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Honduras: UN expert announces visit to examine the situation of human rights defenders

GENEVA (27 April 2018) – UN Special Rapporteur Michel Forst has announced his first official visit to Honduras, from 29 April to 12 May, to assess the situation of human rights defenders and to review State efforts, progress and challenges in ensuring their protection and in enabling their important role.

“I want to find out whether human rights defenders are able to promote and protect human rights safely and with the protection and support of the authorities in Honduras in an enabling environment that facilitates their work,” said Mr. Forst.

The UN expert on the situation of human rights defenders will also examine whether and to what extent conditions have evolved for human rights defenders identified as “being at risk” by his predecessor Margaret Sekaggya during her visit to Honduras in 2012, and how the State has responded to her recommendations.

Mr. Forst will visit Tegucigalpa and other cities and villages around the country. He will meet State officials as well as human rights defenders, and a broad range of civil society representatives from various parts of the country.

“I intend to offer my technical cooperation to the Honduran authorities and my support to human rights defenders and civil society, to identify and address the challenges they face, and to seize the opportunity to increase support for their human rights work,” he added.

The Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary findings and recommendations at a news conference on Friday 11 May 2018, at 11:00 local time, at Hotel Plaza San Martín Colonia Palmira, Avenida República del Perú, in Tegucigalpa. Access to the news conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will present his findings to the 2019 March session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

ENDS

Mr. Michel Forst (France) was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in 2014. Mr. Forst has extensive experience of human rights issues and specifically of the situation of human rights defenders. He was the Director General of Amnesty International (France) and Secretary General of the first World Summit on Human Rights Defenders in 1998. He is a former UN Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Haiti.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page: Hondurashttp://www.oacnudh.hn
For additional information please contact: Adriana Zarraluqui +41 79-752 0485 (before/during the dates of the visit) / azarraluqui@ohchr.org)

For media requests and queries relating to the press conference on 11 May please contact, in Tegucigalpa, Evelyn Molina, Public Information Officer, consultantmolina@ohchr.org| +504.9441.2869

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Jeremy Laurence (+ 41 22 917 9383 /
jlaurence@ohchr.org)

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org

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