Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: Contribution to Country Office Honduras

Project completed

Human Rights promotion and protection in Honduras does not live up to international standards nor does it comply with international commitments as shown by the 2010 Universal Periodic review of the Human Rights Council. On demand of the Government of Honduras the UN is establishing a Country Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2015. The office will combat impunity and strengthen the capacities of governmental entities and CSO-institutions to protect human rights.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Human rights
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
01.06.2015 - 31.12.2017
CHF  2’100’000

Honduras faces severe structural problems that are aggravated by deteriorating socio-economic, political and security conditions.  The coup d’état of 2009 exacerbated this situation. Violence, impunity, discrimination and inequity are the underlying reasons. Acting upon recommendations to improve human rights protection (truth commission, United Nations human rights mechanisms) is pending. Lacking capacities and competences and above all limited political will are the main obstacles.


The program contributes to the strengthening of rule of law and the protection and promotion of human rights in Honduras based on international norms and standards.

Target groups
  • Government, judicial and legislative institutions responsible for human rights promotion and protection,
  • HR Civil Society Organizations / Society at large
  • HR Defenders civil society and movements of right holders (such as ethnic groups).
Medium-term outcomes
  1. Public human rights institutions (ombudsman) apply systematically national human rights legislation and Nation HR Action Plan in line with international norms and standards
  2. HR defenders (CSO’s) contribute to public human rights awareness and support monitoring and accountability of state institutions in line with national and international human rights standards.
  3. Justice system works in an integrated way and investigates and sanctions systematically human rights violations as per established protocols.
  4. National Security actors apply human rights standards.

Expected results:  

The OHCHR Honduras is recognized as a competent partner to Government, State institutions and Civil Society. Trained staff in all relevant state branches. As a consequence, State institutions have a better capacity to protect HR, fight impunity and protect HR Defenders.

Results from previous phases:  

Since 2011, SDC is engaging in a Human Rights Program implemented by UNDP. The program has improved capacities of key institutions such as the Ombudsman, Attorney General’s Office and the Vice Ministry of human rights and justice. A first National Action for Human Rights is adopted as a national policy. A penitentiary reform plan has been elaborated and is now due to be implemented by the concerned ministries.

Despite progress on the HR agenda the limited mandate and the project approach is however not appropriate to tackle systemic root causes of violence such us high impunity and complicity of state actors with crime. The mandate of the OHCHR office is politically stronger than the mandate of the Human Rights Advisor of the UNDP.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)

Other partners

Vice Ministry of Human Rights and Justice, Attorney General, Supreme Court, Human Rights Commission of Congress, National Human Rights Ombudsman, Civil Society Organizations

Coordination with other projects and actors

UNDP HR program 2011 – 2015

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’100’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’161’009
Project phases Phase 3 01.01.2022 - 30.06.2024   (Completed) Phase 2 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.06.2015 - 31.12.2017   (Completed)