IACHR Press Office
Tegucigalpa—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presents the preliminary observations from its on-site visit to Honduras, which took place between April 24 and 28, 2023, and sought to find out more about the human rights situation on the ground.
The preliminary observations draw attention to the progress the country has made and the challenges it continues to face in relation to inequality and poverty; public health; education; violence, with a differentiated impact on women and citizen security; the independence of the judiciary; access to justice; and social, environmental, and territorial conflicts. They also analyze problems that particularly affect groups that have historically experienced discrimination and exclusion, such as indigenous people and people of African descent, women, children, and adolescents, LGBTI people, elderly people, people in mobility, human rights defenders and people deprived of liberty.
The Commission recognizes that underlying the human rights challenges in Honduras is a complex situation that involves longstanding structural factors and problems that cannot be postponed any further.
The IACHR held 87 meetings with authorities from all three branches of government; autonomous bodies, civil society organizations, human rights defenders, indigenous communities, people deprived of liberty, international organizations, academics, journalists, and representatives from the private sector. It also gathered testimonies from victims of human rights violations and their families. To hold these meetings, the delegation traveled to the cities of La Esperanza, Tegucigalpa, Tela, San Juan, and San Pedro Sula and visited four prisons.
The IACHR wishes to thank the State of Honduras for its openness to international scrutiny, which it expressed through its consent to the visit and frank, constructive dialogue with the IACHR at the highest level. Likewise, the IACHR appreciates the information put forward by various state institutions and civil society organizations. It also values the support provided by the National Office of the Organization of American States in Honduras, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and other United Nations Offices.
The delegation was led by the President of the IACHR, Margarette May Macaulay; the Second Vice-President, Roberta Clarke; Commissioner Carlos Bernal Pulido, Rapporteur for Honduras; and Commissioners Julissa Mantilla Falcón, Joel Hernández, and Stuardo Ralón. The delegation also included the Executive Secretary, Tania Reneaum Panszi; the Chief of Staff, Patricia Colchero, the Assistant Executive Secretary, María Claudia Pulido; the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Pedro Vaca; the Special Rapporteur for Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights, Soledad García Muñoz; and experts from the IACHR's Executive Secretariat.
It is essential for the State to promote a sincere, open dialogue with all sectors, including political dissidents, and to guarantee the active participation of groups that have historically been excluded and discriminated against in the country. This is the only way for the State to be able to provide an integrated, effective response to these needs to rebuild all the population's trust in public institutions.
A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.