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Honduras: UN experts visit to assess corporate respect for human rights

GENEVA (15 August 2019) – The United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights will undertake its first official country visit to Honduras from 19 to 28 August to assess efforts to identify, prevent and address adverse human rights impacts of business activities.

During the visit, the experts will look at current efforts and initiatives of the Honduran Government and businesses to discharge their respective human rights obligations and responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

“We welcome the invitation extended to the Working Group to visit Honduras as it indicates the Government’s willingness to strengthen efforts to promote corporate respect for human rights, including through the development of a comprehensive regulatory and policy framework on business and human rights.” said Dante Pesce, member of the Working Group.

“We will pay special attention to the situation of individuals and communities, such as indigenous peoples and human rights defenders, who are at heightened risk of business-related human rights abuses, particularly in the context of natural resource extraction projects and the energy sector,” said Working Group Member, Anita Ramasastry.

“We hope the visit will assist both the Government and companies to advance business respect for human rights in line with international human rights law and standards,” she added.

“In addition to engaging in a constructive dialogue with various Government ministries and agencies, we  will meet a range of civil society actors, human rights defenders and trade unions, as well as representatives of business enterprises”, concluded Pesce.

During their visit to Honduras, the experts will hold meetings in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula as well as in other locations, including in Colón and Francisco Morazán Departments.

At the end of their mission on Wednesday 28 August at 10:30, the experts will hold a press conference to present preliminary observations from their visit. It will be held at the Hotel Hyatt in Tegucigalpa. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Working Group will present a full report of its findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in June 2020.

ENDS

The Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises was established by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011. Its current members are: Mr. Surya Deva, Ms Elżbieta Karska (Chairperson), Mr. Githu Muigai (Vice-Chairperson), Mr. Dante Pesce, and Ms Anita Ramasastry.

The Working Group is 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 human rights monitoring mechanisms. The Working Group reports to the Human Rights Council and to the UN General Assembly. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. The experts are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 (resolution 17/4), provide the authoritative global standard for action to safeguard human rights in a business context, clarifying what is expected by governments and companies to prevent and address impacts on human rights arising from business activity.

UN Human Rights, country page – Honduras

For additional information and media requests please contact the Working Group Secretariat:
In Honduras (during the dates of the visit): Ms Federica Morvay, Human Rights Officer, Secretariat of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights, tel. (+ 504 9441 2860; email wg-business@ohchr.org)
In Geneva: Secretariat of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights: (+41 229179657, email wg-business@ohchr.org)

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

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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