• 16 April 2014

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    Category : Opinion

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    EUROsociAL brings the State closer to its most vulnerable citizens

    Since 2013 the FIIAPP, through the EUROsociAL programme, has been promoting the creation of “Houses of Rights” in Latin America. To date, “Houses of Rights” have been built in Brazil, Honduras and Costa Rica to bring the law and the State closer to citizens from different spheres. Ciudad de Dios in Río de Janeiro (Brazil), Tegucigalpa (Honduras) and Upala (Costa Rica) were the sites chosen for implementing these centres designed to promote human rights.

    EUROsociAL, supported by one of its partners, the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), promoted the creation of assistance centres that address the need to bring the State closer to groups at risk for exclusion to enable them to overcome the physical and bureaucratic barriers that separate them from institutions. Each “House of Rights” is focused on helping a particular group and serves as an example and engine for extending protection and creating new centres in the host countries and the rest of Latin America.

    The “Cidade de Deus House of Rights” in Río de Janeiro, Brazil is bringing justice, law, services and legal orientation to the residents of Cidade de Deus, one of the roughest favelas, which up until recently was inaccessible to the Brazilian State. Expediting the necessary permits to start a business and the processing of basic documents for gaining access to justice are some of the operations that the residents of Cidade de Deus were unable to carry out before the creation of the “House of Rights”.

    Tegucigalpa, Honduras welcomes the first “Centre for Assistance and the Protection of Women’s Rights”, which was made possible thanks to the collaboration between EUROsociAL and the Honduran Judiciary, with the support of IDLO and France Expertise Internationale. The Centre promotes access to law and brings justice to women who are victims of gender-based violence. One of the reasons for centralizing assistance to this group is to keep the dispersion of the victims, in the absence of counselling and protection, from generating vulnerability which might subject them to gender-based violence again.

    The border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua was the site chosen for the “House of Rights for Women”. The Centre, located in Upala, Costa Rica, offers protection and legal orientation to Nicaraguan migrant women. This group is especially vulnerable and, thanks to the legal safety it now enjoys, these women can emerge from a situation of vulnerability and lack of legal protection.

    A person who cannot obtain documents because of the difficulty of carrying out legal procedures is vulnerable. This is why the aforementioned cases are examples of how bringing the administration and legal protection closer to citizens can improve their quality of life.

    The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of its author.