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Honduras: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Honduras (A/HRC/40/3/Add.2)

Source: UN Human Rights Council Country: Honduras
Human Rights Council
Fortieth session
25 February–22 March 2019
Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Situation of human rights in Honduras Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Honduras Summary In the present report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights describes the situation of human rights in Honduras from 1 January to 31 December 2018, with a focus on poverty and economic and social violence and inse the fight against corruption and im democratic and the situation of human rights defenders, journalists, indigenous peoples, women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. The High Commissioner also highlights some of the activities of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Honduras and concludes with recommendations. Annex Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Honduras I. Introduction On 4 May 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights signed an agreement with the Government of Honduras to establish a country office. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Honduras monitors the situation of human rights and provides capacity-building and technical assistance to State institutions and civil society organizations, with the overall goal of enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. **II. National context ** President Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado was sworn in on 27 January 2018, in a volatile social and political context following massive citizen protests against the outcome of the presidential election. Recognizing the existence of political divisions, the President called for an open national dialogue to find a way forward and heal the nation, asking the United Nations to support its facilitation. Several political parties and civil society organizations also called for United Nations support. In February 2018, the Department of Political Affairs conducted an exploratory mission to the country. Recognizing the existence of a longstanding political crisis, profound polarization within the society and distrust vis-à-vis “traditional politics”, it recommended the implementation of confidence-building measures before a dialogue could be established.1 4. On 28 August, following over six months of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations, the Government and three of the main political parties signed a joint “Commitment for Honduras” and established a mechanism for inter-party dialogue composed of four working groups on, respectively, the 2017 electoral process and the presidential re-election, human rights, constitutional reforms and the rule of law, and electoral reforms. The dialogue concluded on 11 December without any formal agreement.2 An amnesty proposal to address the legal situation of individuals accused of crimes committed in the context of the electoral protests was tabled but found no con there was no agreement on the holding of a referendum to reform the Constitution and abrogate the prohibition of presidential re-election. As reflected by the outcome of the United Nations-supported dialogue, the country remains profoundly polarized, and the fractures generated by the striking down of the presidential term limit established in the Constitution, allegations of fraud and involvement of criminal groups in the 2017 elections remain unhealed (A/HRC/37/3/Add.2, para. 3).
Impunity is pervasive, including for human rights violations, as shown by the modest progress made in the prosecution and trial of members of the security forces for the human rights violations committed in the context of the 2017 elections. Poverty and inequality are deep-rooted and a core cause of ongoing migration, as reflected in the participation of thousands of Hondurans in a caravan that left the country in October aiming for the United States of America. In an effort to strengthen State institutions in charge of the protection and promotion of human rights, the Ministry of Human Rights began operating on 27 January 2018. However, independent State institutions such as the Office of the National Commissioner for Human Rights (CONADEH) and the National Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CONAPREV) remain challenged, politically and financially.


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