Since the transition to democracy following the removal of President Alberto Fujimori, Peru has been a solid proponent of democracy and human rights internationally. On the UNHRC, it has consistently voted in favor of resolutions condemning the human rights situation in Syria and North Korea, although it abstained in one vote on the violence in Ukraine. In the Organization of American States, it has consistently invited credible intentional election monitors to observe its national elections; however, in the most recent presidential elections in 2016, there were some questions about how the OAS team handled pre-election violations targeting several non-leading candidates. In the IACHR, Peru has gone from resisting the authority of the Commission under Fujimori to becoming one of its most cooperative and supportive members. Peru voted in favor of a resolution that would put pressure on the Venezuelan government at the 2017 OAS General Assembly, and former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018) was vocal in expressing his desire to seek a democratic solution to the worsening situation in Venezuela. In November 2020, President Martín Vizcarra was ousted after an impeachment vote found him guilty of “moral incapacity.” Manuel Merino, the head of the Congress and a frequent critic of Vizcarra, became president, prompting widespread protests over what many called a legislative coup. As protests became violent, Merino announced he would resign and was replaced by Francisco Sagasti, who will lead until the general elections scheduled for April 2021.

Below is a breakdown of Peru’s actions and votes at the various venues we are monitoring. For more information click on each title and summary.


Freedom House   
Freedom Status  Free
Aggregate Score (100 is perfect freedom and protection of rights) 72
Political Rights (scores out of 40, with 40 being the best)  30
Civil Liberties (scores out of 60, with 60 being the best)  40
Reporters Without Borders   
World Press Freedom Index (scores out of 100, with 1 being the best) 30.22 
Transparency International  
Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 38/100
 Global Rank 94/180
World Justice Project  [1]  
Rule-of-Law Index  0.50
 Regional rank  20/30
 Global rank 80/128
UN Human Development Index  
 Human Development Index 0.777
 Global rank 79
Americas Quarterly [2]  
 Social Inclusion Index 70.06/100
Regional rank  10/15

United Nations System:

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC or Council)

Peru was most recently on the Council from 2018-2020, and previously from 2012-2014 and 2007-2008. It is one of the countries that consistently votes to uphold human rights at the Council on the issue of Syria and North Korea, although it has abstained on Ukraine.[expandableHeadline]Read more[/expandableHeadline][expandableContent]

UNHRC Resolutions on the conflict in Syria

17th special  session Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic voted Yes
18th special  session Human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic voted Yes
Resolution 19/22 Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic voted Yes
Resolution 19/01 The escalating grave human rights violations and deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic voted Yes
Resolution 20/22  Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic.  voted Yes
19th special session deteriorating human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Repubic and the recent killings in El-Houleh voted Yes
Resolution 21/26 Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic voted Yes
Resolution 22/24 Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic voted Yes
Resolution 23/26 The deterioration of the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the need to grant immediate access to the commission of inquiry voted Yes
Resolution 23/01 The deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the recent killings in Al-Qusayr voted Yes
Resolution 24/22 The continuing grave deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic voted Yes
Resolution 25/23  The continuing grave deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic voted Yes
Resolution 26/23  The continuing grave deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic voted Yes
Resolution 26/24  The continuing grave deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic voted Yes

UNHRC resolutions on the conflict in Ukraine:

Resolution 26/30 Cooperation and assistance to Ukraine in the field of human rights  Abstained

UNHRC resolutions on the conflict in North Korea:

Resolution 25/25  Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea voted Yes
Resolution 22/13  The situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Consensus
Resolution 19/13  The situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Consensus


UNHRC’s Universal Periodic Review

As part of its mandate to promote human rights around the globe, the UNHRC has instituted a Universal Periodic Review, where, once every four years, each country’s human rights record is examined. Other countries are invited to review the record and make comments and suggestions for improvement. The country under review then acknowledges each comment by either “accepting” the comment, meaning typically that they agree to focus on, or “noting” it, indicating that they disagree and will not be focusing on improvements in this area.

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As recipient: Peru received 136 recommendations. Accepted 121, noted 15. (only select topics listed below)

Area Received Accepted Noted
Civil society  –  –
Elections  –  –  –
Enforced disappearances  4 4  –
Extrajudicial executions  –  –
Freedom of association and peaceful assembly  2  2  –
Freedom of opinion and expression  1  1  –
Freedom of religion and belief  –  –  –
Freedom of press  1  –  1
Human rights defenders  3  2  1
Human rights violations by state agents  3  3  –
Impunity  2  2  –
Indigenous peoples  9  9  –
Internally displaced persons  –  –  –
International instruments  22  15  7
Justice  10  10  –
Migrants  1  1  –
Minorities  3  3  –
Racial discrimination  1  1  –
Sexual orientation and gender identity  3  3  –
Torture and CID treatment  12  12  –
Women’s rights  27  23  4
Total 136 121 15

Note: some comments are classified under multiple categories.

As commenter: Peru is somewhat active in the UPR process, with 110 comments made so far in the 2nd cycle (for data available). With almost half, 42.7%, made towards other Latin American countries, but consistently made 2 to 4 comments for most countries around the globe. Honduras was the only exception, receiving 6 comments from Peru.

Main topics of comments included: international instruments (31 comments), women’s rights (17 comments), migrants (17 comments), and rights of the child (14 comments).

Note: This data is for the 2nd cycle of the UPR. However, the final round of countries were reviewed in November/December 2016, and that data is not yet available to include in our analysis here.[/expandableContent]

UN NGO Committee

Since 1993, Peru has been on the council from 2003 to 2014.

Inter-American System:

OAS Permanent Council

Under the new leadership of Secretary General Luis Almagro, the OAS has re-found its focus on promoting democracy around the region. This was shown most clearly in a meeting in June 2016 where Almagro presented his report on the state of democracy in Venezuela and proposed invoking the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

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Peru voted in favor of hearing Secretary General Luis Almagro’s report on the conditions in Venezuela. During the 2017 OAS General Assembly, Peru backed and voted in favor of a resolution urging the Venezuelan government not to convene a constituent assembly that would rewrite the Venezuelan constitution. The resolution did not meet the requirements it needed to pass.  [/expandableContent]

Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR or Commission)

Peru is one of the most cooperative governments in the IACHR, second only to Costa Rica. It also pledged to support to the body when in 2016 the institution looked to be on the brink of bankruptcy.

The IACHR conducted a working visit to Peru in October 2018 to follow up on projects of reform within the country’s legal system, and to obtain information on the situation of the rights of women, girls and adolescents. 

In 2019 the IACHR filed two applications with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights with regards to cases in Peru. The IACHR also referred a Peruvian case to the court in 2020.

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Hearing Issue Score
175th Carlos Alberto Moyano Dietrich vs. Peru
174th Sexual violence against children and adolescents in Peru and Judicial reform in Peru
173rd Human Rights Situation of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees in Peru and Protección a las comunidades indígenas, NNA y personas defensoras de DDHH afectadas por la contaminación ambiental en Perú
172nd Human rights of indigenous peoples and the situation of isolation in the Peruvian Amazon
171st Reports of School Violence Against LGBTI Children and Adolescents in Peru and Situation of Human Rights Defenders and Integral Protection Policies in Peru
170th Situation of indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon, land and environment
161st Human Rights Situation of the Urban Indigenous community in the Cantagallo Area of Lima, Peru 2/3
161st Situation of Trafficking of Children and Adolescents in Peru 3/3
159th Peruvians state’s human rights policy 3/3
159th Reports of violations of Women’s Human rights in the Context of Extractive Activities in Peru 3/3
159th Case 12.982-Luis Alberto Rojas Marin (MERITS), Peru 2/3
157th /158th National Reparations Plan in Peru 3/3
157th /158th Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Campesino Communities in Espinar, Cusco, Peru 3/3
157th /158th Human Rights Situation of Labor Leaders in Peru  3/3
157th/158th Impacts on Human Rights of Oil Spills in Peru 2/3
156th National Commission against Discrimination 3/3

Voluntary financial contributions to IACHR (as of Sept. 16, 2016) 

Year Contributions by Argentina Percentage of Total
Contributions to IACHR
2011 $0 0%
2012 $0 0%
2013 $0 0%
2014 $0 0%
2015 $16,000 76.2%
2016 $5,000 23.8%


Electoral Missions

Peru has had a total of 14 OAS missions to monitor their elections. The most recent mission monitored the 2020 parliamentary election. Other OAS missions have monitored elections in 2018, 2016, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2006, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1995, 1993, and in 1992.

Freedom of Information Laws

Since 2000 the right to information and freedom of information laws have expanded across the region. However, the existence of the laws on the books does not necessarily mean full enforcement.

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Signatory/Participant in MESICIC* Yes
Constitutional protection* Yes
Specific law enacted* Yes- enacted in 2003
Is there a presumption of right* Yes
Scope/Exceptions/Overrides* Applies to all branches of government but does not trump secrecy laws; many exceptions for military, intelligence, national security, banking/commercial; has override, unless would threaten democratic system.
Received information under FOIA law?** 67%
Received information within a week?** 26%
Received the appropriate information?** 51%

*Data taken from the Global Right to Information ratings, provided by the Center for Law and Democracy. 
**Information from the 2015 World Justice Project Open Government Index


Women’s Rights:

Protecting women against gender-based violence is a human rights issue often overlooked globally even though it crosses social, economic and national boundaries. And according to the United Nations Population Fund, gender-based violence undermines the health, security, dignity, and autonomy of its victims. Although 16 countries in Latin America had modified their laws to include a specific type of crime referring to the murder of women by 2015, they are not uniformly implemented, and practices to convict perpetrators of gender-based violence are still extremely weak. A 2016 report published by the Small Arms Survey found that Latin America and the Caribbean is home to 14 of the 25 countries with the highest rates of femicide in the world.

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Peru has the lowest female homicide rate in Latin America, tied with Chile. Legal measures against femicide were established in Peru in 2011. The law to penalize femicide was enacted in 2013. In 2015, the Peruvian Congress passed another law with the intention to prevent, eradicate and punish all forms of violence against women. The sentence for violators of this law is of no less than 15 years for killing a woman due to her gender, and up to 25 years in the case of aggravated femicide.

The Public Ministry of Peru has developed a femicide registry that records women’s deaths in cases of intimate femicide, non-intimate femicide, and femicide not based on relationships. This registry is seen as a best practice model for improved research processes and evidence for better decisions. While Peru’s response to the issue of femicide can serve as a model for the region and the world,  femicide and domestic violence remain a significant problem in Peru, with 149 women killed in 2018.


Indigenous rights:

7.8 percent of the population in Latin America, roughly 41,813,039 people, identify as indigenous, 49 percent of them live in urban areas and 51 percent live in rural areas.

The Labour Organization’s Convention 169 (ILO 169)

The Labour Organization’s Convention 169 (ILO 169)—which has the status of an international treaty—establishes the right of indigenous and tribal peoples to be consulted when a policy or project affects their culture or heritage through what is commonly called “previous and informed consent.” The vaguely worded treaty has been a point of contention in some countries, among governments, investors and communities; and progress in implementing it has been uneven. The Convention has been interpreted, in particular, as applying to issues of national resource extraction and infrastructure development that affect communal lands. In Latin America 16 countries have signed ILO 169.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People’s (UNDRIP)

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007, all Latin American countries, except Colombia, which abstained, voted in favor of this declaration. The only four countries to initially reject this declaration were the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. While it is not a legally binding instrument, it is an “important standard” for the treatment of indigenous people. The declaration sets out the collective and individual rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education, and other issues. It prohibits discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them and their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic and social development. The end goal is to encourage countries to work alongside indigenous communities to solve global issues, like development, multicultural democracy and decentralization.

American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

In 2016, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples after a long negotiation of 17 years. The declaration recognizes the collective organization and multicultural character of indigenous peoples, the self-identification of people who consider themselves indigenous and special protection for peoples in voluntary isolation or initial contact. However, the declaration was met with resistance by members of the indigenous community, who complained that they did not have full participation in the negotiations and that the declaration rolled back several rights recognized in UNDRIP. The declaration does not mention the right to previous and informed consultation.

Previous to the declaration, in 1990, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) had created the Office of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to devote attention to Indigenous Peoples in the Americas and to “strengthen, promote, and systemize the IACHR’s own work in this area. The current Rapporteur on the Right of Indigenous Peoples is Francisco José Eguiguren Praeli, Ambassador of Peru to Spain from 2012 to 2014 and Minister of the Office of Justice. He received a law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru with a master’s degree in Constitutional Law and a PhD in Humanities. Former Rapporteurs include, Rose-Marie Belle Antoine a former IACHR Commissioner and Dinah Shelton an international law consultant for the World Health Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme among other organizations.

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From 2011 to 2016, out of 130 seats in Congress, Indigenous representatives occupied nine seats, two of them by Indigenous women. Peru does not have a quota for Indigenous representatives.  

According to data from 2007, there were 7,596,039 indigenous peoples in Peru, or 26 percent of the total population. 53 percent of those were living in urban areas.

Peru, along with Colombia, has made the most progress in terms of passing laws and establishing a government body to oversee issues pertaining to Indigenous human rights. It has voted in favor of UNDRIP, the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and signed ILO 169. In Peru, despite initial controversy on what communities could be defined as Indigenous, the Constitutional Court instructed the Ministry of Culture—charged with overseeing the process—that Indigenous peoples do not need to be formally registered or recognized by the state to be entitled to the rights guaranteed to Indigenous peoples. The Cultural Ministry has established clear steps and timeframes for implementing consultations on questions of Indigenous rights. Between 2012 and 2015, 23 such cases of consultation have been resolved. 


[1]WJP Rule-of-Law Index measures 4 principles: 1) The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law; 2) The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property and certain core human rights; 3) The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair, and efficient; 4) Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.
[2] AQ Social Inclusion Index uses 23 different factors to measure how effectively governments are serving their citizens, regardless of race or income, and is published annually by Americas Quarterly at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.
[3] Hearings were scored by Global Americans on a scale of 0 to 3 to evaluate government participation. 0 indicates that the government did not send any representatives to participate. If representatives were present, they were scored from 1 to 3 based on how engaged the representatives were, 1 indicating that they objected to the hearing, to the jurisdiction of the Commission to review the topic or dismissed there being any issue to discuss. A score of 3 indicates full participation of the government, including acknowledgment of the issue and its importance, the jurisdiction of the Commission to review and engagement on how this issue will be addressed going forward.
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