Geneva, Aug 16 : 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.
Violence in Honduras and neighboring Central American nations is cited as a key reason for a surge of migrants seeking political asylum in the United States, with officials estimating more than 1 million residents of Central American countries illegally will cross the US-Mexican border in 2019.