Press Release

IACHR Issues Protection Measures in Favor of Missing Woman and Her Children in Honduras

December 22, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - On December 21, 2020, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 97/2020 (link in Spanish), granting precautionary protection measures to Ms. D.P.A. and her children, whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their human rights.

According to the petition, Ms. D.P.A. was a victim of human trafficking in the form of servitude, as were her son and daughter, and a serious attempt was made on her life after she escaped captivity. After returning to her place of origin, she reportedly boarded a bus on December 3, 2020, since when her whereabouts have remained unknown.

The IACHR requested information on the case from the State, and received observations from it regarding initiatives implemented by its institutions to provide protective measures in favor of the beneficiaries and investigate the attempt on the life of Ms. D.P.A. However, the IACHR observed that despite two weeks having gone by since the beneficiary disappeared, no concrete information has been provided on her whereabouts or predicament, implying that her rights to life and personal integrity are seriously at risk.

Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that Honduras: a) adopt the necessary measures to determine the whereabouts of Ms. D.P.A, in order to protect their rights to life and personal integrity. Consequently, the IACHR urged the State to ensure that an effective search is carried out using the specialist mechanisms it has established for these purposes; b) take the necessary steps to protect Ms. D.P.A.’s son, B., and her daughter, K., in view of its duty to provide them with enhanced protection and in accordance with international standards on the matter; c) determine the measures to be adopted in consultation with the beneficiaries and their representative; and d) report on the actions it takes to investigate the allegations that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure so as to prevent them from being repeated.

The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its adoption by the state does not entail a prejudgment on any petition that may eventually be filed before the inter-American system to allege that the rights protected by the American Convention and other applicable instruments have been violated.

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. 310/20