The Instituto Mexicano de Derechos Humanos y Democracia A.C (IMDHD) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization dedicated to promotion and strengthening of human rights and democracy. It was established in 2007 by a team of professionals with wide experience in social issues and a strong commitment to human rights and the promotion of democracy.
IMDHD endeavors to brings together different social actors, politicians, academics and civil society in order to put forward changes, improvements, proposals or initiatives that benefit discriminated sectors of society and promotes the respect for and fulfillment of human rights in the country.
In our work we have developed the following strategic lines of action:
- Human rights and non-discrimination
- Advocacy work together with civil organizations
- Promotion and development of local initiatives
- Inter-institutional collaboration
As a result of the above mentioned we have promoted initiatives on the rights of people with disabilities and proposals to reform the justice system, we have developed training program about the rights of women working within the law enforcement, we have organized analysis activities on public security on the local level, as well as we have initiated discussions on democratization of spaces for citizen participation.
It is important to mention is that we form part of Directorio de Evaluadores del Comité de Evaluación de Políticas Públicas del Distrito Federal (Public Policy Evaluation Committee of Federal District), which authorizes our institution to conduct assessments on the local governments’ social programs.
We are also members of Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos (National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations), a network consisting of 70 groups in 23 federal states, that works to develop joint strategies for more effective protection of all human rights for all people.
Finally, we are part of the network Espacio DESC formed by civil organizations that work on the issues related to the the enforcement and justiciability of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights (DESCA, for its abbreviation in Spanish).
Mission and vision
IMDHD is a civil organization that started working in 2007. IMDHD is a non-profit, independent, non-partisan, secular organization that promotes the principles of a substantive democracy and human rights from a holistic perspective.
We seek to contribute to the improvement of the democratic life in the country and to the achievement of the full realization of human rights for the population in general, and those who experience discrimination and/or exclusion in particular; by analyzing socio-political contexts, promoting civil initiatives, applying research and training relevant actors in public safety and criminal justice, non-discrimination and citizen participation.
Generate evidence regarding institutional policies and practices that violate human rights and unveil the authoritarian structures and practices of the public power.
Deliver proposals that promote the transformation of strategic institutions and/or their practices in order to make them guarantors for human rights.
Encourage the strengthening of civil society actors and promote their participation in public affairs.
Build an innovative, critical and proactive institutional discourse that contributes to achieve the three above-mentioned goals.
With each of our topics we aim to achieve the transformation of institutions and practices that violate human rights and the free exercise of democracy, and to promote the application of international standards in the domestic legal order by creating public opinion and studies with a human rights perspective.
Our core topics are:
Equality and non-discrimination
- Social policy with a human rights perspective:
We monitor social policies and the implementation of the recommendations of UN mechanisms and the Organization of American States within those via studies, analyses and the indicators’ follow-up.
- Monitoring and follow-up of the public policy of equality and non-discrimination:
We carry out evaluations of the public institutions’ performance, in order to know the scope of the international standards’ implementation at a local and federal level.
- Training and education of actors linked to the right to equality and non-discrimination:
We aim to create training processes to develop knowledge, skills and competencies in order to facilitate the incorporation of human rights, and the principles of a substantive democracy in their work or organization.
Public security and criminal justice
Criminal justice and security policies:
We encourage discussion and debate with relevant actors in different spaces. We develop proposals and technical analyses, retrieve experiences, and promote joint initiatives in order to contribute to the successful implementation of the criminal justice and public security reform.
- Monitoring and follow-up of the security policy:
We carry out activities to evaluate the performance of public institutions regarding the application of principles, commitments and agreements in order to implement international standards at a local and federal level.
- Training of actors that are relevant for the implementation of criminal justice and public security policies:
We train civil actors, academics and public servants responsible for the law enforcement and justice administration, for the purpose of using the human rights tools in the functions they perform.
What are human rights?
Human rights are rights that belong to all people, without which we cannot live as human beings.
These rights allow us to fully develop and make use of our human qualities, our intelligence, skills and conscience, as well as to meet, among others, our spiritual needs and need for participation, leisure and creativity, among others. They are based on the desire to live a life in which the dignity and value of all human beings are respected and protected.
Some of the human rights that belong to each and every one of us are the right to life, to education, to work, to personal liberty, to recreation, to a life free from violence, to housing, to a living wage, to participation in public affairs, to culture, to justice, to protection of the law, to access to information and to health.
We have access to our rights regardless of social and economic status, education level, ethnic or national origin, sex, age, disability, health condition, language, religion, opinions, sexual preferences, civil status or any other status.
These rights are enshrined in our laws, but also in international agreements elaborated by the governments of the world, with which Mexico is committed to comply. This means that we can demand those rights even though they are not yet recognized in our laws.
The authorities must ensure our rights using the highest level of protection regardless of where they are recognized.
Countries and their authorities are required to take all necessary measures to protect and fulfill the human rights and it is therefore important that we demand them.
In Mexico we have different mechanisms for the protection of our rights. Some of these are; the public human rights commissions, the amparo (Mexican habeas corpus) and the complaint before the Public Ministry.
There are also other mechanisms we can use to demand our rights, such as turning to civil human rights organizations, public complaints, demonstrations and social protests.