El Salvador

Among the countries of the world that are not at war, El Salvador is one of the most violent. The civilian population is most affected by the violence, and the macho culture makes the situation for women and vulnerable groups difficult. To break the circle of violence, poverty and discrimination, IM works, along with partners, to promote democracy and fulfillment of human rights.

In El Salvador, a strong macho culture prevails, and the social control of women is strict. The rates of pregnancies in girls and adolescents, domestic and social violence and the number of femicides are alarming. The frequency of fatal violence is high with 83 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants and gang violence is a huge problem.

To contribute to sustainable social change in the country, IM works, together with partners within the areas of economic and social inclusion and civic space.

These are some of the objectives of IM’s work in El Salvador:

  • Sexual and Reproductive Rights (SRR) – strengthening women’s rights to decide over their own bodies and sexuality, support to women who have been imprisoned due to obstetric emergencies, advocacy work on local and national level, proposals of public policies.
  • Violence prevention – armed violence is a hindrance for sustainable development and IM therefore works to prevent violence in accordance with the Global Goal 16 through the initiative Humanium Metal by IM.
  • Strengthening of democracy – El Salvador sees the first tendencies of shrinking space of the civil society and IM works to counteract that by building the capacity of partners and facilitate networking between civil society organizations.
  • Social and economic empowerment of vulnerable groups – IM is mainly focusing on women and youth with the aim to support their empowerment and make them economically and socially included in the society and to increase their political participation. IM also works with other vulnerable groups such as LGBTI and people with disabilities.
  • In order to change a patriarchal and discriminatory system, both men and women must be engaged, and IM therefore also focuses on men’s access to knowledge about sexual rights, sexual health and human rights.

IM has been working in El Salvador since 1989 and the work is today carried out in collaboration with community-based organizations, NGOs, networks and external allies. The coverage focuses on the central and western zones of El Salvador.

Youth group teaches non-violence

“We are members of Anades’ youth group Colectivo Sol Mayor. They teach us respect and to live without violence.”

-Giovani García, El Salvador


Humanium Metal by IM

El Salvador is the base for Humanium Metal by IM – an initiative where IM collaborates with government and civil rights organizations to gain access to seized illegal weapons and melt them down into new raw material.