The ICRC regional delegation in Lima
The regional delegation in Lima coordinates the ICRC's activities in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. It closely monitors the humanitarian consequences of past and present conflicts in the region, visits detainees and promotes efforts to establish the fate of missing persons. It helps security forces adapt their procedures to international legal norms and offers capacity-building for the region's National Red Cross Societies.
The Lima delegation opened in 1984 and became a regional delegation in 2003, expanding to cover Bolivia and Ecuador. After many years of activity linked to the non-international armed conflict that had taken place in Peru, the ICRC stepped up its response to other situations of violence arising from social unrest and involving the deployment of security forces.
The ICRC helps those who suffer the consequences of such situations by engaging in dialogue with weapon bearers, authorities and other non-State groups and by providing assistance. Its partnership with the region's National Red Cross Societies is crucial; the ICRC is helping them build up their response capacity while supporting their field teams.
The issue of missing persons is of particular concern in Peru, with some 15,000 people still unaccounted for following 20 years of non-international armed conflict (1980-2000). The ICRC continues to help State bodies and non-governmental organizations working in this area and has provided forensic support and training to improve the identification of mortal remains.
The ICRC has paid for the families of missing persons to travel to sites where mortal remains were exhumed, their clothing displayed and the identified remains returned to the families. It has also covered the costs of coffins in which to bury those remains. The ICRC also supports organizations providing psychological support to people affected by the disappearance of family members. Regional ICRC conferences have promoted cooperation between forensic experts working on the identification of mortal remains.
In Bolivia and Peru, the ICRC monitors security detainees' conditions of detention and supports efforts to improve those conditions. In Peru, staff from the national prison authority have received training in human rights as applied to the prison environment. The ICRC and the Ministry of Justice also jointly published a handbook on this subject.
Together with Peru's National Prison Institute, the ICRC runs training workshops on human rights as applied to the prison environment all around the country. Similarly, working in coordination with the Ministry of Justice, the ICRC trains ombudsmen in the new criminal procedure code.
On the border between Ecuador and Colombia, where the effects of the Colombian conflict spill over, the most vulnerable communities in Sucumbíos and Esmeraldas benefit from projects to collect rainwater, improve hygiene and access to water and sanitation, and boost farming.
Promoting international humanitarian law
The ICRC makes its expertise and know-how available to the governments of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru to assist with the adoption, ratification and implementation in domestic law of international humanitarian law treaties and other related instruments. These include the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and its Protocols, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The ICRC focuses in particular on supporting national commissions set up to implement humanitarian law. Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru have worked with the ICRC to incorporate the basic principles of humanitarian law and human rights into the training received by their police and armed forces. In the three countries, the ICRC has addressed the issue of excessive use of force and the need to protect people caught up in situations of violence through awareness-raising and training for the armed and security forces.
A meeting about the use of force in armed conflicts and other situations of violence brought together 40 officials and experts to debate ideas, set out problems and difficulties, develop proposals and adopt a common agenda.