Contribution to the country office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Honduras (OHCHR)

Project completed
Human rights mural
Human rights mural © FDFA

The OHCHR has established itself as the principal point of reference for critically positioning human rights in the public and political agenda of Honduras. It will continue to strive to provide protection of individuals and communities whose rights are at risk or denied, while also working to further develop institutions, laws and policies that effectively protect human rights. This will contribute to rule of law and providing the necessary framework for equitable and sustainable development.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Conflict & fragility
Legal and judicial development
Conflict prevention
01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021
CHF  4’000’000
Background While the opening of the OHCHR and the establishment of the Mission against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) have been important steps to improve the overall human rights situation, serious challenges persist. Corruption hampers delivery of services, from the rule of law to civil, economic and social rights. Despite a reported reduction in the homicide rate, violence and insecurity are pervasive, particularly affecting individuals or groups who challenge social norms or the status quo, including human rights defenders, indigenous peoples, women and LGBTI persons.  
Objectives 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
  • Civil society organizations, marginalized groups (indigenous people and afrodecendents, women, youth, children, LGTB), defenders of environmental and human rights, advocates, judges and journalists
  • National Commission for Human Rights CONADEH and the national Commission for the Prevention of Torture CONAPREV; UN-organizations
  • Government, judicial and legislative institutions, judicial and security institutions: police and penitentiary system
  • Private business namely of extractive end energy industry
Medium-term outcomes
  • Widening the democratic space
  • Early warning and protection of human rights in situation of violence and insecurity
  • Combating impunity and strengthening accountability and the rule of law
  • Human rights in development and the economic sphere

In this second phase, the OHCHR focuses on protection to promote respect for human rights in concrete ways and so achieve a tangible impact in the life of individuals. It aims to empower individuals and communities to assert and claim their rights, as well as equipping those who have responsibilities to implement human rights with the knowledge and skills to do so effectively.


Expected results:  

  • Rights-holders including indigenous and afro descendent people are supported to effectively participate in the design of laws and policies, and in overseeing their implementation and impact (ILO Treaty 169);
  • Effective protection systems and mechanisms for groups and persons at risk are established and strengthened;
  • Independence of the judiciary and professionalization of the career system is strengthened; and
  • National mechanisms provide for effective implementation of human rights standards in economic development initiatives by the State and the private sector, and remedy for any human rights abuse linked to business operations.

Results from previous phases:  

Opening up public discourse on human rights: OHCHR promotes the engagement of civil society with UN human rights mechanisms as well as with the regional human rights system. Given the low general awareness about human rights, the OHCHR started to sensitize citizens about human rights issues. It worked closely with the national ombudsman, supporting it in playing a more active and assertive role.  

The OHCHR provided substantive input to legislative initiatives including the penal code, albeit with limited success. It was providing essential support for the operationalization of the law for the protection of human rights defenders

Visits of four UN Special Rapporteurs and review by five Human Rights treaty bodies, including the UN Human Rights Committee.

Establishment of a protection mechanism for human rights defenders.

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

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Main national partners: Vice Ministry of Human Rights and Justice, Attorney General, Supreme Court, Human Rights Commission of Congress, National Human Rights Ombudsman, Civil Society Organizations, MACCIH
  • SDC Portfolio in Honduras
  • Donor coordination G-16 and coordination group on justice, human security and human rights
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’887’500
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)