Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considers the Report of Honduras

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights today concluded its consideration of the second periodic report of Honduras on its implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Introducing the report, Licenciado Ricardo Leonel Cardona, State Secretary, Ministry for Development and Social Inclusion of Honduras, condemned the murder of Berta Cáceres, a leader in the defence of indigenous rights, and said that the crime would not go unpunished.  Over the past five years, Honduras had significantly improved its legal and policy framework, including on social issues and poverty reduction, social protection, education, equality and gender equality, and combatting racism and racial discrimination.  Focusing the social policies on the poorest households had reduced the levels of extreme poverty, from 46 per cent of the poor households in 2005 to 40 per cent in 2015.  The Better Life Programme supported 1.2 million families living in extreme poverty with various measures such as conditional cash transfers, adequate housing with water and sanitation, good nutrition and school meals, and family and community vegetable gardens.  Significant efforts to safeguard the foremost of human rights – the right to life – had seen a reduction in murder rates, from 86.5 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011 to 56.74 in 2015.  The draft law on prior, free and informed consent N°169, completed in March 2016, was now in the consultation process with indigenous peoples, and Honduras was implementing the second Equality and Gender Equality Plan via the Municipal Offices for Women in 34 municipalities with a high rate of violence.

During the interactive dialogue, Committee Experts took note of the many challenges Honduras was grappling with, such as extreme poverty, social exclusion, inequalities, and violence.  Expressing their concern about the high rates of violence against women and impunity for those crimes, they asked how the prohibition of femicide was being implemented in practice and about efforts to protect women and prevent violence.  Sixteen human rights defenders had been killed in Honduras over the past several years, including Berta Cáceres: what measures were in place to ensure that activists and human rights defenders could operate without fear of violence and to investigate and punish the perpetrators?  Corruption was an issue of concern and the delegation was asked whether any of those responsible for the embezzlement of 350 million dollars from the Ministry for Social Affairs had been tried and sentenced.  They recognized the efforts and the many programmes and structures addressing the employment of different population groups, but wondered about efficiency and costs, and whether Honduras would not be better served by one national employment policy with one solid structure with adequate implementation and monitoring capacity.  Honduras had one of the most prohibitive abortion laws in the world, which even prohibited the abortion of pregnancies resulting from rape and violence, and this put the lives and health of many women and girls at risk.

In concluding remarks, Mikel Mancisidor De La Fuente, Member of the Committee and Rapporteur for the report of Honduras, stressed the importance of ensuring that best practice was included in the framework law on prior consultation which was under preparation.  The debate on the tax system, and the reform of the Penal Code were an excellent opportunity to include the Committee’s comments and recommendation, including on abortion.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Cardona recognized the significant inequalities in Honduras and that there were social groups that had been marginalized for 500 years.  The current Government would give its utmost to address those inequalities and to become one of the most equal countries in the world.

The delegation of Honduras consisted of representatives of the Ministry for Development and Social Inclusion, Ministry for Work and Social Protection, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry for Human Rights and Justice, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Mines, Directorate for Indigenous Peoples and Afro Hondurans, Directorate for Analysis and Evaluation of Public Policies, and the Permanent Mission of Honduras to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee will meet in public at 3 p.m. today, 9 June, to start its consideration of the initial report of Burkina Faso (E/C.12/BFA/1).

The country reviews can be watched via live webcast at http://www.treatybodywebcast.org.

Report

The second periodic report of Honduras can be read via the following link: E/C.12/HND/2

Presentation of the Report

LICENCIADO RICARDO LEONEL CARDONA, State Secretary, Ministry for Development and Social Inclusion of Honduras, introducing the report, condemned the murder of Berta Cáceres, human rights defender and the leader in the defense of indigenous rights, and said that the crime would not go unpunished.  The past 15 years had been a tricky journey in recognizing the human rights of all.  Honduras had adopted over the past five years a range of laws and policies, including the Law on the Vision of the Country and the Plan for the Nation, the Framework Law of Public Policy on Social Issues and Poverty Reduction, the Framework Law on Social Protection, the Fundamental Law on Education, as well as policies for integral development and early childhood, equality and gender equality, rights of persons with disabilities and social inclusion, and the policy to fight racism and racial discrimination.  Honduras was committed to transparency, accountability and the fight against corruption, including through the International Transparency Convention, the implementation of the Plan for Open Government, transparency in state purchases, and others.  The recommendations received from the two cycles of the Universal Periodic Review had been incorporated in the National Action Plan on Human Rights; of those, 430 recommendations had been implemented over the past three years.  Mr. Cardona recalled that Honduras was a multilingual and multicultural country, with seven indigenous peoples and people of African descent present throughout the country.

Focusing the social policies on the poorest households had resulted in the reduction of the levels of extreme poverty, from 46 per cent of the poor households in 2005 to 40 per cent in 2015.  The Government had deployed significant efforts in protecting the foremost of all human rights, the right of life, as evidenced by the reduction in murder rates, from 86.5 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011 to 56.74 homicides in 2015.  The draft law on prior, free and informed consent N°169, completed in March 2016, was now in the consultation process with indigenous people.  Honduras was implementing the second Equality and Gender Equality Plan via the Municipal Offices for Women in 34 municipalities with a high rate of violence; the scope would be extended to another 60 municipalities in 2016.  A holistic protection policy for persons with disabilities had been approved in 2013, and 13,272 persons with disabilities had been included in the Better Life Platform.  Awareness raising projects on the rights of persons with disabilities and their inclusion in the society were being implemented, such as HONDURAS INCLU 100%.  The Better Life Programme components were unconditional cash transfers, adequate housing with water and sanitation, good nutrition and school meals, and family and community vegetable gardens.  More than 1.2 million households living in poverty and extreme poverty had benefitted from various components of the programme over the past two years.  There were 21,408 public and 3,430 private schools around the country.  There had been considerable progress in achieving universal access to basic education and in the inclusion of the socially excluded.  The budget allocated to education in 2016 amounted to 5.23 per cent of the gross domestic product.  In closing, Mr. Cardona said that the review was an opportunity for Honduras to show the efforts the country had made over the last 15 years to improve conditions of life, reduce poverty as a manifestation of the inequalities, and generate development through concrete actions to implement the provisions of the Covenant.

Questions by the Committee Experts

MIKEL MANCISIDOR DE LA FUENTE, Member of the Committee and Rapporteur for the report of Honduras, noted that since the last dialogue with Honduras, a lot had happened and during this time, Honduras had grappled with many challenges, including extreme poverty, social exclusion, inequalities, and violence, including violence against women and against human rights defenders.  The Country Rapporteur recalled that the periodic reports by States parties must be drawn up hand in hand with civil society, and said that alternative reports that the Committee had received claimed that the process was not truly participative and that many civil society organizations had felt left out.  The Human Rights Commission had a B status and the delegation was asked what the barriers were and which challenges must be overcome to ensure its compliance with the Paris Principles.  What system was in place to ensure progressive taxation and so ensure that the country had the resources it needed?

Climate change was one of the greatest challenges to the elimination of poverty and socio-economic inequalities, as it was the small-scale farmers, los campesinos, who suffered the most from the disastrous impact of El Niño.  The delegation was asked how human rights were integrated into the drought preparedness strategy, to which extent various international instruments such as the Sendai Framework were taken into account, and about the access of los campesinos to various financial instruments such as loans and credits, which were crucial for building resilience.

Another Expert asked how civil society would be involved in the follow-up to the concluding observations of the Committee, the normative framework for anti-discrimination and the obstacles to achieving an environment free of discrimination.  The military and defence budget had increased by more than 100 per cent, while that for health and education had increased by only 11 per cent for the same period, which begged the question as to how Honduras implemented its obligation to ensure the maximum use of available resources for the improvement of living conditions and the elimination of poverty.

Sixteen human rights defenders had been killed in Honduras over the past several years, including Berta Cáceres, whose assassination in March this year had scared other human rights defenders, because if she was killed with impunity, no one was safe.  What measures were in place to ensure that activists and human rights defenders could operate without fear of violence, including establishing a special unit to investigate the violence?

What legal protection was accorded to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons community, including protection from discrimination and violence?  Corruption was well known and it was also known that there had been 20 convictions for corruption: who were those convicted, how long the sentences were, and did they include anyone responsible for the embezzlement of 350 million dollars from the Ministry for Social Affairs.

Another Committee Expert expressed serious concern about the widespread violence against women, including murders, and asked how the prohibition of femicide in the Penal Code was implemented in practice, and what efforts Honduras employed to prevent the violence.

There were many different programmes and structures concerning employment and targeting different people, but the question was how they were coordinated, how they targeted the people and, above all, whether this multitude of programmes was really the best use of resources; maybe Honduras would be better served by one national employment policy with one solid structure with the capacity to monitor and implement the programme?  The prevalence of temporary and hourly contracts – a process that had been adopted as an emergency measure several years ago, increased job insecurity and excluded workers from the social security system.  Could the delegation explain the system of social security, what was the percentage of people covered by the system, which risks were covered, and if the informal sector workers were included in it?  Another Expert noted that 15 years ago, the Committee had expressed concern that only one third of the population had been covered by the social security system; what was the situation today?

MIKEL MANCISIDOR DE LA FUENTE, Member of the Committee and Rapporteur for the report of Honduras, noted that States parties to the Covenant had an obligation to ensure that the minimum wage was sufficient to provide living for workers and their families and asked what system was in place to ensure that it really did so.

WALEED SADI, Committee Chairperson, remarked that Honduras was very keen to meet its Covenant obligations and asked how relevant the Covenant was to decision and policy makers.

Replies by the Delegation

The delegation explained that the periodic report had been drafted by the previous administration, and that the current Government had tried to make up the time in presenting the report which was overdue, and had cooperated with civil society organizations.  With regard to the question of extending the network for free and prior consent, the delegation stressed that this was an issue of utmost importance in Honduras and that representatives of nine indigenous groupings were participating in the consultations on the draft law on free, prior and informed consent.  A strong Ombudsmen figure was crucial in moving the national human rights institution from status B to status A, and for that to happen, the allocation of adequate resources was crucial.  Those resources would enable the Ombudsman to be present at the grass-root level and network with all those who needed the services.  Honduras had established a new Ministry for Human Rights, and the work with local authorities on human rights was ongoing.  Honduras must use its budget as extensively as possible; the Government had put in place very clear fiscal and taxation policies to manage the deficits it had inherited from the previous government.  The increase in sales tax from 12 to 15 per cent had enabled the Government to finance all its social programmes without the need for external funds or loans.

Honduras was well aware of the disaster risks it was exposed to.  The National System for Risk Management (CINAHER) was very active in preparing the country and communities for disasters.  The network of weather centres was being extended to improve early warning of floods, and there was cooperation with other actors on mitigation and adaptation to climate change.  The “dry corridor” was the most vulnerable to drought, and there were initiatives to improve water harvesting in those areas.

Any environmental concession must be issued as per very specific criteria, first and foremost was the request for consultation with the people living in the area, in the absence of which the license was not granted.  This was also applicable to mining activities.  Any opposition from indigenous peoples and people of African descent would halt the issuing of the license.  A new law on indigenous people was being formulated in consultation with the indigenous people; it would also contain specific measures against racial discrimination.  It was hoped that the draft law could be presented for adoption to Parliament in October this year.

One of the most important measures to ensure that the legal framework for anti-discrimination was appropriate was the amendment of the Penal Code, relating to sentences for offenders and the list of grounds for discrimination.  In 2016, the social development budget was 19 per cent and that of the Ministry of Defence was 7 per cent.

The protection of human rights defenders was a priority for the Government, which had presented a draft bill for the protection of human rights defenders, media, social communicators, and judicial officials, which Congress had approved in spring 2015.  Honduras worked hand-in-hand with human rights non-governmental organizations and with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in this matter, and tried to follow the Colombian and Mexican models.  The investigation into the murder of Berta Cáceres was ongoing; it was important to put, in Berta’s honour, a mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders.

Honduras was the first country in the world to sign the International Transparency Convention and last week had approved the establishment of anti-corruption courts whose judges would be supervised by the Organization of American States.  The Social Security Institute had been racked by problems during the previous Government.  All members of the Management Board were now facing charges and its directors were being held in pre-trial detention on charges of corruption.  The new Framework Law on Social Protection proposed the extension of coverage to all Hondurans; the coverage now was one third of the population.

Municipal Women’s Offices had been created in 33 municipalities with the highest rate of violence against women, and another 62 were being opened this year.  Since 2014, there was a special investigation unit devoted to the investigation of femicide, which was the most frequent of all women’s rights violations; the Unit had been strengthening this year with additional investigators in order to address the low prosecution rates.  The Violence Prevention Unit in the Women’s National Institute was focusing on campaigns to prevent violence against women, which were focused on 10 municipalities with a high level of violence against women.  Significant progress had been made in preventing violence and crime; a centre had been set up for women victims of violence and a campaign against violence had been rolled out in municipalities most affected by violence.

There was indeed a wide range of employment programmes, which were mainly sectoral plans for the creation of decent workplaces.  Early Employment was an emergency programme which provided hourly contracts only in certain sectors of the economy, such as shops and restaurants.  The employers were given a time-frame for turning those contracts into permanent ones.  As far as minimum wage was concerned, it was the representatives of workers and companies which made an agreement in each sector, without the need for the State to intervene.  The new social insurance system was a major concern for the administration; a social protection framework law had been adopted which would ensure the adoption of the law on the National Social Institute and the law on the National Pension Institute.  A law on the employment of persons with disabilities established the quota of 10 per cent for persons with disabilities.  Currently, 20.5 per cent of the population had social security coverage.

Follow-up Questions by the Committee Experts

The agrarian conflict between smallholders and agro-companies was of great concern to the Committee, particularly in the Bajo Aguán region where some 120 campesinos had been killed over the past five years.  Was there a more structural approach to the problem of conflict over land and water, with policies focused on supporting campesinos as principal producers of food for local communities?  What were the results achieved under the Framework Law on the Right to Food?

The poverty rate was 63 per cent in rural areas and 64 per cent in urban areas.  The strategies to address poverty included social transfers, but their impact was questionable because Honduras was a country with very low social security coverage.  The taxation system in Honduras was very unfair and Experts wondered if it was actually applying a regressive rather than progressive tax policy: the poorest spent 50 per cent of their income on tax while the rich spent 25 or 30 per cent.  The increase in sales tax to finance social programmes had hurt the poor.

The delegation was asked about forced evictions of farmers and their families from farms, some of which were done with the use of force by the military and private security agents, and without any compensation; all those forced evictions ran contrary to the provisions of the Covenant and the guidance of the Committee in this regard.  Questions were also raised about policies and actions to combat the recruitment of children by mares (gangs); and plans to repeal the law on abortion, which was one of the most restrictive in the world, prohibiting abortion even in cases of rape.

Experts also inquired about the results of the National Action Plan on worst forms of child labour; support services for street children, particularly in the view of preventing their trafficking and recruitment by gangs; access to emergency contraceptives for women and girls victims of violence; and measures to ensure that indigenous people enjoyed good levels of health and nutrition.

A Committee Expert asked about the Guardians of the Nation programme and the illiteracy rate among indigenous peoples, and stressed the links between access to education and reduction in poverty.  Could the delegation say more about the 2016-2030 education plans?  Another Expert said that the real problem was inequality in access to education and welcomed the intention of Honduras to make pre-school education universal; what specific strategy was there to put this in place?

MIKEL MANCISIDOR DE LA FUENTE, Member of the Committee and Rapporteur for the report of Honduras, stressed that the delegation had insisted on a formal involvement of civil society by privileging what they called “socialization ” or simple consultation, perhaps at the expense of participation.  There were 20,000 children in the street, and this was one of the most  serious and most painful manifestations of the problems of the country.  The legislation and rules on abortion of Guatemala and El Salvador might show the way forward to Honduras in this regard; all the while respecting the culture of the country, abortion should be considered within the context of the right to health and the right to life.  What goals was Honduras setting for itself for the next several years in terms of improving the quality of education?

Replies by the Delegation

All agreed that the conflict in Bajo Aguán region was a human right priority for the Honduran Government.  It was important to shore up investigations and look into the alleged murder of 128 campesinos and also to look into solutions to the conflict there.  The association of campesinos and the Government had reached an agreement on the solution to the conflict in 2010, following which Congress had adopted the degree in 2011 to allocate resources for the region, and pay for the land there.  In April 2014, the Government started dialogue with human rights organizations in order to find a comprehensive solution to the conflict in the region and also to ensure the protection of human rights defenders.  The Prosecutor’s Office had opened a special unit to investigate the alleged murders of campesinos and the Interconstitutional Committee to tackle the conflict in Bajo Aguán had been established.  In an attempt to bolster peasant organizations to purchase land, administrative and technical assistance had been provided to associations of campesinos and activities were ongoing on building capacity of those groups, particularly in palm plantations.

The mechanism to bolster food security in the country had been put in place in 2014; for example, prior to this, Honduras had to import beans, one of the principal food items in the national diet, while today, Honduras was a beans exporter.  The food security mechanism was a part of the Financing for the Agricultural Sector (FIRSA), and other programmes concerned water harvesting and adequate access of the population to fresh meat, and Honduras was now looking into a major project of production of basic grains.  The 2020 employment regeneration plan did include the agricultural sector as one of the priority areas for job creation, particularly looking to the food security of the country.

The delegation provided disaggregated data on poverty, saying that the relative poverty rate in 2001 stood at 19.5 per cent, and it had grown to 23.8 per cent in 2015.  There had been a drop by 4 per cent in extreme poverty rates, from 44 per cent in 2001 to 40 per cent in 2015, which Honduras considered an achievement due to targeted social policies.  A comprehensive social policy system, called Better Life Platform, had been set up to address extreme poverty.  Conditional cash transfers for health and education were provided to poor families who had to ensure regular health checks for the children under the age of five and regular school attendance of older children.  Better Life Scheme ensured access to food security and nutrition through school meals which reached 1.4 million children in public schools nation-wide.  Recipients of aid received training and capacity building to facilitate integration in the world of work, and there was advice on parenting and health, as well as promotion programmes.

In June 2016, there were two recognized maras (gangs) in Honduras: Mara Salvatrucha had 2,500 members of which almost 40 per cent were in prison, and Barrio 18 had 900 members, of whom 504 were behind bars.

The poor did not pay tax and 281 basic items usually purchased by the poor were exempt from the sales tax.  The taxation policy was progressive and had been designed to narrow the income gap; the draft tax code was about to be submitted to Congress.

Violence against women was of utmost concern to the State.  Special investigative units had been set up in order to tackle impunity for crimes against women.  There were currently six shelters for women victims of domestic violence throughout the country; Honduras agreed with the concern expressed by the Committee related to the insufficient number of shelters.  Honduras was in the process of putting in place a protection programme, Women Friendly Cities Programmes, which aimed to ensure the safety of women aged 15 and above.  The aim was to increase the number of women in jobs and their access to health, reduce the incidence of sexual and other forms of violence, and also reduce the number of teenage pregnancies.

Honduras was very active in addressing the worst forms of child labour, as foreseen in the Road Map to Eliminate Child Labour, and had signed a decree which would set up a high-level commission on child labour.  Honduras was aware of the seriousness of this problem.  The Bright Future Programme aimed to reduce the number of children in work in coffee plantations and fisheries, and would seek to put in place measures to encourage children not to work in hazardous occupations.

Child mortality for indigenous people stood at 43.5 per 1,000 live births, for people of African descent it was 39 deaths per 1,000 live births, while the national rate was 35 per cent.  Throughout the country, on average 24 per cent of children suffered from chronic malnutrition, while the rate in some indigenous territories went up to 50 per cent.  Malnutrition affected indigenous children and adults alike.  The illiteracy rate in the country stood at 30 per cent and there were indications of higher rates among the indigenous populations, but hard data was not available.

Migration was a matter of priority, particularly from a human rights point.  In 2014, Honduras had set up the Secretariat for Migration and adopted the Law on the Protection of Honduran Migrants and Their Families.  It enabled a joined up approach in the provision of support to migrants en route, in the country of destination and upon return; it had established a solidarity fund for the support of migrants, which was nationally funded; and had set up the Office for Protection and Office for Assistance to Returning Migrants.  There were currently three returnee migrants centres of the highest quality in regional terms.  In order to address the root causes of migration in the region, The Central American Northern Triangle Programme had been put in place, for which the United States Congress had approved 750 million dollars in funding, and Honduras would allocate 20 million dollars from its national resources, to be used to fund activities for the next five years.  The aim was to improve the socio-economic situation in the three triangle countries, reduce violence, and improve security, transparency and governance.  Honduras today was not only a country of destination but also a transit country, with more than 25,000 undocumented migrants reaching the country in 2015.

An Inter-institutional Commission for the Protection of Persons Displaced by Violence had been put in place.  A report on the phenomena had been published in November 2015, which stated that the phenomenon affected 20 municipalities from which 21,000 households had been displaced by violence between 2004 and 2014.

Extraordinary efforts had been made to gradually improve the situation of indigenous people and people of African descent and put in place structural solutions to the problem.  A comprehensive and differentiated plan had been envisaged which would allow for the road map to be put in place in this respect.  The Ministry of Education had set up a unit for multi-lingual education, which ensured training of teachers in each village to ensure teaching in indigenous levels and thus reduce illiteracy.  Measures to improve the health and food security of those populations were also being implemented.  Together with the Energy Services, electricity had been provided in La Flor mountain where the Tolupan lived, and there was an important programme for commercial potato growing.  Montaña de la flor was a very important project which could be a model to follow.

In their follow-up questions, a Committee Expert inquired about the participation of civil society in the follow-up to this review, the impact of the Penal Code reform to expand the anti-discrimination framework, and data on the number of hourly contracts which were transformed into permanent ones.  The delegation was also asked about the results of the 2011 Decree N° 161 which addressed the agrarian conflict in Bajo Aguán and authorised financial resources to enablecampesinos to buy land at a very low interest rate, and about public policies which offered the protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons and the reform of the abortion law.

MIKEL MANCISIDOR DE LA FUENTE, Member of the Committee and Rapporteur for Honduras, asked about the situation of street children and about access to primary education.

Responding to the question related to the participation of civil society in the follow-up, a delegate said that following the approval in April 2016 of the Protection Law for Human Rights Defenders, Journalists, Social Communicators and Justice Officials, the National Protection Council had been established, composed of representatives of human rights defenders organizations and all other organizations covered by the law.  The work was ongoing to set up a Permanent Forum for Dialogue on Human Rights, which would ensure the participation of civil society organizations in the human rights policies and activities.

The Constitution did not yet recognize civil unions or same sex marriage.  Congress was currently drafting the reform of the Penal Code; the Congress and the Reform Committee would discuss the reform of the abortion law.

It was very important to have an official register of children living in street situations and a delegate said that the figure of 20,000 children came from non-governmental organizations.  At the moment, 144 children living in the street had been cared for by the State.  Honduras was putting in place a census to collect data on street children in order to develop appropriate protection strategies, as well as to develop measures to target families in order to prevent the phenomenon.

Congress had issued a prohibition of sale and use of emergency contraception, while a decree by the Ministry of Health prohibited the sale of emergency pill in pharmacies.  The law applied to all on an equal footing and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons had a direct role in defining human rights policy in the country and the plan on furthering human rights, which also contained a section on the recognition of rights.

The problem in the health system was that it did not cover all the population; geography played an important role in this regard, as 80 per cent of the country was mountainous, making access difficult.  The Ministry of Health was seeking to decentralize its services, particularly in primary health care, and had put in place pilot programmes to provide greater grassroots healthcare in remote areas.

There were two types of tax breaks for the poorest, one on income and another on the basic basket of goods: lowest wages were tax exempt, and sales tax did not apply on the basic basket of goods.  Honduras was currently discussing the reform of the tax code, with the aim to address the most urgent problem of significant income inequalities.

Over the last two years, 25,000 public officials had been trained in human rights, and the training programmes were also trying to foster a culture of peace.  Honduras intended to include human rights education in schools through the new subject of civic education.

Concluding Remarks

MIKEL MANCISIDOR DE LA FUENTE, Member of the Committee and Rapporteur for the report of Honduras, thanked the delegation for engaging in the honest and sincere dialogue.  Many references were made to programmes and plans rather than data and the Country Rapporteur was looking forward to hearing more in the future.  Honduras was working on the framework law on prior consultation and it was important to ensure that the global best practice was included.  The debate on the tax system was an excellent opportunity to engage in dialogue and incorporate the Committee’s recommendations.  The reforms of the Penal Code would offer good opportunity to include the Committee’s comments, including on abortion.

LICENCIADO RICARDO LEONEL CARDONA, State Secretary, Ministry for Development and Social Inclusion of Honduras, recognized the significant inequalities in Honduras and that there were social groups that had been marginalized for 500 years.  The current Government would give its utmost to address those inequalities and to become one of the most equal countries in the world.

WALEED SADI, Committee Chairperson, said that this was a cordial and friendly dialogue during which the Committee had learned a lot.  The concluding observations on the report of Honduras would be made public on Monday, 27 June. – See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20079&LangID=E#sthash.OwKYldV8.dpuf

Origen: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20079&LangID=E

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