• 12 May 2022

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    Recuerda que existimos

    Desde EUROsociAL + trabajamos para combatir el impacto de la corrupción de funcionarios públicos en las mujeres y niñas de América Latina. Como homenaje a las supervivientes de estas prácticas corruptas, hemos escuchado sus historias a través del arte como un medio para transformar percepciones, como un vehículo para generar concienciación y transformación social. 

    La Camerata Vocal de la Universidad de Valparaíso representa ‘Mujer y corrupción. Voces que denuncian, cantos de libertad’. Foto: EUROsociAL+.

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    Sofía habla ante un auditorio de jueces, fiscales, cooperantes, funcionarios de hacienda, de tribunales de cuentas y de órganos garantes de la transparencia, entre otros. La joven, estudiante de la Universidad de Valparaíso, interpreta, visiblemente emocionada, el caso real de una niña que fue a dar a luz enferma de sífilis. La menor había sido víctima de una red de trata con fines de explotación sexual. Esta organización criminal operaba gracias a la complicidad de agentes de policía, que recibían dinero de los proxenetas y sexo gratis de las mujeres explotadas. “¿Cómo alguien que juró protegernos puede ser tan despreciable?”, clama Sofía, poniéndose en la piel de la niña y conmoviendo con su actuación a los más de 80 funcionarios y funcionarias de América Latina y la Unión Europea presentes en la representación coral y teatral, una de las diversas actividades de la iniciativa ‘Mujer y corrupción. Expresión de dolor y esperanza’, un conjunto de dinámicas artísticas integradas en el Encuentro ‘Pactos políticos y sociales para una nueva América Latina’, organizado por EUROsociAL + el pasado mes de enero en Valparaíso (Chile).

    A través de la acción ‘Mujer y corrupción’, desde el Área de Gobernanza de EUROsociAL + en la FIIAPP hemos trabajado para identificar, visibilizar, medir, prevenir y combatir los efectos de la corrupción en las mujeres de América Latina. Hemos realizado diagnósticos y buscado soluciones con operadores del sistema de justicia, organismos internacionales y organizaciones de la sociedad civil, contribuyendo a posicionar el tema en las agendas nacionales e internacionales, generando herramientas e impulsando reformas normativas.

    La importancia de identificar y conocer el problema

    La corrupción presenta impactos diferenciados en las mujeres y las niñas de América Latina, que sufren las prácticas corruptas de formas específicas por razón de su género y su vulnerabilidad. Funcionarios judiciales que exigen sexo a cambio de un trato de favor, docentes universitarios que hacen proposiciones a sus alumnas, policías pagados por redes de prostitución o de trata de personas, vigilantes de prisiones que permiten el ingreso de niñas y mujeres para que las exploten sexualmente… Algunos de estos comportamientos son delitos aislados, pero otros forman parte de un fenómeno sistémico que debe ser identificado y combatido.

    Ese ha sido uno de los objetivos de EUROsociAL + durante los tres últimos años, un período de trabajo al que pusimos cierre entre el 12 y el 14 del pasado enero con el mencionado Encuentro de Valparaíso, en el cual recibieron una atención especial las víctimas de la corrupción. La forma de conocer sus experiencias fue mediante la iniciativa ‘Mujer y corrupción. Expresión de dolor y esperanza’, una actividad fruto de la colaboración entre EUROsociAL +, el Instituto Distrital para la Protección de la Niñez y la Juventud de Bogotá (Idipron), la Universidad de Valparaíso y la artista peruana Aisha Asconiga.

    El objetivo de estas iniciativas es emplear el arte en sus diferentes formas para dar voz a las mujeres y niñas que sufren la extorsión sexual y la corrupción facilitadora de las redes de trata y explotación sexual. Quisimos tener una primera aproximación para saber quiénes son, entender su historia y compartir sus vivencias, para abrir discusiones sobre las mejores estrategias para luchar más eficazmente contra los delitos de los que fueron víctimas.

    El arte para reflejar el dolor

    El arte es una ventana, un mecanismo de reparación, de concienciación, de transformación social e institucional. Es también memoria, expresión de resistencia, dolor y esperanza. El arte debe servir para humanizarnos, para forjar nuevos caminos en la búsqueda de soluciones con una mirada distinta.

    En este contexto, a través de tres dinámicas, se plasmaron diferentes visiones plásticas y musicales inspiradas en siete casos reales narrados por las víctimas y recopilados por EUROsociAL + que puedes ver aquí.

    La primera dinámica estuvo a cargo del Idipron. Bajo el lema #QuéCaminoRecorrer, tres grupos de personas en Bogotá (Colombia) realizaron dibujos a partir de los relatos desde tres perspectivas o caminos, desde tres sensibilidades.

    La primera reflexión artística se realizó desde el ámbito institucional. El área de comunicación de Idipron elaboró ilustraciones como reacción a los relatos de las víctimas, desde una visión más técnica, a modo de campaña institucional. El segundo camino fue el de las víctimas, plasmado en dibujos realizados por niñas que salieron del barrio de Santa Fé de Bogotá y que están bajo medidas de protección tras haber sido víctimas de explotación sexual. Ellas sienten de manera especial las situaciones que están pintando, porque en ocasiones las han vivido en carne propia. La tercera visión es la de la calle, la de los niños y niñas que viven en la zona que rodea el Castillo de las Artes, en el mencionado Barrio de Santa Fé, un antiguo lugar de explotación sexual, que fue escenario de abuso y maltrato durante años y que ahora brinda alternativas a los jóvenes a través del arte. Los niños y niñas que hicieron estos dibujos viven en un entorno donde muchos habitantes son captados por estructuras delictivas, en ocasiones de buen grado, otras por la fuerza. Por tanto, entienden muy bien este tipo de problemas y disyuntivas.

    El objetivo de la dinámica fue que, a través de los relatos y las ilustraciones, expuestas en un stand coordinado por Carlos Marín, Director de Idipron, el público asistente al Encuentro de Valparaíso reflexionara sobre qué políticas públicas son necesarias para abordar estos problemas y para que la sociedad tome conciencia de ellos. ¿Podemos guiarnos solo por lo institucional, sin consultar a las personas que viven en primera persona este tipo de situaciones? Las víctimas tienen una visión más personal, desde el dolor, de lo que está ocurriendo. A la hora de identificar #quécaminorecorrer, hay que afrontar el tema no solo desde la acción de la autoridad, sino también desde la conexión con la sociedad. Estos delitos están, con frecuencia, invisibilizados y es preciso romper la inacción social frente a ellos.

    La segunda dinámica fue protagonizada por la artista plástica peruana Aisha Asconiga. Aisha explora la posición de la mujer en la sociedad y la violencia asociada al mero hecho de ser mujer. En su obra ´Cuándo dejaré de ser objeto´ se aprecia una figura femenina que pretende mostrar cómo las mujeres son vistas como un objeto, como una mercancía en el inconsciente colectivo, como moneda de pago. De manera específica, la obra muestra cómo impacta en las mujeres la corrupción de agentes públicos cuando la extorsión o la explotación sexual condicionan su libertad y sus derechos, y se ven forzadas a pagar con su propio cuerpo.

    Las dinámicas artísticas culminaron con la representación musical y teatral ‘Mujer y corrupción. Voces que denuncian, cantos de libertad’, de la Camerata Vocal de la Universidad de Valparaíso, bajo la conducción de Ximena Soto. Fue una oportunidad para compartir con el público interpretaciones musicales intercaladas con relatos teatralizados a partir de la experiencia de niñas, adolescentes y mujeres afectadas por la corrupción.

    Sofía, una de las integrantes de la Camerata y la persona con quien comenzábamos estas líneas, explica cómo ha vivido la experiencia de crear arte a partir de experiencias traumáticas: “Son relatos impactantes, pero debemos mostrárselos a la gente porque suceden todos los días. Debemos acordarnos de que esto existe”. Y continúa: “¿Qué podemos aportar desde el arte a estas problemáticas sociales? Cuando uno canta no se trata solo afinar las notas y que suenen bonitas. Es también el mensaje. La música te mueve a sentir más profundamente. Había nervios en el grupo antes de empezar, pero nos quedamos muy contentos porque el público es gente que puede hacer algo para aportar soluciones y nosotros pusimos nuestro granito para ayudar a que esa gente haga algo. Hay una responsabilidad social que decidimos asumir como artistas; si una puede aportar de alguna manera desde la cultura que te llena, el corazón te lleva para adelante, te anima a seguir”.

    Borja Díaz Rivillas, Responsable de Buen Gobierno, Área de Gobernanza Programa EUROsociAL+/FIIAPP

    Ana Linda Solano López, experta en corrupción y género, Área de Gobernanza Programa EUROsociAL+/FIIAPP

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  • 28 January 2022

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    “Countries demand public talent as a form of cooperation”

    FIIAPP director Anna Terrón and Enabel director Jean Van Wetter exchange ideas on the future of #PublicExpertise in this joint interview conducted by the Belgian institution

    Technical cooperation between institutions is making headway as part of European foreign action. The exchange of ideas, projects and points of view enriches international cooperation. For years, the FIIAPP has collaborated with Enabel, a homologous institution in Belgium, and they share their experience at various levels of government, administration and public institutions. FIIAPP director Anna Terrón and Enabel director Jean Van Wetter exchange ideas on the future of #PublicExpertise in this joint interview conducted by the Belgian institution.  

    You can view the full interview by clicking on the image  

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  • 20 December 2021

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    A 2021 full of challenges… but, above all, achievement

    The creation of a network offering legal assistance to migrants in Latin America, the dismantling of a network trafficking women and migrants in Niger, more than 2,000 trained Turkish judges and public prosecutors... these are just some of FIIAPP’s achievements in 2021.

    Before we dive headfirst into 2022, we would like to look back at what 2021 has been like for FIIAPP. We have worked throughout this year to promote sustainable development, improve public systems and strengthen the bonds that exist between societies. As all this may seem a bit abstract, we want to highlight some concrete, tangible achievements that reflect the great daily work undertaken by the public talent in our institutions, mobilised by FIIAPP in more than 120 countries.  

    Latin America, a priority region  

     Social cohesion, gender, justice, security… these are just some of the many areas in which we have worked in Latin America this year. We have supported the start-up of a regional network in the region offering legal assistance to migrants. We also promoted the signing of the Lisbon Declaration, which strengthens dialogue and relations between Latin American and European judicial institutions.  

    In Central America, forensic scientists are now working together online to share knowledge on investigative techniques, while in Peru we have succeeded in implementing a new intelligence system to fight against organised crime.  Uruguay, Honduras and El Salvador are developing their own long-term climate strategies. We have also accompanied National Action Strategies for Climate Empowerment in Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Argentina and Panama.
     

    Security and development  

    At FIIAPP we believe that security and development go hand-in-hand. Stability is an essential requirement for development to take place. We are therefore present in regions like the Sahel, with projects like ECI-Niger. Thanks to this project, it has been possible to dismantle a network trafficking women and migrants in Niger. In Nigeria, we have also created a network of more than fifteen West African countries through the ATIPSOM project in association with over 180 NGOs to strengthen organised civil society that works directly with potential victims of trafficking, both in the prevention of the crime and in obtaining information.  

    However, you don’t have to go so far to see international cooperation in action. In Turkey, a country neighbouring the European Union, more than 2,000 judges and prosecutors have received intensive training in key issues such as judicial independence, new technologies in the justice sector and the rights of victims. We have also supported Ukraine in its entry into the common EU airspace, helping the country to integrate its aviation security regulations.  

    These are just a few of this year’s achievements. From each project – and we manage more than 90 – we could highlight an action or result that has improved people’s lives. FIIAPP’s commitment to sustainable development, multilateralism and the #TeamEurope spirit will see us continuing to work to take Spanish and European cooperation further and further. Let’s hope for a 2022 with better public systems for people and the planet.   

  • 15 October 2021

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    “Rural women have served as an example of resilience to COVID-19”

    Ana María Yunpanqui is one of the few women mayors that Peru has. And the first in the history of its municipality, Pomata, in Puno, whose lake represents one of the most significant basins in South America.

    Ana María Yunpanqui

    Ana María Yupanqui did not have it easy. Belonging to the Aymara ethnic group, which she herself considers “very sexist”, she was one of the few rural women who managed to continue with their education. She managed to finish high school and study outside her municipality to graduate as a Contadora (accountant) in Puno. “I wanted to do something for my community, and although basically not even my family supported me, I was confident I could do it, even if I was a woman and a young one“, explains the mayor of Pomata, a municipality of around 20,000 inhabitants. 

    At 33 years old, she is one of the 19 women who has managed to become mayor in Peru, the first in the history of her municipality. She believes that she won the elections because people, tired of corruption, chose to give a woman the opportunity to exercise another type of leadership. “There are leaders who can’t accept being governed by a woman. But the peopleput their trust in us and as a woman I can’t let them down, because I can serve as an example for others in years to come”, she stresses.  

    “We have many problems, our population earns their living purely from agriculture, livestock and fishing, and gender violence has a very significant impact on the lives of our women. The pollution of the lake is also a key issue”, explains the mayor.   

    Ana María Yupanqui comes from a rural area and knows all about the needs of rural women who, in this COVID-19 crisis, have been among the hardest hit. As she points out, in remote villages, especially the most marginalised ones, measures are needed to ease the burden of care and share it out better between women and men. Sufficient basic services and infrastructures are also needed to support women’s domestic and care work that is unpaid, which is exacerbated by the crisis. “We have to empower rural women so they can stand up for themselves”, says Pomata.  

    The EUROsociAL cooperation programme, financed by the European Union and managed by the FIIAPP, is working to improve the governance of Lake Titicaca and meet the demands of the main environmental and social challenges of its population, the majority of which are from Aymara and Quechua indigenous communities that live at an altitude of 4,200 metres, with little State presence and high rates of poverty and marginalisation.   

    Specifically, the Democratic Governance area of the EUROsociAL+ programme, managed by the FIIAPP, through its Territorial Development line, has accompanied the Binational Autonomous Authority of Lake Titicaca (ALT) in the implementation of a strategy for coordination between various levels of government that also incorporates other non-institutional actors. The ALT has also taken lessons learnt from the European experience, for better management of water resources and sanitation projects that reduce inequality, vulnerabilities and social exclusion. 

  • 12 August 2021

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    Post-pandemic youth: jobless and the most vulnerable

    On the occasion of International Youth Day we highlight the work of Spanish and European cooperation programmes to promote youth development worldwide

    Though less vulnerable to infection, the under-24 population has been greatly affected by the impact of the pandemic: lockdown, the closing of schools, children’s’ centres and those serving adolescents and young people. Work wise, according to the International Labour Organization, one in six young people is unemployed due to the crisis caused by COVID-19. A situation that has contributed to exacerbating inequalities, leaving behind the most vulnerable in this group.

    Children and adolescents are the present and future of society. Therefore, it is essential to adapt public policies to their needs, particularly those aimed at promoting youth employment. We at FIIAPP encourage the exchange of experiences and cooperation to promote public policies aimed at sustainable development that take young people into account. How do we go about this?

    Taller sobre empleo y juventudEUROsociAL+ supports the exchange of experiences and technical assistance to enable countries to provide the same opportunities to their entire young population in a crisis context. Through this FIIAPP-led European programme numerous activities have been undertaken targeting young people: promoting the prevention of teenage pregnancy in Panama, facilitating the access of young people to the labour market, or promoting the social work performed by university students as a lever for social inclusion. The foregoing are just a few examples of the dedication of EUROsociAL+ to creating public policies targeting a priority group such as Latin American youth.

    The SOCIEUX+ project also works to enhance youth employability. In Peru, for example, over 20,000 people have received training in different areas of knowledge such as IT, sales, administration, etc. The programme has contributed to this training by collaborating in updating the training model in skills for employability together with the Ministry for Labour and Employment Promotion. This training will enable them with to break into the labour market more effectively.

    Another of the activities undertaken by SOCIEUX+ in Peru involves promoting youth employment in the forestry sector. This initiative seeks to foster employment for youth that is green and sustainable over time; which will be formal, decent and of high quality. Moreover, promoting this type of employment seeks to improve the conditions of the young population to avoid regional emigration caused by the lack of opportunities. Lastly, it endeavours to put an end to the poverty being caused by an activity exclusively focused on cutting down forests, often illegally, and transporting the wood outside the region. The programme also plans to embark on another action targeting young people in Mauritania. In this case, work will be carried out to train young businessmen and businesswomen in Mauritania and to support entrepreneurship.

    Looking ahead to the next few years, at FIIAPP we will be working together with AECID and the British Council on a new project in Tunisia aimed at boosting the social and economic inclusion of the vulnerable members of Tunisian youth. The country’s youth carry important demographic weight. Young people under 35 years of age constitute 57% of the population. Despite this, and almost a decade after the 2011 revolution, a large part of Tunisian youth continues to be excluded from the political agenda and economic opportunities.

    The EU4Youth for Tunisia programme seeks to strengthen local governance through more inclusive, transparent, efficient and participatory actions; to enhance the capacities of the part of Tunisian civil society involved in culture and sports, to increase the professional integration and employability of vulnerable members of the country’s youth, and to promote business creativity in culture and sports.

    Unless the youth is provided with the right conditions to grow and develop, society will not advance either. Accordingly, in a context in which young people are increasingly vulnerable, public policies need to be redirected and adapted to their needs. Thinking of young people is looking to the future.

  • 30 July 2021

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    Corruption: the hidden face of trafficking

    Every year more than 1.7 million women and girls are victims of sexual exploitation. Although the criminal networks and pimps are the ones committing these crimes, they are often able to act thanks to corrupt officials who allow these activities or even participate in them. On World Anti-Trafficking Day, we focus on this dimension of human trafficking and on the commitment of the Latin American Prosecutors' Offices to combat it.

    Gabriella is 15 years old, but her ID card says she has just turned 19. For two years, a network of pimps has had her locked in a brothel where they sexually exploit her. Six months ago she managed to escape from them. When she saw a police station in the distance, she thought she was safe. On arrival, she was seen by a police officer, who led her into a room and took a statement from her. When Gabriella finished speaking, the police officer left the room for a moment to make a call. Fifteen minutes later, a car turned up at the police station to take her back to the brothel from which she had escaped. The next day, the policeman stopped by to get the pimps to return the favour.

    Gabriella does not exist, but her story is lived every day by more than 1.7 million women and girls who are victims of sexual exploitation. Although pimps are often singled out, corrupt officials who look the other way or cover up these crimes are equally responsible. “Corruption is a scourge that permeates all structures, both public and private. The area of human trafficking is not outside this”, affirms María Soledad Machuca, a prosecutor with the Specialised Unit for Crimes Against the Economic Order and Corruption in Paraguay.

    Some public officials not only look the other way, they even actively participate in or benefit from sexual exploitation. “Often corrupt officials negotiate with traffickers and exploiters for payment in bribes or sexual favours in which the victims themselves are the exchange currency used to make these payments”, explains María Alejandra Mángano, a prosecutor with the Prosecutor’s Office for Trafficking and Exploitation of Persons in Argentina .

    For Rosario López Wong, a coordinating prosecutor with the Specialised Prosecutors for Trafficking Crimes in Peru, one of the problems that facilitate trafficking is advanced warning about police operations: “We feel great frustration when a planned victim rescue operation is not carried out or is halted because the traffickers have been alerted and the victims have been hidden, even minors.”

    Other officials give licences for cafeterias to brothels, falsify identity documents to make girls appear to be of legal age or intimidate victims so they do not report crimes, as Marcelo Colombo, a prosecutor with the Office of Human Trafficking and Exploitation in Argentina, describes: “There are public officials who threaten victims and witnesses, either so they do not denounce the acts of corruption or so they do not appear as witnesses at the trials”.

    The Latin American Prosecutor‘s Offices, within the framework of the Ibero-American Association of Public Ministries (AIAMP), work to detect and combat the public corruption that conceals trafficking. The Public Ministries are aware of the importance of working together and cooperating to end this scourge. “We are strengthening the cooperation and coordination between the Specialised Units for People Trafficking and Anti-Corruption in order to carry out an effective and timely investigation,” explains Carina Sánchez, a prosecutor with the Unit for the Fight against Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in Paraguay.

    At FIIAPP, through programmes such as EUROsociAL+, EL PAcCTO and A-TIPSOM, we are working to promote cooperation between public administrations and jointly combat human trafficking. We do this by addressing the criminal chain as a whole. This implies working with both the police dimension (investigation and detention), going through the judicial route (drafting legislation and prosecuting in accordance with current laws) and finishing off with the penitentiary dimension (application of the penalties imposed).

    With the # FiscalíasContralaCorrupciónylaTrata campaign, we reveal  the hidden face of sexual exploitation. Although corrupt officials are only one part of an administration, detecting these ‘bad apples‘ is essential to ending trafficking. As Sergio Rodríguez, the head of the Argentine Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, states: “There is no human trafficking without corruption“.