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Honduras reviewed by the UPR
Tuesday, 16 November 2010 16:25

 

Honduras underwent its review by the Working Group on the UPR on 4 November 2010. The delegation of Honduras was headed by Ms Maria Antonieta Guillen de Bogran, Vice President of Honduras, who openly acknowledged some of the country's human rights shortcomings. In her opening statement, she recalled Honduras had recently emerged from an institutional and political crisis and professed the Government's commitment to addressing the human rights violations committed before, during and after the coup d'état of 28 June 2009, which saw the murder of many journalists, systematic violence against the media and widespread violence. To this end it had established the Truth Commission tasked with investigating events surrounding the coup. On the issue of killings, however, she insisted that they were not politically motivated but related to organised crime.

 

During the interactive dialogue, States recognised the Government's efforts to improve the human rights situation, such as the establishment of a commission to protect children and adolescents from sexual exploitation, the building of schools, the abolition of the death penalty, and particularly its extension of an open invitation to international human rights bodies.

 

Restrictions on freedom of expression and killings of journalists stood out as the concern most frequently raised by States and they urged Honduras to step up its legislation and security measures in this regard. Other grave concerns included trafficking and sexual exploitation of women, discrimination and violent crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, torture and arbitrary detention by law enforcement officials, and discrimination against indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples. Many States highlighted the need for a strengthened judicial system and independent criminal investigations to reduce these crimes and combat impunity, particularly amongst military and police officials. Slovakia noted with concern the disciplinary proceedings against and dismissal of judges who are critical of the State.

Recommendations to the State included in particular:

  • Take prompt and effective steps to protect human rights defenders and media workers from violent attacks and ensure freedom of expression
  • Investigate the unlawful use of force against LGBT persons by law enforcement officials
  • Strengthen efforts to eradicate child abuse, child labour and sexual exploitation of children, and incorporate into national legislation the prohibition of all forms of corporal punishment of children
  • Bring national legislation into line with international standards, in particular in relation to non-discrimination and equality, freedom of expression, forced disappearance, strengthening the judicial system, and reducing impunity
  • Adopt measures to put an end to arbitrary detention, torture and illegal centres of detention Ensure the independence and proper funding of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, so it can fulfil its mandate
  • Protect the rights of minorities including those of indigenous peoples

The UPR report was adopted with one minor textual change replacing the word 'murders' with 'killings' of journalists. Honduras accepted 116 out of 129 recommendations, many of which overlapped or were essentially identical in meaning. The delegation said these recommendations were entirely in line with the State's ideal of consolidating human rights and that it would provide responses to the remaining 13 once it had consulted with the appropriate bodies to analyse their feasibility in practice, no later than the 16th session of the Human Rights Council in March 2011.

 
© by The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) 2018