The root causes of forced displacement are just as important to address as ensuring sanctuary and refuge from harm. UUSC focuses its efforts on supporting new systems of protection, particularly for women and Indigenous youth, and stopping U.S. military aid to security forces and U.S.-backed development projects, both of which escalate violence and create instability.
In El Salvador, we are supporting the development of a pilot model for how states can intervene to protect victims in ways that do not escalate patterns of violence through our partnership with Fundación Cristosal.
In Nicaragua, we support a grassroots women’s organization, Fundación entre Mujeres, that helps women develop alternative livelihoods and free them from abusive partners.
In Guatemala, we support efforts to reintegrate Indigenous Maya youth who have been deported, through our partnership with Asociación Pop No’j.
In Honduras, we support Foro de Mujeres Por La Vida, a coalition of over 17 women’s organizations, to reduce gender-based violence and document the impact of increased militarization on women’s security. The dangers that women and human rights defenders face in Honduras are inseparable from the violation of ancestral and Indigenous land rights—in many cases linked to U.S.-backed development projects. This violence forces more people to flee the country in search of safety, exacerbating instability throughout the region.
Disputed elections in November 2017 triggered country-wide protests and peaceful demonstrations in Honduras that have been met with ongoing and excessive force. Honduran security forces, many of which receive U.S. aid, are directly implicated in human rights violations, including excessive force against protesters, and attacks on human rights defenders and media workers. UUSC joined emergency delegations to Honduras in May and January 2018 to accompany human rights defenders and survivors of state violence and repression on their return home from a U.S. tour where they spoke out about the continuing crisis affecting their country.