OHCHR-Honduras was established on 4 May 2015 by an agreement between the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Government of Honduras. The functions of OHCHR-Guatemala are to monitor the human rights situation and to provide technical cooperation and advice to State institutions and civil society. The Office officially opened in November 2016.
The thematic priorities and activities of OHCHR in Honduras are:
On Widening the Democratic Space, the Office will target actions related to human rights in the context of upcoming elections, as well as carry out a review of legal framework in the country to determine areas of engagement with Parliament.
It will work to support, within its mandate, the work being done by the OAS-backed mission to fight corruption, MACCIH; and work in improving human rights coverage in the media, and higher education. It will also focus efforts on protection of human rights defenders, including the recently approved mechanism for their protection. It will collaborate with the national human rights institution, CONADEH, and in supporting the implementation of the Public Policy on Human Rights, adopted in 2014.
In the area of Human Rights in Development and the Economic Sphere, the Office will focus on working in mainstreaming human rights in the UNDAF. It will also monitor selected development projects with regard to human rights and carry out advocacy efforts as appropriate; as well as disseminating the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Finally it will work on the issue of prior, informed consent with Indigenous Peoples.
On Early Warning of Conflict, Violence and Insecurity, the Office will work on improving the engagement of the international community on human rights issues, as well ensuring that institutions working on the subject of addressing violence and insecurity do so with human rights based approach.
For Combating Impunity, the Office will focus efforts on training and strengthening the Judiciary, improving the work of the Attorney General’s Office on investigation and human rights, and will address the issue of accountability of those institutions working in the security sector.
Finally, in the area of Universal Human Rights Mechanisms, it will work on improving reporting to the Treaty Bodies, as well as follow up to recommendations, including through building the capacity of the government’s national mechanisms for reporting and follow up (NMRF). In this area, it should be noted that the government of Honduras signed an agreement with Paraguay for the transfer of the follow up software known as SIMORE. OHCHR is not involved in this bilateral agreement and UPR Section in HQ is developing a national tracking of recommendations database as a more updated and comprehensive tool to facilitate States’ reporting and follow up activities.
The Office will also be preparing the annual report to the Human Rights Council.