Central America

The brutal civil war conflicts of the 1980s are over but violence is rising from other sources in Central America.  Democratic institutions remain 
fragile and governments have been unable (and sometimes unwilling) to
 spur equitable development, curtail corruption, or combat 
increasing criminal activity.



WOLA works with colleagues in Central America and the international community to prevent violence, support police reform and combat organized crime.  We monitor the impact of assistance and trade agreements on labor rights and 
sustainable economic development.  We support on-going efforts to establish the conditions for free and fair elections and to bring justice for human rights violations.

Key Program Themes:

Violence, Insecurity and Corruption

We work with regional partners for comprehensive reform that addresses the root causes of violence and ensure effective, accountable police and judicial systems that protect both the rights and the security of citizens.

U.S. and International Aid to Central America

As it makes its way through Congress, WOLA is closely following a historic aid request to the countries of Central America, a proposal which—if invested wisely—could address the underlying factors that have fueled record migration from the region in recent years.

Youth and Job Creation

Targeted efforts to generate employment opportunities among youth in the region can pay off in a big way, and can help reduce the crime and violence that compel minors to make the dangerous decision to migrate to the United States.

Human Rights in Central America

Human rights violations in the region, especially by the police and armed forces, have risen dramatically in recent years. See our work to promote human rights in Central America.

 

Central America News & Analysis

Central America’s Child Exodus: One Year Later the Humanitarian Crisis is Far From Over

Analysis & Commentary
In an op-ed first published in The Hill's Congress Blog, WOLA Senior Associates Adriana Beltrán and Marc Hanson, the two urge Congress to address the causes of mass migration from Central America at their source.

Is the Humanitarian Crisis at the U.S. Border Still Ongoing?

Massive Migration Will Continue Until Root Causes Are Addressed
Analysis & Commentary
In the July 1 issue of the Inter-American Dialogue's Latin America Advisor, WOLA Senior Associate for Citizen Security Adriana Beltrán asked if the humanitarian crisis that began along the border in 2014 had ended. According to her, however, it is still raging.

Security, Transparency, and Accountability in El Salvador and Honduras

Video
On June 30, guests from El Salvador and Honduras discussed challenges to security, transparency, and accountability in the Northern Triangle.

Youth Violence and Resilience in Honduras and Northeast Africa

Video
On June 22, WOLA and partner organizations discussed youth violence and resilience in Honduras and Northeast Kenya.