20 August 2016
I conducted a working visit to El Salvador from 11 to 14 August 2016, a follow-up visit to Honduras* from 15 to 17 August 2016 and a working visit to Mexico from 18 to 19 August 2016. I would like to sincerely thank these Governments for their cooperation with my mandate during the preparation and conduct of my visit. The following statement represents my findings based on my visit and consultations with different stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental. Ongoing internal displacement in Central America due to various causes, including displacement triggered by widespread criminal and gang related violence, has a devastating impact on the lives of those affected and requires preventative action and measures to protect the rights of IDPs.
My visit to El Salvador presented a unique opportunity to start consulting with Government representatives and other stakeholders on the current challenges with regard to IDP protection and assistance in the country. I welcome the willingness of the Government to carry out a profiling exercise with concrete outcomes on how to address internal displacement in El Salvador.
My follow-up visit to Honduras was a further opportunity to discuss initiatives to prevent and respond to internal displacement and implement the recommendations of my report following my mission in November last year. I commend the Government for the measures taken to establish a legal framework for the protection of internally displaced persons and criminalise the offence of criminal gang related displacement, as well as to facilitate IDPs' protection and assistance in the short term based on the recommendations in my report. I encourage the Government of Honduras to now continue working towards the strengthening of such measures.
I was pleased with the outcome of the discussions with the Mexican Senate on opportunities to establish a normative and institutional framework for protection following the recent amendments to the Constitution. I also welcomed the willingness of the Government to undertake a study of the various forms of displacement in order to pave the way for concrete measures.
In conclusion, I would like once again to thank these Governments for their cooperation with my mandate. I look forward to continuing my constructive dialogue with all of them
and to identifying areas of practical engagement. I would also like to thank the United Nations Offices of the Resident Coordinator, OHCHR and UNHCR, amongst other UN agencies for their work to facilitate my visits in all respects.
* To see the Special Rapporteur’s report on his official visit to Honduras in 2015, please visit: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/32/35/Add.4