Peru is a constitutional, multiparty republic. President Pedro Castillo assumed the presidency in July, succeeding President Francisco Sagasti, after winning the June 6 presidential runoff, in elections that observers characterized as free and fair. Legislative elections took place concurrently to elect the 130-member, single-chamber parliament.
The Peruvian National Police report to the Ministry of Interior and maintain internal security. The Peruvian Armed Forces, reporting to the Ministry of Defense, are responsible for external security in addition to some domestic security responsibilities in designated emergency areas and in exceptional circumstances. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over security forces. There were credible reports that members of security forces committed some abuses.
Significant human rights issues included credible reports of serious government corruption at all levels, including in the judiciary; lack of investigation of and accountability for gender-based violence; and sex and labor trafficking.
The government took steps to investigate and, in some cases, prosecute or otherwise punish public officials accused of abuses and corruption, including high-level officials. Nonetheless, corruption and a perception of impunity remained prevalent and were major public concerns.
Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties
c. Freedom of Religion
f. Protection of Refugees
The government cooperated with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other humanitarian organizations in providing protection and assistance to refugees, returning refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and other persons of concern.
More than one million foreign-born persons, including immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, lived in the country as of November. Venezuelans were by far the largest nationality, numbering 1.29 million, according to government officials. On July 4, the Council of Ministers approved the implementing regulations for providing temporary status (carnet de permiso temporal, or CPP) to more than 350,000 irregular migrants of any nationality who registered with the National Migration Superintendency. The superintendency was reviewing these applications and issuing a one-year temporary migration status to the irregular migrants who applied for a CPP. Beneficiaries then had up to one year to adjust to another migration status.
Access to Asylum: The law provides for the granting of asylum or refugee status, and the government has established a system for protecting refugees. The government cooperated with UNHCR and recognized the Peruvian Catholic Migration Commission as the official provider of technical assistance to refugees. The commission also advised persons who sought asylum based on a fear of persecution. The government protected refugees on a renewable, year-to-year basis in accordance with commission recommendations.
Durable Solutions: The government does not have a formalized integration program for refugees, but it received persons recognized as refugees by other nations, granted refugee status to persons who applied from within the country, and provided some administrative support toward their integration. UNHCR provided these refugees with humanitarian and emergency aid, legal assistance, documentation, and, in exceptional cases, voluntary return and family reunification.
Temporary Protection: As of June, the government had provided temporary protection to 560,000 individuals since 2017 while they awaited a decision on their refugee status. Nearly all were Venezuelans. On July 7, the government published a ministerial resolution to allow Venezuelan asylum seekers to apply for a humanitarian residency status while their asylum applications remained active with the foreign ministry. Humanitarian residency status holders may be employed or work independently. The migratory status, different from the CPP temporary residence permit, authorizes a residence of 183 days and is renewable if the conditions of vulnerability for which this residency was granted persist.