The Center for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights of the Peruvian Armed Forces (CDIH-DDHH) is preparing to celebrate two decades of institutional existence.
Since its inception in February 2003, the CDIH-DDHH has focused its mission on being the academic center par excellence in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL) for the country’s Armed Forces.
Its director, Army Colonel Gerber Rubio Álvarez, expects the future of the CDIH-DDHH to be even more promising, with plans for academic programs to reach university and postgraduate levels with masters and certificates, while keeping upwith its international outlook.
Col. Rubio spoke with Diálogo about his experience in his position, the academic programs, and the institution’s challenges for the future.
Diálogo: Why is it important to talk about human rights within the Armed Forces?
Army Colonel Gerber Rubio Álvarez, director of the Center for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights of the Peruvian Armed Forces: It’s very important because the military personnel of the Armed Forces, at all levels of command, should be trained in this subject of IHL and human rights because it will allow and make it easier for them to fulfilltheir roles and constitutional mission under the current normative-legal framework.
Diálogo: What is the mission of the CDIH-DDHH?
Col. Rubio: Our mission is to train, coach,and educate the military personnel of thePeruvian Armed Forces on IHL and IHRL, in order for them to fulfill their constitutional roles, within the framework of unrestricted respect for human rights.
Diálogo: What kind of students do you have?
Col. Rubio: Initially, the CDIH-DDHH was intended for participants who were officers, technicians, noncommissioned officers, and naval officers of the Peruvian Armed Forces. Then, it was opened to personnel of the Peruvian National Police and justice workers (judges and prosecutors), as well as civilian professionals from the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General’s Office, and other state institutions.
Diálogo: What is important within the academic curriculum that is taught at the CDIH-DDHH?
Col. Rubio: We have a curriculum that includes various programs and workshops, such as, for example, the Basic and Advanced IHL and IHRL program. We also have a program for justice workerswho are part of the Attorney General’s Office, and civilian professionals from the different state institutions, and we have a refresher program for instructors and teachers from the different training schools within the Armed Forces.
Diálogo: Do you have students from abroad and from the armed forces of partner nations?
Col. Rubio: Of course. In the current program of this August there is an officer from our sister Republic of Brazil. Next October we have two guest officers from our sister Republic of Mexico, and throughout the history of our institutional life we’ve had different guest officers from different armed forces, particularly from Central and South America.
Diálogo: What kind of cooperation do you have with U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) through the Human Rights Initiative?
Col. Rubio: The relationship with U.S. Southern Command has been enduringthroughout our institutional path. In 2008 and 2010, the first seminars were held to implement the Human Rights Initiative and promote educational projects and understandings on training and education to military personnel. In 2016, the first seminar entitled Armed Forces and Human Rights in the Americas was held, with several countries of the region present. This year we had the pleasant visit in March of representatives from the SOUTHCOM Human Rights Office, as well as from the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Office, who reinforced the mutual relations of cooperation and understanding between both countries.
Diálogo: What is the projection of the CDIH-DDHH for the coming years?
Col. Rubio: On February 19, 2023, we will reach two decades of institutional life, and this obviously compels us to take oncommitments and obligations for future challenges. First, we must, as a training center, adapt ourselves to the Peruvian National Education System, to University Law, and become a postgraduate school, then we must seek accreditation of educational quality. In terms of pedagogical management and academic management, there are several challenges, such as, for example, the topic of future scenarios that will affect human rights, such as autonomous weapons, intelligent weapons, the environmental crisis, the future water crisis, and other scenarios that are obviously going to have relevance and for which our Armed Forces will have a leading role.
Diálogo: What do you think is the CDIH-DDHH’s greatest legacy to the Peruvian Armed Forces in almost two decades of existence?
Col. Rubio: Peru has lived through a series of threats, situations of violence, and an internal armed conflict, practically four decades that have served as lessons learned. The CDIH-DDHH has played a very important role in the training and education of our military personnel, which today is reflected in how they efficientlyfulfill their roles, their actions, and activities in fulfillment of their constitutional mission. This has been an important advance during all these years toward a more professional, better trained,and more respected Armed Forces in Peruvian civil society.
To see the full interview with Army Colonel Gerber Rubio Álvarez, director of the Center for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights of the Peruvian Armed Forces, please click on the following link: https://dialogo-americas.com/articles/a-conversation-with-peruvian-army-colonel-gerber-rubio-alvarez/#.Yyx_vy2xBQY