Protecting Indigenous Workers’ Rights in Oaxaca, Mexico

International Human Rights Law Institute

Challenge

Mexico’s indigenous population is at the highest risk of discrimination in the workplace. The marginalization of indigenous people is pervasive throughout the country, but it is especially apparent in employment environments where indigenous workers face a disproportionate number of labor rights violations, including abusive and illegal labor practices, dangerous working conditions, threats and harassments, and hostile work environments.

Program Summary

To address such discrimination in the workplace, DePaul University's International Human Rights Law Institute partnered with a local NGO in Mexico, the Centro de Derechos Humanos y Asesoria a Pueblos Indigenas (CEDHAPI), to provide legal training for both employers and indigenous workers on labor rights in the Oaxaca region of Mexico.

Impact

Through week-long training workshops for indigenous workers, the program increased legal literacy and awareness of workers’ right to bargain collectively. In addition, training workshops for business, government, and civil society leaders helped to provide clarity about labor rights and employment law in order to help employers understand, prevent and correct discrimination in the workplace. Additionally, the partners created a manual and a pamphlet on worker’s rights which were distributed in both print and electronic form to both employers and employees. As a result of these training workshops, a network comprised of civil society organizations and local attorneys was created. These civil society organizations and local attorneys now share information with one another and work cooperatively to seek redress for any labor violations among indigenous employees.

Partners

DePaul University’s International Human Rights Law Institute was the lead partner, working with the Centro de Derechos Humanos y Asesoria a Pueblos Indigenas (CEDHAPI).

Project Details

Program Status:Completed

Program Type:Grantee

Region:Latin America & Caribbean

Program Countries:Mexico

Dates:December 1, 2010 - December 1, 2011

Rule of Law Index Factors: Fundamental Rights (Factor 4), Regulatory Enforcement (Factor 6), and Civil Justice (Factor 7).

Issue Areas: Business, Education, and Human Rights.