Persecution and resistance: The experience of human rights defenders in Guatemala and Honduras

August 8, 2007

Persecution and resistance: The experience of human rights defenders in Guatemala and Honduras

    a) Multi-disciplinary proposals at the political, legal and practical levels, which aim to improve the environment in which human rights defenders operate;

    b) Measures to ensure their immediate protection;

    c) The allocation of appropriate human and financial resources.

5. Respect requests made by the Inter-American human rights system for precautionary and protective measures in specific cases to safeguard the physical and mental integrity of human rights defenders. Measures should be fully implemented and their effectiveness should be evaluated, in consultation with those who benefit from them, within a reasonable time.

6. Adopt a more integrated view of protection through the development of integrated programmes for the protection of human rights defenders that include preventive measures, such as thorough criminal investigations into attacks and threats against human rights defenders as well as security measures to assist with immediate safety issues.

7. In cases where the Inter-American human rights system has not yet issued a recommendation, the authorities should take the initiative and put in place measures to safeguard the physical integrity of human rights defenders who have reported being intimidated, threatened or attacked. The protection offered to human rights defenders should be prompt, effective and impartial, and should be provided in strict accordance with their wishes.

8. Ensure that exhaustive and impartial investigations are conducted into human rights violations against human rights defenders, that those responsible are identified and brought to justice and that the victims and their relatives are provided with appropriate reparation. The results of such investigations should be made public.

9. Ensure that the criminal justice system is not used to the detriment of members of human rights and social organizations in order to harass them or curtail their legitimate activities for the defence of human rights.

10. Ensure that effective mediation and resolution services are put in place to resolve long-running disputes over issues such as land tenure, labour rights and Indigenous land titles, with a view to preventing the escalation of tensions which can lead to human rights defenders becoming the targets of threats and attacks.


Treaties ratified by Guatemala and Honduras

For full text see:
International treaties:

International Treaties Guatemala Honduras
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR 5 May 1992 25 August 1997
International Covenant on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
19 May 1988 17 February 1981
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
12 August 1982 3 March 1983
Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment (CAT)
5 January 1990 5 December 1996
Convention on the Rights of the Child
6 June 1990 10 August 1990

Regional TreatiesGuatemalaHonduras