2015 Latin America & the Caribbean Workshops

Strengthening Law Enforcement Systems in Haiti: Protecting the Rights of Children in Domestic Servitude and of Pre-Trial Detainees

Saturday, Apr 18, 2015, 2:00 pm

Over 70 percent of Haitian prisoners languish in prolonged pre-trial detention under deplorable prison conditions; they are victims of Haiti’s broken justice system. Meanwhile, thousands of children are sent by their parents to host families in the hope that access to education will improve their life chances, but what started as a traditional cultural practice often turns into a form of forced labor that many consider modern-day slavery. This workshop will provide an overview of the work being done to tackle these issues, and discuss how urgent changes to Haiti’s law enforcement system can be made to better protect the rights of victims.

Speakers:

Jasmine Huggins, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer for Haiti at Church World Service

Ted Oswald, Policy Analyst and Advocacy Coordinator, Mennonite Central Committee Haiti

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Visible and Invisible Consequences of Mass Incarceration in Latin America

Saturday, Apr 18, 2015, 2:00 pm

This workshop will provide participants with an overview and analysis on the latest LAC prison population statistics, trends and demographics (the visible consequences); as well as an analysis about the characteristics and challenges faced today by approximately 2.000.000 children whose parents are in prison and their families (the invisible consequences). The workshop will also provide examples of civil society and faith based organizations led initiatives to support, assist and defend the rights of this population of children and families.

Speakers:

Adriana Beltran, Washington office on Latin America

Luciano Cadoni, Church World Service and the Latin America & the Caribbean Platform for Children of Incarcerated Parents (NNAPEs)

 

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Restorative Justice in Brazil

Saturday, Apr 18, 2015, 3:45 pm

The restorative justice approach is an alternative to the prevailing ineffective punitive judicial system. Research into restorative justice indicates that it consistently outperforms other approaches in reducing reoffending: It addresses victim and offender needs, helps to repair harm and works to restore relationships. Maryknoll Missionary Joanne Blaney has worked with restorative justice practices in Brazil for many years, and has experience with juvenile justice, religious and educational groups, neighborhood communities and in prisons. She will illustrate the hopes and lessons that can be drawn from this very Christian approach to social justice and peace.

Speakers:

Joanne Blaney, Maryknoll Missionary

Fr. Valdir João Silveira, Head of Brazil’s National Prison Ministry Pastoral

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The Failed U.S. War on Drugs: Human Rights Abuses and Militarization in Central America, Mexico, and Colombia

Saturday, Apr 18, 2015, 3:45 pm

Latin Americans from all walks of life are calling for a renewed approach to security and drug policy that moves away from the heavy-handed enforcement strategy that has devastated the lives of so many. Yet, Washington lawmakers aren’t listening, and U.S. policies often contribute to the problem, not the solution. Join us as we examine how the militarization of the drug war in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia continues to plague communities with violence.

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Destination Lock-Up: The Detention of Migrants in Mexico and the United States

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015, 2:00 pm

This past year, the United States saw a surge of children and families from Central America and Mexico arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. While many of these people migrated in order to flee spiraling violence and poverty, the United States responded with increased efforts to detain and deport and deter future immigration, ramping up enforcement efforts both on the U.S.-Mexico border, and supporting increased enforcement at Mexico’s southern border as well.  Speakers will discuss the human rights issues associated with increased immigration enforcement and detention in both Mexico and the United States.

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Workers Resisting Labor Violence and Exploitation in the Americas

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015, 2:00 pm

Workers across Latin America face serious challenges – from marginalization in the informal economy to abusive hiring arrangements that deny them basic legal rights in the formal economy. These exploitative working conditions are compounded by targeted harassment and violence against labor rights activists and trade union leaders, who face increasing risks when they speak out against injustice. This workshop will discuss the continuum of labor exploitation and violence against workers in Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia.

Speakers:

Luciano Sanin Vasquez, Escuela Nacional Sindical, Colombia

Alexis De Simone, Solidarity Center, AFL-CIO

Gladys Cisneros, Solidarity Center, AFL-CIO

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