Press Release

IACHR Ends Follow-Up Visit to Honduras

June 5, 2019

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Washington, DC—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) conducted a working visit to Honduras between May 22 and 24, 2019, to follow up on the on-site visit it paid to the country in July 2018. The purpose of the visit was to follow up on compliance with the recommendations the IACHR made in its Preliminary Observations on the 2018 visit. The IACHR delegation was led by Commissioner Joel Hernández, in his capacity as rapporteur for Honduras, and included the special rapporteur on economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights, Soledad García Muñoz, and technical staff from the executive secretariat.

During the visit, Commissioner Joel Hernández held high-level dialogues with state authorities, including representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Human Rights Secretariat, the Office of the Attorney General, the Protection System Department, the Department for Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Peoples, the National Agrarian Institute, the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, and the Office of the Under-Secretary for Consular and Migratory Affairs. The topics discussed at the dialogue included the predicaments of human rights defenders and indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples and the Honduran System for Monitoring Human Rights Recommendations (SIMOREH). The IACHR delegation also met with representatives from civil society organizations, human rights defenders, indigenous and Afro-Honduran leaders, international organizations, and private-sector representatives.

The IACHR and the state of Honduras also made significant progress toward establishing a special technical advisory board as part of the process of complying with the IACHR’s human rights recommendations. Commissioner Joel Hernández stressed that this mechanism “is a valuable opportunity for advancing the human rights agenda in Honduras through cooperation between the IACHR and the state.”

During the visit, the IACHR also received reports on the human rights situation of Nicaraguans who have been forced to flee to Honduras as a result of the crisis that began in Nicaragua on April 18, 2018. This initiative is part of the work monitoring the human rights situation of the Nicaraguan diaspora in the Americas which the IACHR is carrying out through its Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI). The IACHR met with state authorities, civil society organizations, and Nicaraguans who shared their testimonies.

The IACHR wishes to thank the government of Honduras for being open to this visit, which led to frank, constructive dialogue at the highest levels. It also applauds the government’s willingness to move toward establishing a special technical advisory board as part of the process of complying with the IACHR’s human rights recommendations. The IACHR is grateful to Honduran civil society organizations for playing a part in this process and sharing information. It also wishes to thank the people who gave testimony.

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.

No. 142/19