’ skills in advocacy and campaigning, awareness of national, regional and international protection mechanisms, and tools for reporting and documenting violations. This platform opens an educational space for the concept of integral protection and security through courses, workshops and roundtables in which participants can convey their protection needs to the diplomatic corps.
The first roundtable, organised by a European Union delegation and facilitated by PBI, followed a workshop on Integral Protection for Women Human Rights Defenders held the previous day. During the meeting, course participants and other defenders discussed their concerns with representatives of 11 different national embassies, based on their own experiences working for the defense of human rights in the context of attacks and high risk. The defenders emphasised the need to strengthen the actions of the diplomatic corps and implement effective models of integral protection sensitive to their needs and contexts as human rights defenders, in order to offer effective and appropriate responses to situations of violence faced in their work. The embassy representatives and the EU delegation listened with interest to the defenders, and indicated their openness to further discussions on the subject.