World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Honduras human rights

Senior UN human rights official urges increased protection of human rights defenders after his visit to Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA/GENEVA (28 July 2017) – At the end of a three-day visit to Honduras, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Andrew Gilmour, underlined “the paramount need to increase protection for human rights defenders in Honduras.” Gilmour welcomed the strengthened cooperation between the newly-established UN Human Rights Office in Tegucigalpa and State institutions, adding that the goal of the Office is to support the Government in extending the protection of human rights in a highly challenging security environment and with upcoming elections.
In Honduras, Gilmour had meetings with State officials at the highest level, civil society representatives, as well as foreign ambassadors and the UN Country Team. After seeing the Head of the Organization of American States’ Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), as well as the National Commissioner for Human Rights, Gilmour underlined the essential work they are both doing and their key partnerships with the UN Human Rights Office.

“We are glad that the direct link between corruption and human rights abuses is increasingly recognized – for example, when concessions for land or natural resources are wrongfully granted and without consulting indigenous communities,” he said.

Gilmour welcomed recent steps taken by the Honduran Government such as the creation of a National Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and the announced upgrading of the Vice-Ministry for Human Rights to a full-fledged Ministry. After meeting NGO leaders, Gilmour said he was particularly troubled by the violence faced by courageous human rights defenders: women, LGBTI, land defenders and indigenous peoples.

“They are doing a tremendous service for the long-term future of Honduras and should never be attacked, punished or stigmatized,” he said.

Widespread impunity, horrific levels of violence, increased militarization of public security, restrictive access to family planning, as well as a disturbing increase in femicide and violence against women, were some of the issues brought to Gilmour’s attention during his visit. In his meetings, Gilmour reiterated that opening space for dialogue, access to information and meaningful participation in policy-making are key elements of a democratic society. He encouraged State officials to see human rights defenders as allies and useful agents of change.

He also warned against a reliance on harsh penal policies for juveniles and security-only approaches.

"Social investment and rehabilitation options would be far more likely to address the root causes of violence in Honduras,” Gilmour said.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: Violations Of Palestinian Rights Puts Two-State Solution At Risk, Chief Warns
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday... More>>

Oxfam: Afghanistan Faces Multiple Crises

ActionStation, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Christian World Service, Oxfam Aotearoa and World Vision New Zealand say that while Afghanistan faces chronic poverty, persistent droughts, war, the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic crisis, winter is about to bring a whole new set of challenges...More>>

AFTINET: New COVID Strain Postpones WTO Meeting

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Meeting scheduled for November 30-December 3 has been postponed indefinitely because the new Omicron strain of the COVID-19 virus in African countries with low vaccination rates prevents many African and other delegations from attending the meeting...

Focus On: UN SDGs

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>

Climate: ‘Vague’ Net Zero Promises Not Enough: Planet Still On Track For Catastrophic Heating, UN Report Warns

New and updated commitments made ahead of the pivotal climate conference COP26 in the past months are a positive step forward, but the world remains on track for a dangerous global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century even if fully met, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned... More>>