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Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Friday, 8 May 2015 (Morning)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is not an official record, provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review, and does not cover all points addressed)

State under review

Honduras
The delegation was headed by Jorge Ramón Hernández Alcerro, Secretary of State and General Coordinator of the Government of Honduras.

Documents

To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit
the Honduras page on UPR website.

Troika *

Namibia, Paraguay, Republic of Korea.

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on Honduras page on UPR Extranet **)

  • Honduras was going through a new historic period evidenced by the guarantee of individuals’ and political rights, two general elections for president and has also witnessed a positive growth in the economy within the last five years;
  • Honduras has implemented 106 of the 129 recommendations made during its first UPR in 2010, or 82%; 20 of these were in the process of being fulfilled and only 3 recommendations have not yet been fulfilled;
  • The Penal Code was reformed to define the crime of forced disappearance of persons and the Government has brought domestic legislation on torture, discrimination and incitement to hatred in line with international standards;
  • The National Congress elected the new National Commissioner of Human Rights (CONADEH) which ran the Government’s "Vanguard Human Dignity Plan" and was in line with the Paris Principles; the Government also set up the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation which was in the process of fulfilling 69 of its 84 recommendations;
  • The Government has received five Special Procedures mandate holders whose recommendations were taken into account and has extended an invitation to the Special Rapporteurs on indigenous peoples and on the rights of IDPs;
  • The Government has taken strong measures to combat organised crime, aggravated by drug trafficking, and resulted in high homicide rates. Honduras was no longer the main bridge of drug trafficking between South and North America and homicide rates have fallen from 86.5 to 66.4 per 100,000 population;
  • The National Police has undergone a process of profound reform. In the first quarter of 2015 there were 117 complaints of alleged human rights violations by law enforcement officials. The Human Rights Directorate of the Ministry of Security carried out unannounced inspections to police stations to verify that sound human rights practices were followed;
  • The Government set up the office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Life which investigated killings of LGBT persons, journalists, lawyers, children and young people;
  • 549 femicide charges were filed and 203 convictions were made. Through the Government's concerted action, in 2014 and 2015 no murder or violent death resulted from domestic violence;
  • The Government established the National Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading (CONAPREV) which, in 2014, undertook more than 200 visits to various detention centres, most without notice, and has trained judicial officers, policemen, soldiers, prisoners and NGOs;
  • The government has taken steps to increase access to land for indigenous peoples. In the next thirty days eight land titles will be delivered to the Regional Councils of the Miskito people;
  • The head of delegation expressed the satisfaction of his Government for opening in Tegucigalpa of an office of the OHCHR in the near future. It was believed that Office will help to strengthen the national system of protection of human rights.

Participants

In total 60 States participated in the dialogue:  24 HRC members and 36 observers  (Statements available on Honduras page on UPR Extranet)

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The Establishment of the National Action Plan on Human Rights 2013 - 2022;
  • The amendments to the Criminal Code that brought the definitions of the crimes of torture and enforced disappearances in-line with international human rights instruments;
  • The incorporation of the offense of Femicide in the Criminal Code;
  • Measures taken towards combatting trafficking in human beings;
  • The ratification of the Convention on Stateless Persons, the Convention on Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol;
  • The opening of a local OHCHR office.

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • The persisting climate of violence and insecurity , including killings, against journalist, judges, human rights defenders,  and members of the indigenous and Afro-Honduran communities;
  • The failure of the authorities to exercise due diligence in investigation, prosecuting and punishing perpetrations of violence against certain groups;
  • The lack of financial resources which affects the State’s promotion and protection of human rights;
  • Violence against women;
  • The issue of unaccompanied child migrants;
  • The conditions in prisons.

Recommendations

States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Honduras.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To reinforce public institutions responsible for the investigation of crimes and the execution of criminal justice and to effectively fight impunity against the perpetrators of crimes against judges, journalists and human rights defenders;
  • To expedite the enactment of the Bill on the Protection of Journalists, Human Rights Defenders and Justice System Workers;
  • To strengthen measures aimed at eliminating domestic violence, including femicide;
  • To adopt measures to appropriately address the issue of unaccompanied children migrating through Honduras;
  • To strengthen and guarantee the autonomy, independence and impartiality of the judiciary;
  • To take concrete measures to implement the national action plan on human rights;
  • To guarantee protection and effective access to justice to women victims of violence;
  • To further the participation of poor, marginalized and vulnerable communities in the public sphere, such as Afro-Hondurans and indigenous communities;
  • To reduce overcrowding in prisons and juvenile detention centres;
  • To ensure the adoption of the Gender Identity Law currently before Congress;
  • To strengthen the National Commissioner for Human Rights and to bring it in-line with the Paris Principles;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women; the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and ILO Convention 189 on Domestic Workers.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Honduras is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 12 May 2015

*The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR.

** For access to the UPR Extranet, please fill out the following form to receive a username and password

Media contacts:

Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org
Cédric Sapey, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9695, csapey@ohchr.org

 

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