Human Rights Guidelines

A number of guidelines on Human Rights issues and on respect for International Humanitarian law have been agreed upon by the Council of the European Union:

The EU guidelines are not legally binding, but because they have all been adopted at ministerial level, the guidelines represent a strong political signal that these are priorities for the Union. The Guidelines are pragmatic instruments of the EU Humans Rights policy. These guidelines are practical tools to help EU representations in the field better advance our Human Rights policy.

  1. Death penalty
  2. Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  3. EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief
  4. Guidelines to promote and protect the enjoyment of all Human Rights by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons
  5. Human Rights dialogues with third countries
  6. Children and armed conflict
  7. Human Rights defenders
  8. Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child
  9. Violence against women and girls and combating all forms of discrimination against them
  10. International Humanitarian Law  
  11. EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline

EU actors in capitals, in Brussels and in the field implement these guidelines through specific actions such as demarches and statements (more details can be found on Chapter 4. of the EU Annual Report on Human Rights).


Local action plan to implement the European Union's Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs)

Following instructions from the Council, the EU Delegation and the Member States embassies in Mexico have agreed on a local action plan for HRDs that consists of the creation of five working groups of MS embassies  which will follow-up individual cases on a geographic basis under the coordination of the EU Delegation in Mexico, which serves as the focal point on this issue.  The working groups examine individual cases which come to the attention of the EU through urgent actions sent by NGOs, parliamentary questions from national parliaments and the European Parliament, etc., and decide what action should be taken on behalf of the EU.  Actions could include local EU statements or demarches, field visits, meetings with the HRDs concerned, raising the case with Federal and/or local authorities, etc.  The EU Delegation, as coordinator of the action plan, reports regularly to the political counsellors and Heads of Mission of the EU Member States in Mexico. 

The five groups all meet regularly and have held meetings with a number NGOs and HRDs regarding specific cases.  Since the adoption of a local action plan for HRDs in Mexico in 2010, the EU has conducted field visits to the states of Baja California, Chiapas, Guerrero, Chihuahua (Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juárez), Quintana Roo and Oaxaca.  During most of these visits, the EU has held meetings with local civil society organizations and HRDs to discuss their situation and the general human rights situation locally and to inform them of the EU’s HRD guidelines and local action plan.  Field visits normally include meetings with the relevant local and Federal authorities. In addition, the various EU HRD working groups meet frequently in Mexico City with Civil Society Organizations, HRDs and the Mexican government on specific cases. 

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