1.The State of Honduras is pleased to submit its ninth report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, in accordance with article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the guidance note on reporting.
2.In the report, which covers the period from 2016 to 2020, Honduras sets out the measures taken and progress and challenges in implementing the Convention and the recommendations adopted by the Committee at its sixty-fifth session (CEDAW/C/HND/CO/7-8), as part of the State’s commitment to eradicating discrimination and all forms of violence against women.
3.The drafting process was entrusted to the Ministry of Human Rights as the body responsible for the preparation of reports submitted to the human rights bodies of the universal and regional systems, in coordination with the National Institute for Women as the lead institution for public policies on women’s rights in Honduras and the Special Human Rights Response Group, which is made up of the liaison officers of the Honduran Human Rights Recommendations Monitoring System.
II.General aspects of implementation
A.Regulatory framework adopted
4.The State has the honour to inform the Committee of the ratification of the following instruments:
(a)Arms Trade Treaty;
(b)Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
(c)Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which will enter into force in January 2021;
(d)Adoption of the 2030 National Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Domestic laws, regulations and other rules
5.Legislation adopted to protect the rights of women and the general population:
(a)Labour Inspectorate Act;
(b)School Meals Act;
(c)Police Careers Act and its Regulations;
(e)Act on the Control of Firearms, Munitions, Explosives and Related Items;
(f)Honduras Special Act on Adoption;
(g)Wage Equality Act;
(h)Credit for Rural Women Act and Regulations;
(i)Regulations for the implementation of the principle of parity and the mechanism whereby male and female candidates must appear in alternating positions on electoral lists;
(j)Special Regulations on the Organization and Functioning of the Directorate General of Public Prosecutions;
(k)Internal Regulations for School Socialization in the State Schools of Honduras;
(l)Regulations of the Inter-agency Commission to Monitor Investigations of Violent Deaths of Women and Cases of Femicide;
(m)National Police Regulations on Promotion;
(n)Second Protocol for the Selection and Appointment of Magistrates of the Court of Appeals, Professional Judges, Sentencing Judges, Enforcing Judges and Justices of the Peace;
(o)Special measures for dissemination, prevention and assistance in cases of violence against women and actions to ensure gender equality during the national emergency declared as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic;
(p)Amendment of the Family Code;
(q)Amendment of the Special Responsible Parenting Act and the accompanying regulations;
(r)Establishment of the Human Rights Secretariat;
(s)Creation of the National Institute for Juvenile Offenders.
Policies, plans and strategies
6.The following policies were adopted during the reporting period:
(a)National Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy;
(b)Public Policy against Racism and Racial Discrimination for the Comprehensive Development of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Peoples;
(c)2030 National Food and Nutrition Security Policy and Strategy and its Action Plan on Nutrition (2019–2023);
(d)Public Policy on Inclusive Education;
(e)National Policy on Cooperation for Sustainable Development;
(f)Strategic Plan against Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking in Persons (2016–2022);
(g)Government Strategic Plan 2018–2022;
(h)Strategic Plan on Education 2018–2030;
(i)Ciudad Mujer (cities for women) presidential programme, upgraded to a national State policy;
(j)Honduras for All presidential programme;
(k)Establishment of the National Commission on the 2030 Agenda;
(l)Establishment of Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses Services.
(m)Establishment of the Integrated System for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Honduras.
B.Legislative measures applied
7.In connection with the recommendation contained in paragraph 7 on the steps taken by the National Congress, the General Provisions of the Income and Expenditure Budget of the Republic are approved annually and include a gender perspective as an affirmative action to close the discrimination gap between men and women and to implement the Convention.
8.Through the Gender Equity Commission, gender issues are addressed in partnerships with such key executive branch bodies as the National Institute for Women and the Ministry of Human Rights, international organizations and women’s organizations. These partnerships have facilitated the establishment of such concrete initiatives as the Emergency Act for Women in the time of COVID-19, which was sponsored by all women deputies and adopted by the National Congress to benefit the women, young women and girls of Honduras.
9.In addition, women and men deputies participate in exchanges with other parliaments, which enables them to identify good practices for the establishment of such plans as the Annual Plan of the Gender Equity Commission; and allows for capacity-building for women deputies regarding the identification of high-impact initiatives and how to present them in Congress and disseminate them effectively.
10.It is important to mention that there is an academy for women parliamentarians, which provides training in legislation with a gender perspective, focusing on strengthening a cross-party agenda for women and exchanges of good practices in political participation. This is an initiative coordinated by the Gender Equity Commission, the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, the National Democratic Institute, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), Oxfam Honduras and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
11.The National Congress, through the members of the Executive Council, has collaborated with various United Nations committees, working groups and special rapporteurs during their visits to the country. In November 2018, the Gender Equity Commission received the Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice on its first visit to Honduras, during which they shared information on progress in legislative amendments; the implementation of policy and its impact on the promotion of the rights of women and their participation in public and political life; sexual and reproductive health; access to justice; and gender equality in education and employment.
C.Visibility of the Convention
12.As regards the recommendation contained in paragraph 9, on raising awareness of the Convention and the Committee’s recommendations, the National Institute for Women published a document on the recommendations made by the Committee. The recommendations are shared and distributed as part of gender and human rights capacity-building for public officials. They are also made publicly available through the Honduran System for the Monitoring of Recommendations.
13.In addition, a compilation of the nine international human rights instruments ratified by Honduras was published in a pocket-sized edition.
14.In 2016, the Gender Unit and the Judicial School held a seminar-workshop on international regulations, with a focus on sexual violence against women, designed for justices of the peace and inspectors for implementation of the Regional Rules on Comprehensive Care for Women Victims of Gender Violence, with Emphasis on Sexual Violence, and the rights contained in the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women and the Brasilia Regulations Regarding Access to Justice for Vulnerable People.
15.In 2018, in a strategic partnership between the National Institute for Women, the Judicial School and the organization Ayuda en Acción, a gender and human rights course was held for judges, magistrates and prosecutors of the Public Prosecution Service. It was piloted in four prioritized municipalities and submitted for approval as a baseline proposal for nationwide implementation by the Judicial School in 2019.
16.In 2019, the National Institute for Women held a diploma course on women’s human rights, gender violence and trafficking in persons, which included a thematic module on disseminating the international and national regulatory framework on women’s human rights, with a focus on the framework that protects and supports the right to a life free of violence for women, in order to train and strengthen the capacities of justice officials.
17.In line with the initiatives to disseminate the Convention, the Directorate for Treaty Review of the Ministry of Human Rights has trained 120 public servants since 2019 on the Doctrine of Treaty Review and its Relationship with International Human Rights Protection Systems.
18.It also published a compendium of international human rights and humanitarian law instruments ratified and adopted by Honduras and the Honduran legal framework on human rights.
19.The Ministry of Human Rights taught a specialized course on human rights for public servants, certifying 35 liaison officers who make up the network of focal points of the Special Response Group on Human Rights and the Honduran System for the Monitoring of Recommendations. The curriculum included a specific module entitled “Women’s rights and gender-based violence: International standards on women’s rights, trafficking, violence against women and femicide”.
20.Over the period 2016–2020, the Ministry of Security held 170 training courses in the country’s police education centres on human and women’s rights, attended by 37,104 police officers. In addition, the Gender Unit of the Inter-agency Security Force is taking measures to standardize knowledge of violence against women and how to address it among its member institutions.
21.Together with the Ministry of Security, the National Institute for Women proposed a curriculum to standardize institutional criteria, especially in relation to the approach to and services provided in the case of domestic and intrafamily violence and sexual violence, with such fundamental content criteria as: women’s human rights, revictimization, the spiral of violence, learned helplessness, understanding the causes of Stockholm syndrome, guarantees of due process, due diligence and other topics of particular relevance to law enforcement. A total of 315 officers from the police, the Public Prosecution Service and the Police Investigation Directorate were certified in the basic module.
22.In order to implement good practices in addressing violence against women, a pilot proposal has been launched with the School of Criminal Investigation to implement the institutional gender policy of the National Police, and an assessment of the Metropolitan Units is currently being prepared.
A.Definition of discrimination
Articles 1 and 2
23.In relation to the recommendation contained in paragraph 11, regarding the adoption of a comprehensive definition of discrimination against women in legislation, in line with the Convention, the year 2020 saw the entry into force of the new Criminal Code, criminalizing discrimination on grounds of ideology; religion; beliefs; language; ethnicity or race; national, indigenous or African descent; sex; sexual orientation or gender identity; gender; marital status; family or economic situation; age; and illness or disability, and establishing penalties and fines for public officials and individuals or legal persons who commit this offence in the course of their business activities. It also imposes prison terms of from 1 to 2 years and fines of from 100 to 500 days on any person who incites discrimination directly or publicly or through the communication or broadcasting media.
24.In Section V of the Criminal Code, entitled “Violence against Women”, article 210, which contains the common provisions, includes a reference to “unequal power relations between men and women based on gender”, when death or violence occurs as a manifestation of discrimination against women because they are women, whether or not there is a prior relationship between the aggressor and the victim, and regardless of whether the discrimination occurs in a public or private context.
25.Article 3 of the Equal Opportunities for Women Act is aligned with article 1 of the Convention, as it provides that the Public Prosecution Service, through the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Women, shall oversee and take steps to enforce the Act, with the support of the National Institute for Women and other government agencies.
26.With regard to discrimination that affects women belonging to indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples, the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Ethnic Groups and Cultural Heritage tries such cases when the offence is committed because they belong to indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples, the special Act on the subject being applied in those cases. The Office of the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights also hears complaints and investigates cases of discrimination.
B.Access to justice
27.Regarding the recommendation contained in paragraph 13 (a), on the strengthening of the judicial system, the approved budget for the fiscal year 2020 is 2,742,409,235.00 lempiras (L.), an increase of 41.73 per cent compared with the fiscal year 2016, when it was set at L. 1,934,954,800.00.
28.As for human resources, in 2019, the judiciary had 905 judges and magistrates across the nation, including enforcement judges, of whom 472 are women and 433 are men. There were 275 public defenders nationwide, 181 women and 94 men, and as of 2019, 2,930 judicial facilitators had been appointed.
29.With regard to the recommendation in paragraph 13 (b), the judicial branch’s 2017–2021 Institutional Strategic Plan provides for steps to ensure transparent, impartial, modern and effective judicial services that promote certainty and trust. This Plan includes gender equity and human rights among its cross-cutting themes.
30.For the selection and appointment of magistrates and judges, the judiciary has a protocol setting out the specific rules to be followed, in accordance with national and international practices. The protocol was drafted with the collaboration of the Asociación para una Sociedad Más Justa (Association for a Fairer Society).
31.The selection of candidates is the responsibility of a Personnel Selection Commission, made up of representatives of the judiciary, civil society organizations, a committee of observers from the various judicial branch associations and the National Human Rights Commission, to ensure that the processes are transparent, public, participatory, credible and accountable, in accordance with the Commission’s internal regulations.
32.The process to select eligible candidates was carried out through an open competition comprising the following stages: (1) call for applications; (2) registration of applicants; (3) receipt of application files; (4) selection of candidates; and (5) appointment of selected candidates.
33.In addition, the new Police Service Act and its regulations set out the process for the selection of National Police personnel, which is the responsibility of the National Police Education Directorate and consists of the following stages: (1) call for applications and evaluation; (2) selection; (3) training; and (4) appointment.
34.Likewise, aspiring police cadets must meet a number of requirements, be between 18 and 35 years of age and complete a professional training course that, with the new Act, was extended from 3 months to 1 year. During the reporting period, 9,823 police officers were trained.
35.Regarding progress in the process of purging and sanctioning police officers, in 2016 the National Congress decreed an emergency and created the Special Commission on the Purge and Comprehensive Strengthening of the National Police, which resulted in the separation of more than 6,000 police officers and other officials from their posts. the Directorate of Police Disciplinary Affairs was established to investigate and punish disciplinary offences by members of the police.
36.With regard to paragraph 13 (c), on the prompt and effective investigation of all cases of gender-based violence against women and the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators, the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Offences against Life of the Public Prosecution Service, from 2016 to October 2020 recorded 1,066 corpse recoveries as a result of the violent deaths of women nationwide, broken down by specific offence as follows:
Applications for prosecution
Total number of defendants
Source: Office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Life.
37.In 2016, the following bodies were established to investigate the deaths of women and femicides: the Special Team to Investigate Violent Deaths of Women and Femicides, attached to the Technical Agency for Criminal Investigation; and the Inter‑agency Commission to Monitor Investigations of Violent Deaths of Women and Cases of Femicide, The Inter-agency Commission comprises representatives of the Public Prosecution Service through the Technical Agency for Criminal Investigation and Office of the Special Prosecutor for Offences against Life, the Ministry of Security, the Ministry of Human Rights, the National Institute for Women and the National Human Rights Commission and three representatives of women’s organizations working on the issue of femicides in the country.
38.The Inter-agency Commission to Monitor Investigations of Violent Deaths of Women and Cases of Femicide is working on the establishment of the Unified Information System on Violence against Women to identify various issues and information in relation to victims of violence, strengthen evidence-based public policymaking in order to prevent, address and eradicate violent deaths of women, femicides and all types of violence against women. It is worth noting that the Special Team has been allocated L. 40 million.
39.According to the 911 National Emergency System, between 2017 and July 2020, 276,271 reports of domestic and intrafamily violence were received. From January to May 2020, 39,469 complaints were received for offences against women, of which 20,858 were for domestic violence and 15,164 for intrafamily violence, with a 20 per cent increase in complaints compared with those received before social isolation measures were introduced to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The departments with the most domestic abuse complaints are Cortés, with 8,650 complaints; Francisco Morazán, with 7,847; and Yoro; with 3,184.
40.The steps to prevent gender-based violence include the implementation in 2018 by the judiciary of the campaign entitled “Don’t Be Silent, Report it, Justice is on your Side, Use it, it is your Right”, financed by Euro Justicia and aimed at women in all stages of life, showing the forms of violence of which women and girls could be victims and providing the telephone numbers or locations to file reports.
41.The National Institute for Women and the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Women coordinate steps to protect the identity of women who make complaints to 911, to protect their physical and emotional integrity, channelling each case in a timely manner. They also coordinate with the Ciudad Mujer Programme, the Ministry of Security and the 911 call system to design strategies aimed at providing timely responses to assist and protect women.
42.Regarding women and girls’ access to differentiated victim and witness assistance, the strategic plan of the Public Prosecution Service is designed to protect and care for witnesses and victims as a means of fostering a policy that promotes and facilitates their participation in proceedings through the effective provision of counselling, protection and support services, and orders protection measures.
43.From the outset of investigations, the individual needs of witnesses and victims are identified in order to effectively guide and support them. In cases of women victims of domestic violence, security measures are put in place against aggressors to protect the life of the woman and that of her children; in the remaining cases, where other offences are reported, measures are also taken, risks are assessed and a victim security plan is implemented.
44.With regard to the expansion and institutionalization of the Specialized Comprehensive Care Unit of the Public Prosecution Service, coverage was expanded during the reporting period through the creation of 23 units nationwide to provide comprehensive care for women and girl victims. The units receive complaints of various offences, and their interdisciplinary teams made up of prosecutors, social workers and psychologists provide comprehensive care services guided by fundamental principles including respect for human dignity, the prevention of revictimization, due diligence, application of the principle of the best interests of the child and assessment of cases from a gender perspective in order to ensure access to justice, while endeavouring at all times to protect the physical and psychological integrity of victims.
45.The units take security measures to protect women and girl victims from different forms of violence and refer those victims to safe places, such as shelters; they also provide support for victims who use other agencies or entities to follow up on the process and thereby ensure that victims do not abandon legal channels.
46.From 2016 to December 2018, 15,870 complaints of harmful acts committed against women for gender-based reasons and against other vulnerable groups were received, of which 7,896 were domestic violence complaints and 7,974 were for other crimes. In respect of the total number of domestic violence complaints received, 3,939 security measures were imposed on aggressors in order to ensure the physical and psychological safety of victims.
47.Between 2016 and July 2020, the special domestic violence courts ruled against 76,895 perpetrators of the offence of domestic violence in response to 81,928 complaints filed. In areas where there are no special courts, magistrates’ courts are responsible for hearing domestic violence cases.
48.In coordination with its Gender Unit, the judiciary participated in the meetings of the Operational Technical Team of the Public Prosecution Service to ensure the feasibility of the activities contained in the units’ manual. In 2017, a plan to raise awareness of victimology and domestic violence was produced.
49.With respect to paragraph 13 (e), in order to train legal practitioners on gender issues, in 2017 the Judicial School prepared an assessment of the training needs of legal practitioners in gender and violence issues. In order to foster the professionalism of legal practitioners, the following training courses were held in the period from 2016 to 2019:
(a)Seminar-workshop on the Regional Rules on Comprehensive Care for Women Victims of Gender Violence;
(b)Diploma in the Prevention of Violence against Women, Human Trafficking and Femicide in Central America, sponsored by the Central American Integration System;
(c)Training course on gender and violence, the rules for comprehensive care and the Brasilia Regulations for 200 judges of the peace from the central, southern and western regions;
(d)Training of trainers on juvenile issues with a gender perspective;
(e)Latin American Model Protocol for the Investigation of Gender-related Killing of Women;
(f)Regional Rules on Comprehensive Care for Women Victims of Gender Violence, with a focus on sexual violence;
(g)Use of information and communications technology in preventing the revictimization of victims of gender-based violence;
(h)Technologies for prevention and investigation in cases of violence against women;
(i)Gender mainstreaming in judicial decisions;
(j)Discussion groups on the Brasilia Regulations;
(k)Training in human rights for 296 magistrates and assistants, and training in gender issues for 396 administrative personnel of the judiciary and 100 teachers and municipal employees in the south-eastern region;
(l)Gender awareness-raising workshop, entitled “Women and Men, How Different Are We?”;
(m)Workplace and sexual harassment workshop for security personnel;
(n)Train-the-trainer course on access to justice for indigenous and Afro‑Honduran people with a focus on human rights and gender;
(o)Sex, gender and human rights workshop for justices of the peace;
(p)Colloquium on an analysis of the right to a life free of discrimination and violence for women and girls;
(q)Discussion group on access to justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons;
(r)Discussion group on human rights standards for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons for the personnel of the Constitutional Court, facilitated by OHCHR;
(s)Discussion group on prejudicial violence for judges, prosecutors and police officers;
(t)Course on human rights and masculinity;
(u)Forum on rights to health care without discrimination: experiences and good practices in relation to obstetric/gynaecological violence, doctor-patient confidentiality and termination of pregnancy;
(v)Forum on strengthening families and transforming communities in the framework of the United States Agency for International Development;
(w)Videoconference on the prevention, punishment, and eradication of violence against girls.
50.The judiciary also trained judicial facilitators, who taught 1,152 workshops in 2017, 812 in 2018 and 791 in 2019.
51.Regarding paragraph 13 (f), on awareness-raising campaigns to inform women and girls about their rights, the following campaigns, conducted collectively between 2016 and 2019 by public institutions, aid agencies and civil society organizations, are highlighted:
(a)I am a Woman and Living without Violence is my Right, for the prevention of human trafficking, domestic and intrafamily violence and femicide;
(b)A Life without Violence is Indispensable for a Better Life, with support from UN-Women, which addressed street violence and harassment of women and the need for improved access to justice for women in cases of domestic violence;
(c)Faced with Violence, No Silence. Women, Report it!;
(d)Eradicating Violence in the World of Work, a Shared Responsibility;
(e)Score a Goal against Machismo;
(f)Against human trafficking: Score a Goal against Trafficking; Report Trafficking – the Only Option; and the Blue Heart Campaign;
(g)Violence-Free Coexistence, in response to the increase in domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic confinement, in coordination with women’s organizations, the Inter-agency Commission to Monitor Investigations of Violent Deaths of Women and Cases of Femicide and the National Human Rights Commission;
(h)A campaign for union and against discrimination and stigmatization, designed in conjunction with the European Union;
(i)Woman, being at Home without Violence and without Fear is your Right. You are not alone; in cases of emergency call 911. This initiative of the women’s movement promotes healthy coexistence in confinement and, in case of emergency, to let women know that they have institutional networks that support them against violence; and
(j)The National Institute for Women is with You, violence prevention in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic emergency.
52.As part of the “You are not alone” campaign, the Ciudad Mujer Programme and the National Institute for Women set up the Connect Platform, which provides psychosocial and legal support and assistance to women victims of violence.
53.To inform the public about available legal remedies and the right of women victims to file complaints, the judiciary amended the Fact Sheet on the Domestic Violence Act, a tool people can use to clarify questions or to channel inquiries about application of the Act that includes a compilation of answers to frequently asked questions from legal practitioners and the staff of civil society organizations.
C.National machinery for the advancement of women
54.As recommended in paragraph 15, in order to progressively realize women’s rights, the National Institute for Women is implementing the Second National Gender Equity and Equality Plan, for 2010–2022, which at the local level is promoted and reviewed by the municipal offices for women.
55.Regarding the strengthening of the National Institute for Women and increasing its financial resources, the budget approved for the fiscal year 2020 was L. 45,356,400.00, which is 101.40 per cent higher than in the fiscal year 2016, when it was L. 22,519,584.00.
56.With regard to paragraph 15 (a), on the budget allocation for the implementation of the Second National Gender Equity and Equality Plan, since 2015, instructions have been incorporated into the general provisions of the budget for gender mainstreaming and for allocating resources, measuring and reporting through the application of the Gender Equity Investment Index and public hearings.
57.To implement the Second National Gender Equity and Equality Plan, the Ministry of General Government Coordination and the National Institute for Women set up a Thematic Committee (Management Dialogues) as a participatory, transparent and accountability mechanism, as well as a tool to build public value in the process of monitoring and evaluating public management. Through this mechanism, joint working agreements have been concluded, such as the preparation of a structured and sustainable gender mainstreaming strategy for the National Development Planning System; the plan of action for implementing the strategy; and the methodological guidelines for gender mainstreaming. Technical assistance is being provided with support from the Programme of Support Measures for Institutional Development and Public Management.
58.In order to assess the importance given by agencies to reducing gender gaps and building gender equity, the National Institute for Women has developed the Gender Equity Investment Index, which groups expenditures by investment categories. In 2019, the Sectoral Cabinet that made the highest investment in gender was the Social Cabinet with 28 per cent, a large part of which was earmarked for Ciudad Mujer, which is one of the operational programmes important to further implementation of public gender policies.
59.The resources reported for the financing of gender equity for 2019 amounted to a total of L. 17,049,189,606.90, with large investments by the Ministry of Health, the National Institute for Women, Ciudad Mujer and the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, of which 98.2 per cent were for the promotion of a culture of equality; 2.35 per cent for investments focused on women; and 0.43 per cent for shared social responsibility and family care, with an investment by the Directorate of Parks and Recreation and the Directorate of Care Centres for Children and Adolescents for the men and women workers of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.
60.The budget approved for the Ciudad Mujer (cities for women) Programme in 2019 was L. 147,638,830.00, contributed by 15 institutions for the operation of the five centres: Ciudad Mujer Kennedy, Ciudad Mujer Choloma, Ciudad Mujer San Pedro Sula, Ciudad Mujer Ceiba and Ciudad Mujer Juticalpa, and, under construction, Ciudad Mujer Choluteca. Between 2016 and 2019, this interagency collaboration provided a total of 1,980,026 services for 917,385 users.
61.To implement the Gender Equity Investment Index, focused hearings were organized in 2017 for the Economic Management and Regulation; Social Protection; Security and Defence; and Governance and Decentralization Cabinets, and also for the Public Prosecution Service and the judiciary. In addition, the National Institute for Women coordinated with the Ministry of General Government Coordination through the Presidential Directorate for Strategic Planning, Budget and Investment and the Ministry of Finance.
62.The National Institute for Women implements the Policy through the Gender Units and the municipal offices for women. To raise the visibility of progress at the local level, the Local Management Executive Unit was created within the Integrated Financial Administration System, with the activity entitled “Strengthening Gender Institutions at the Local Level”, with a budget allocation of L. 2,436,232.00 in 2019 and L. 2,503,165.00 in 2020.
63.Progress was also made in the regulation of municipal transfers by allocating 5 per cent of the budget for programmes and projects for economic and social development and combating violence against women. In addition, the Units have a guide for the drafting of local policy with a gender perspective and social oversight, a manual for mainstreaming gender in the municipal budget and the manuals on gender-sensitive budgeting.
64.To ensure these instruments are implemented correctly, the National Institute for Women conducted dissemination and training sessions on a gender focus in public management for 23 officials from the Association of Municipalities of Honduras in 2018.
65.With regard to assessment mechanisms to monitor the Second Gender Equality and Equity Plan, in 2019 the Gender Observatory was implemented as a mechanism for monitoring the implementation of gender mainstreaming in State institutions.
66.Regarding paragraph 15 (b), on capacity-building for women’s human rights and gender units and their continuity, departmental networks of municipal offices for women were established in 16 departments in the Central-South-Eastern, Northern and Western regions, starting in 2019. In addition, to strengthen the municipal offices for women, a training plan and a departmental comprehensive plan have been drawn up, which the National Institute for Women monitors every two months.
67.Between 2016 and 2020, the National Institute for Women trained 90 per cent of the municipal offices for women on human rights, gender and public management. In addition, it provided training on gender; local public policies; sexual and reproductive health awareness-raising; pregnancy prevention and women’s empowerment; and citizen participation. It also organized the Diploma in Gender and Women’s Human Rights, which was taught in three modules designed for the coordinators of the municipal offices for women, providing training for 42 coordinators in 2019.
68.The municipal offices for women conduct campaigns on various subjects and organize coordinators’ meetings for the municipal offices for women, with 94 coordinators from the local networks participating in 2019.
69.With regard to paragraph 15 (c), concerning the role, composition and division of responsibilities among the municipal offices for women and gender units, to date, 274 municipal offices for women and 36 gender units are operational within State institutions.
70.The municipal offices for women are bodies attached to local governments, and they endeavour to ensure gender equality and equity for women in the municipality. They promote the implementation of the Second Gender Equality and Equity Plan by, inter alia, ensuring that municipal operational plans incorporate women’s interests and needs and promote comprehensive care; promoting issues of rights and gender equity with local stakeholders; and encouraging women’s participation, organization, leadership and decision-making.
71.The municipal offices for women conduct awareness-raising and training sessions designed to transform sociocultural patterns and reduce attitudes of domination and discrimination; organize and manage projects that take into account the interests and needs of women and are geared towards local development with a gender perspective; and provide information to women about their rights and the services available in different institutions, referring them to the various services and State and non-State programmes.
72.The gender units, for their part, have budget line items for gender mainstreaming in the activities, programmes, services and projects implemented by State institutions.
D.National Human Rights Commission
73.In connection with the recommendation contained in paragraph 17, on measures to implement the recommendations of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, in 2019, the Alliance recognized the National Human Rights Commission as a category A status national human rights institution for its efforts to promote and protect the human rights of men and women, in particular migrants, displaced persons and refugees.
74.To strengthen its mandate, the budget allocated in 2020 is L. 83,975,158.00, an increase of 14.63 per cent compared with the 2016 budget of L. 73,255,474.00. As of 2020, there were 167 permanent staff members, 98 women and 69 men; 55 women were also working as defenders, holding positions as coordinators of national offices of public defenders, regional and departmental delegates, investigators of complaints and educator promoters; of these, six women are in executive or senior managerial positions.
75.The Office of the Women’s Advocate, in its central coordination and through regional and departmental offices, bolsters the promotion, dissemination, defence and protection of women’s rights and prevention of violations, prioritizing the enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and women’s environmental and development rights, in accordance with the action plan for 2014–2020, entitled “Vanguardia de la Dignidad Humana” (At the Forefront of Human Dignity) and the solidarity-based well-being strategy for municipalities.
76.From 2014 to November 2020, the Office addressed 24,830 complaints filed by women, providing them with comprehensive care; in 2019, 69 per cent of complaints received were closed.
E.Temporary special measures
77.Regarding the recommendation contained in paragraph 19, on temporary special measures, pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 99-2020 on Special Measures for Dissemination, Prevention and Assistance in Cases of Violence against Women and Actions to Ensure Gender Equality during the National Emergency Declared as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, a permanent and mandatory mass media information campaign was established to educate and inform the population about the different forms of violence against women.
78.With regard to women’s political participation, there is an Act and Implementing Regulations for the Principle of Parity and a mechanism whereby male and female candidates must appear in alternating positions on electoral lists, which is intended to guarantee the participation of women and men in electoral politics in the development of formulas, lists and slates of candidates for elected office and political party authorities. This issue has been given extensive consideration in line with the recommendation contained in paragraph 27 of the Committee’s concluding observations.
F.Stereotypes and harmful practices
79.With regard to the measures to eliminate patriarchal and discriminatory attitudes, addressed in the recommendation contained in paragraph 21, the Government has focused its efforts on training and capacity-building, such as those described in this report.
80.Regarding the recommendation contained in paragraph 23 (a), on the implementation of laws to criminalize all forms of violence against women, Section V of the new Criminal Code, on violence against women, covers a range of offences, including femicide and offences against sexual freedom and, in an innovation, incorporates in article 209 a new offence of violence against women, which carries penalties of from one to four years’ imprisonment. Also, certain acts that were previously considered to be less serious may now be included under definitions of criminal offences.
81.The common denominator between the offences of femicide and violence against women lies in the fact that they must be committed within a framework of unequal power relations between men and women, based on gender.
82.In connection with the investigation and prosecution of cases of violence against women, see the recommendation contained in paragraph 13 (c).
83.With regard to paragraph 23 (b), on the protection of women and girl victims of violence, the Specialized Comprehensive Care Units can apply security measures to protect women who are victims of some form of violence.
84.Likewise, each Ciudad Mujer centre has a Violence against Women Care Unit, where women victims of the various forms of violence receive comprehensive care in the form of follow-up groups, referrals and help and support groups, and cases are monitored through a comprehensive range of services to empower women. In 2018, the units provided 6,291 psychological consultations for women victims of violence and 306 counselling sessions for the development and implementation of life and safety plans based on women’s strengths, by identifying the factors that tend to prevent violence against women, and through the recovery and exercise of rights; in 2019 the units provided 13,887 psychological consultations, 866 life plans and 47 life plan events.
85.Also in 2018, the Community Education Module conducted 11 one-day training sessions on Basic Facts on Gender and Women’s Human Rights, which had a multiplier effect, and seven assessments in five municipalities to ascertain local circumstances prior to the educational sessions, and trained 127 women in the offence of omission in connection with child sexual abuse.
86.With regard to the establishment of shelters, there are currently seven shelters in the main cities, providing psychosocial and legal services to women victims. Each shelter applies a diverse sustainability model and the National Institute for Women provides financing for two shelters.
87.The Shelter Assistance and Action Protocol has been disseminated and distributed, in coordination with the municipal offices for women, to ensure comprehensive care for women survivors of domestic violence. In addition, work is proceeding on legislation to cover shelters.
88.With regard to paragraph 23 (c), on strengthening the legislative framework regarding possession of firearms, in 2018 the National Congress adopted by decree the new Act on the Control of Firearms, Munitions, Explosives and Related Items, implementing various measures to prevent violence and crime and contribute to peace and security in the country; moreover, the comprehensive bill on access to a life free of violence is currently at the stage of inter-agency consultations.
89.With regard to paragraph 23 (d), on training for law enforcement personnel, the Honduras National Police University provides training in gender equity in the master’s degree courses on human security and training on gender-based violence in special courses for service officers and for regular officers and in bachelor’s degree courses in police sciences, criminal investigation, and police administration.
90.Furthermore, from 2016 to July 2020 the Humanitarian Law Directorate of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence, with the support of the Ministry of Human Rights, trained more than 7,000 military personnel in the prevention of gender-based violence. In addition, the Ministry of Human Rights conducts training programmes that include classes on women’s rights and the prevention of domestic violence and sexual harassment, and had provided training for 6,262 law enforcement personnel by July 2020.
91.For its part, in 2019 and 2020, the Training School of the Public Prosecution Service conducted 14 training and awareness-raising courses for public officials and civil servants on gender and juvenile criminal justice issues.
92.With regard to paragraph 23 (e), on the definition of the offence of femicide, the new Criminal Code defines it in article 208, which is aligned with international standards, framing it in the context of unequal power relations between men and women based on gender, and establishes as the penalty a prison sentence of from 20 to 25 years, which may be increased to 30 years when there are concurrent circumstances that are expressly established as aggravating circumstances in the application of other provisions of the Code.
93.In accordance with the new legislation, the crime of femicide shall be punishable without prejudice to the penalties applicable to offences against moral integrity, freedom of movement and sexual freedom, to trafficking in persons and degrading forms of human exploitation or to crimes against the body of a deceased woman or against any protected legal assets.
94.In addition, the penalties for femicide are applied when a person who has come to the defence of a victim of such a crime is killed.
95.As established in international standards, specifically the Inter-American Model Law on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of the Gender-Related Killing of Women and Girls (Femicide), it must be understood that femicide as defined in the new Criminal Code is gender-related; in addition, aggravating circumstances include behaviour by the femicidal aggressor that is intended to humiliate the woman or express contempt for her body, in an attempt to dishonour the victim by attacking the physical characteristics that society associates with women.
96.The actions taken to investigate disappearances of persons including women include the submission of a bill to the National Congress in June 2018 on a national register of missing or disappeared persons, which would have a record of the information about the missing or disappeared person, which will indicate the person’s sex, age, nationality, place of loss or disappearance, ethnicity, whether it is a person with a disability or a history of gender-based violence and any other information deemed to be necessary. In order to locate and protect missing or abducted children and adolescents, there is the “Amber” Early Warning Act.
97.The Public Prosecution Service has a manual for the investigation of violent deaths of women, which is to be adapted to the guidelines established in the Latin American Model Protocol for the Investigation of Gender-related Killing of Women (femicides).
98.With regard to paragraph 23 (f), on protocols to unify procedures for reporting cases of violence against women, the judiciary has a Care Protocol for Victims of Violence against Women in Cases of Domestic and Intrafamily Violence and a Technical Adaptation Guide for its application.
99.For its part, the Public Prosecution Service applies the Protocol on Assistance in the Case of Domestic and Intrafamily Violence and the National Police uses the Protocol for Treating the Victims of Domestic Violence; and in coordination with the National Institute for Women, 240 police officers were trained during the dissemination sessions on the Critical Route for Reporting Domestic Violence held in 2018.
H.Trafficking and sexual exploitation
100.Regarding the recommendation contained in paragraph 25 (a), on the effective implementation of anti-trafficking legislation, as a result of the entry into force of the new Criminal Code, article 219 of which incorporates the offence of trafficking in persons, repealing article 52 of the Special Act against Trafficking in Persons and maintaining the principles of that Act in force, proceedings have been brought before the courts under the new Criminal Code as a result of investigations against traffickers, following complaints by victims or ex officio, and convictions have been handed down with prison sentences of between 5 and 11 years and fines of 168.75 times the minimum daily wage.
101.From 2016 to 2020, the Inter-Agency Commission against Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking, received a total of 457 complaints, of which 392 were for the offence of trafficking in persons in the form of servitude, irregular adoption, commercial sexual exploitation as regulated in the Special Act, forced labour or recruitment of persons under 18 years of age for criminal activities; and 65 complaints were for the offence of commercial sexual exploitation, pimping, paid sexual relations and child pornography, regulated in the Criminal Code that was repealed. Of these complaints, 248 cases went to court (127 for the offence of trafficking in persons and 121 for the offence of commercial sexual exploitation). Ninety-eight judgments were issued for those offences, of which 95 were convictions and 3 were acquittals.
102.The Inter-Agency Commission has a coordinating role and is made up of representatives of more than 30 government bodies and civil society organizations. It is supported by a Rapid Response Team, a body made up of an inter-agency group of experts, as the executing body, and 24 local committees.
103.Regarding paragraph 25 (b) on comprehensive care provided to victims of trafficking, in the period from 2016 to 2020, the Commission identified 490 new victims (292 women and 152 girls) who received direct protection and comprehensive care services that took into account their short-, medium- and long-term needs. There was follow-up for 605 victims.
104.From 2016 to 2020, the Rapid Response Team and the inter-agency group of experts, with the support of civil society organizations, provided more than 400,000 direct and indirect services to victims and their families, from the time of identification, rescue, protection and assistance, until their social reintegration. The victims benefited from access to microcredit; formal and informal education; support services; psychological, social, legal and medical assistance; documentation, shelter, housing, recreation, food, clothing, transportation, addiction treatment and family assistance.
105.It is important to emphasize that legal assistance includes support in prosecutorial and judicial offices, legal advice with proceedings in family courts for failure to pay support to minor children; documentation of land and houses; certification of victims by administrative decision; coordination with the consulates of Honduras abroad to apply for temporary or permanent immigration status for victims in other countries; and applications for the issuance of birth certificates for victims who require such documentation.
106.In coordination with the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, the victims are included in the Better Life Programme, which manages the provision of solidarity-based food supplies and microcredit for new enterprises, where survivors make their products, generating personal income that supports their families; in addition, therapeutic and self-support groups where survivors receive individual and group psychological care have been established and are managed in cooperation with civil society organizations.
107.Regarding paragraph 25 (c), in 2017, the Inter-Agency Commission against Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking and the National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago, with funding from USAID, conducted an evaluation of trafficking in persons in Honduras, one element of which was a survey of knowledge, perception and identification of victims of trafficking in persons in Honduras, These bodies also trained members of civil society organizations working with vulnerable women and children and adolescents.
108.The study revealed that at least 14 people are trafficked every month, most of them between 14 and 16 years of age; 81 per cent of the women are trafficked for sexual exploitation, particularly in tourist regions, 70 per cent of the victims are threatened and 51 per cent are physically assaulted. Recruitment is usually perpetrated by family members or friends of the victims, mostly in their homes. In the case of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, 52 per cent of the victims have suffered some type of trafficking, and their vulnerable situation increases the probability of being a victim of sex trafficking.
109.With regard to data on its prevalence among women and girls, with a view to addressing the root causes, the findings of the study have provided information on which groups in Honduras are vulnerable to the offence of trafficking in persons and have expanded knowledge on the subject to support efforts to prevent and address trafficking and protect victims and persons vulnerable to the offence.
110.With regard to paragraph 25 (d), on addressing organized crime linked to trafficking, the Transnational Criminal Investigation Unit attached to the Police Investigation Directorate acts under the technical and legal guidance of the Unit to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Commercial Sexual Exploitation and People Smuggling of the Public Prosecution Service and works in coordination with other trafficking units at the regional level and with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).
111.To promote the exchange of information and good practices, training and awareness-raising sessions on human trafficking are held for police, prosecutors and justice officials. In 2018, 37 participants from the Local Network against Violence of the municipal office for women of San Pedro Sula were trained, through the Workshop to Prevent Trafficking in Persons and Sexual Crimes.
112.With regard to paragraph 25 (e), efforts are made to promote forums that disseminate information about the dangers to which women who engage in self-employed prostitution are exposed; in other cases, the Inter-Agency Commission against Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking provides information to the general public on how to avoid falling prey to trafficking in persons through prevention campaigns, information materials, radio spots, forums, training, information on the Commission’s web page and information transmitted through social media.
A.Participation in political and public life
Articles 7 and 8
113.In relation with the recommendation contained in paragraph 27 (a), on increasing the effective political participation of women, as a result of the 2017 elections, of the 128 seats in the National Congress with their respective alternates, 79 women were elected deputies (28 principals and 51 alternates), of whom 9 are women belonging to indigenous or Afro-Honduran peoples.
114.For the period from 2018 to 2022, two women were selected as presidential appointees, and at the local government level, 22 women mayors, 266 women deputy mayors and 628 women councillors were elected.
115.The plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice is made up of 15 justices, 5 of whom are women.
116.In 2019, the civil service had 201,439 public servants, of whom 51 per cent were women. Of these, 26,016 work in the executive branch, where 63 per cent of positions are held by women, 298 of whom are in decision-making positions.
117.With regard to paragraph 27 (b), to ensure that legislated quotas of 50 per cent are implemented, and to protect the 2017 elections process, the Implementing Regulations for the Principle of Parity and the mechanism whereby male and female candidates must appear in alternating positions on electoral lists were adopted.
118.In reference to the effective participation of indigenous and Afro-Honduran women, in 2017, the Supreme Electoral Court signed a letter of understanding with the Network of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women concerning women’s participation in electoral training initiatives and their involvement as observers.
119.In order to apply an electoral model that separates the administrative, technical and logistical functions from the jurisdictional functions carried out by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Justice Tribunal were established, with autonomy and independence, not subordinate to each other and with national jurisdiction. The Tribunal is the highest authority on matters of electoral justice and consists of three titular magistrates, two of whom are women. The Council is composed of three titular councillors, two of whom are women.
120.The new electoral law is currently being debated in the National Congress and one of the most important advances is the approval of articles 72 to 75, establishing the principle of parity and alternation in the political participation of women.
121.With regard to paragraph 27 (d), in order to guarantee women’s political participation and decision-making, from 2016 to 2019, more than 1,000 identification teams were deployed nationwide to document the population for electoral processes; more than 450,000 identity cards were replaced for women and more than 273,000 first-time applications for identity documents were processed for young women over 17 years of age.
122.In 2020, as part of the project entitled “Identify Yourself”, developed with support from UNDP, the National Registry Office, through the national identification system, has deployed more than 700 enrolment teams nationwide to process applications for the new national identification document; to date, 4,228,159 persons have enrolled, of whom 2,246,247 are women (53.1 per cent).
123.In relation to enforcement of laws on gender equality and freedom from violence and discrimination against women, the percentage of compliance with legal frameworks to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non-discrimination based on sex has improved in relation to 2015, rising from 75 per cent to 80 per cent in 2019, owing to the efforts made in terms of, inter alia, wages and gender-based violence.
B.Women human rights defenders
124.In connection with the recommendation contained in paragraph 29 (a), the effective measures adopted for the protection of women human rights defenders included action taken by the Protection System General Directorate, in applying the Act on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, Journalists, Social Communicators and Justice Workers, and with technical assistance from the European Union (2016) and USAID (2017–2019), to establish and subsequently to strengthen the Case Reception and Immediate Response Unit, the Risk Analysis Unit and the Implementation and Monitoring Unit. In addition, in May 2018, it established the Prevention and Context Analysis Unit.
125.In compliance with the Human Rights Defenders Act and its regulations, from 2016 to July 2020, the National Protection Council held 36 ordinary meetings and 11 special meetings. The measures implemented to protect human rights defenders from any act of intimidation or threat, and to ensure their continued free and full exercise of their role as defenders, their freedom of expression and access to justice include the steps taken by the Ministry of Human Rights, through the Protection System General Directorate, to raise awareness among the general public of the importance of the work carried out by woman and men human rights defenders, issuing several communiqués on various topics in recognition of their work and against discrimination. It has also held 31 dissemination and training sessions for public servants responsible for compliance with the Act, training 900 people, including defenders, members of indigenous and Garifuna communities, trade unionists, journalists, communicators and justice officials.
126.In order to identify the risk scenarios and patterns in which defenders carry out their activities, from 2018 to August 2020 the Prevention and Context Analysis Unit has drawn up 11 prevention plans with the active participation of civil society organizations. It also developed a methodology for risk context analysis and for the drafting of prevention and early warning plans.
127.Regarding paragraph 29 (b), on application of the Act on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, the technical capacities of the Protection System General Directorate units have been strengthened. Between 2017 and 2019, the Freedom House organization provided technical assistance for the development of the immediate action assessment study form; the technical tools for risk assessment, for collective and individual cases in which intersectional analysis is applied, and in cases of individual risk analysis, differentiated gender approaches are applied for women and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.
128.With regard to the protocol with a gender perspective, which frames the Letter of Understanding between OHCHR and the Ministry of Human Rights, the Manual for the Application of the Gender and Intersectional Approaches in the care provided by the national protection system was developed. The Manual serves to strengthen the gender approach in the work of the various Protection System General Directorate units, which was approved by the National Protection Council at its thirty-ninth ordinary meeting, on 29 October 2020.
129.From 2015 to 31 October 2020, the Protection System General Directorate has dealt with 549 applications for protection measures, of which 187 cases remain active, 114 individual cases and 73 collective cases. Of the active cases, 137 (73.26 per cent) are cases of men and women human rights defenders, 19 (10.16 per cent) are cases of journalists, 20 (10.69 per cent) are cases of social communicators and 11 (5.88 per cent) are cases of justice officials. Of these, 31 cases correspond to precautionary measures ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: 21 collective and 10 individual cases.
130.Of the total number of individual cases admitted during the period, 32 cases involved protection measures for women and 5 cases involved transgender women. Of the 35 cases involving indigenous or Afro-Honduran people, 3 related to measures for indigenous women, 4 involved measures for Afro-Honduran women, 10 involved measures for indigenous and Afro-Honduran men and 18 involved collective cases. With regard to cases of men and women human rights defenders, 7 cases were opened in defence of women’s rights, 14 cases in defence of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, 13 cases in defence of ancestral rights and 38 cases in defence of the environment.
131.As for the resources of the Protection System General Directorate, its budget increased by 355 per cent, from L. 4,979,350 in 2016 to L. 22,699,750 in 2020, drawing on funds from the National Treasury and the security tax.
132.With regard to paragraph 29 (c), concerning the investigation and prosecution of cases of violence against women human rights and land rights defenders, the special unit on vulnerable groups, which is attached to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Life, conducts differentiated investigations into the deaths of women human rights defenders in accordance with the Defenders Act, on the understanding that women’s participation in society does not take place under the same conditions as men’s, which means that investigations must be conducted with a gender perspective to ensure their impartiality and effectiveness.
133.With regard to paragraph 29 (d), on the decriminalization of social protest and peaceful assembly, in accordance with article 79 of the Constitution of the Republic, every person has the right to assemble with others, peacefully and without arms, in a public demonstration or temporary assembly, in connection with common interests of any kind, without a need for notice or special permission.
134.As recommended in paragraph 31, on the adoption of measures to ensure the registration of all children and adolescents, the National Registry of Persons has deployed registration and identification teams to guarantee the rights of the population, focusing on communities inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Tolupán, Misquito, Tawahka, Garífuna and Lenca. In addition, it has signed agreements and entered into strategic partnerships with institutions and non‑governmental organizations to strengthen the civil registration system.
135.The National Registry of Persons is in the process of strengthening the birth registration system through the amendment of article 53 of the National Registry of Persons Act to ensure timely, universal and free registration of children. The registration period of one year, which applied in February 2018, was reduced to 6 months in 2019. In addition, agreements were signed to establish partnerships with international organizations and governmental institutions dedicated to children and adolescents’ issues.
136.Through the agreement signed between the National Registry of Persons, the Pan-American Health Organization, the Ministry of Health and the Ayuda en Acción organization, the registration system has been strengthened, with 298 registration offices nationwide to date. In addition, there are 13 registration offices in border and customs areas, with more than 520 birth registrations and the issuance of 4,500 birth certificates in the customs offices at El Amatillo and Agua Caliente; five such offices are in places where the indigenous and Afro-Honduran population is predominant. Nineteen auxiliary windows have been set up in various hospitals nationwide, which has enabled birth underregistration to be kept below 3 per cent.
137.To facilitate the registration of children born in Guatemala and El Salvador to Honduran parents living in border areas, the National Registry of Persons signed a letter of understanding with the civil registries of those countries and established in article 133 of the regulations to the Act a grace period of 90 days for birth registrations without the need for documentation to be authenticated and apostilled.
138.In 2019, a pilot project was launched to register children born in the United States to Honduran parents in the consulates of New York and Miami, a process that began with training as Auxiliary Municipal Civil Registrars for consuls in the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. More than 20 children were registered in the pilot phase, a process that was interrupted owing to the problems posed by the pandemic. Registrations are expected to resume in 2021. Likewise, the Automated Civil Registry System for the issuance of birth certificates has been set up in all Honduran consulates.
139.In line with users’ rights and to ensure access to gender services, the Registry set up a civil registry office at the Ciudad Mujer Kennedy facilities, issuing 14,356 birth certificates and 1,239 identity cards in the period from 2017 to 2019.
140.There were 766,062 registrations in the period from 2016 to 2019, as detailed below:
Total birth registrations disaggregated by sex.
Source: National Registry Office data.
141.The measures carried out in the period from 2016 to 2020 to ensure the right to registration in rural and border areas include the following:
(a)Birth registration and identification campaigns, in the framework of the Programme to Improve Personal Registration and Identification Rates in the border areas of the Northern Triangle, with the support of the Universal Civil Identity Programme in the Americas, which is run by the Organization of American States;
(b)The campaign entitled “Birth Registration, A Right for All”, through which mobile teams were deployed in villages and municipalities to inform the population about the importance of registering children and adolescents and their rights;
(c)The 100 Days for Honduran Children campaign, developed in collaboration with the National Directorate for Children, Adolescents and Families, through which a series of radio and television spots were recorded to raise public awareness of the importance of registration and visits were made to schools in rural areas of Francisco Morazán and Cortés Departments to promote timely registration;
(d)Training for civil registrars in border areas and for registrars of indigenous and Afro-Honduran communities on: the organization of the timely registration network; strengthening of the Registry’s statistical system with data disaggregated by gender; application of the Special Responsible Parenting Act; use of the automated civil registry system (SARC-2016) for the new order on surname use; and the new regulations of the National Registry of Persons Act and implementation of article 133, which facilitates birth registration in all the border municipalities of Honduras;
(e)Two-stage registration project, through which registration teams were deployed, carrying out 21,320 procedures (registration of births, deaths, identification of citizens and replacement of identity cards) in its second stage, with support from UNDP;
(f)Child Protection Programme, implemented by the National Registry of Persons and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to strengthen birth registration capacities for indigenous and Afro-Honduran and rural children and adolescents;
(g)Projects: Soy Hondureño, Sembrando el Sentido de Pertenencia e Identidad (I am Honduran, fostering a sense of belonging and identity) and Promotorado Registral Colegial (a course to promote school enrolment), which taught children and adolescents the importance of a culture of timely enrolment with the civil registry to ensure the recognition of their rights; 1,387 individuals were trained in schools nationwide;
(h)Implementation of the National Identification System for the issuance of birth certificates online;
(i)In 2020, the new birth certificate format was implemented as part of the agreement signed between the National Registry of Persons, the National Institute of Statistics and the Ministry of Health.
142.In the period from 2017 to 2020, teams were deployed in the National Women’s Social Adaptation Penitentiary. with more than 40 registrations of births of children to mothers deprived of liberty; more than 200 consultations on registration problems; and the issuance of 2,804 birth certificates.
143.In relation to the recommendation contained in paragraph 33 (a), to ensure universal access to education for children and adolescents, the Basic Education Act and the Strategic Plan for the Education Sector provide for free education from 5 years of age until secondary level, extending the average length of time spent in education from 9 to 13 years.
144.To strengthen the Ministry of Education, its budget was increased by 21 per cent between 2016 and 2019, thus providing it with the human and financial resources needed to meet the educational needs of the population. Currently, there are 61,564 women teachers nationwide (48,558 in the public sector and 13,006 in the private sector).
145.With regard to equal access to quality education for indigenous and Afro‑Honduran children and adolescents, under the Intercultural Bilingual Education Model, a National Council and 150 Departmental Committees were established and a Technical Commission was created to monitor application and the critical pathway, with the participation of indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples and organizations.
146.In 2020, a total of 107,282 indigenous and Afro-Honduran students were enrolled (8,072 in pre-school education, 88,597 in basic education and 10,613 in middle school), served by 5,342 teachers in 1,118 schools. The Intercultural Bilingual Education Model is being progressively consolidated in 15 of the country’s 18 departments; it includes a baccalaureate in science and humanities for the Tawahka people, a bachelor’s degree in bilingual intercultural basic education, a diploma in educational quality management for the Model and the second graduating class of the diploma in multicultural techniques for the Model. A total of 400 teachers have been trained.
147.To prevent children and adolescents from dropping out of school, the Bono Vida Mejor (better life voucher) programme has been delivering a conditional transfer voucher equivalent to US$ 160 to families living in poverty since 2016. Moreover, the school feeding programme fosters school retention by providing food rations for 1,300,915 students in the public education system. In addition, supplementary rations were provided to 300,000 schoolchildren in vulnerable areas, such as the Dry Corridor and Mosquitia. And in 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, 940,363 students benefited from two deliveries of school meals.
148.Through the Te Queremos Estudiando en Casa (We Want You Studying at Home) strategy, implemented against the backdrop of the pandemic, attention was focused on students, curricular content was prioritized and exercise books were distributed to rural areas and areas that do not have access to the Internet or other means of communication. In addition, there is a monitoring strategy for decision-making in education coverage and quality.
149.The Ciudad Mujer programme, the Ministry of Education and the Honduras 20/20 scholarship programme are conducting formal education programmes in Ciudad Mujer centres in Tegucigalpa, Choloma and Juticalpa, and 700 women enrolled in 2020.
150.With regard to paragraph 33 (b), on effective reporting mechanisms to ensure prosecution and punishment of perpetrators of sexual harassment and abuse of girls in schools, complaints are received and offences against children and adolescents are investigated through the Special Comprehensive Care Units of the Public Prosecution Service, either informally or as a result of direct complaints made by relatives, third parties or in coordination with schools and/or health centres. The Central Unit has a hotline (+504 2221-3534) through which it receives complaints from anywhere in the country and coordinates the referral of cases from other cities immediately and directly with the prosecutors of the regional Units, in order to ensure that victims obtain a response and care.
151.With regard to cases reported in the period from 2016 to 2020, the Office of the Special Prosecutor for the Protection of Children recorded 6,951 cases for the offence of sexual abuse of children and adolescents in 29 cities.
152.In addition, the 911 hotline receives and makes referrals for all types of complaints nationwide, liaising with the corresponding institutions to ensure a response for victims. This hotline is coordinated with the Office of the Special Prosecutor for the Protection of Children and the National Police for an immediate response.
153.The Ministry of Education has a 104 hotline that may be used to file complaints of abuse or situations affecting children and adolescents in the education system, and the reports are then investigated.
154.As part of the National Strategy for Prevention and School Safety, there is a focus on issues related to children’s rights, such as participation, equity and inclusion, coexistence, mediation and conflict resolution; work is progressing on a restorative approach. Through innovative practices, teachers in classrooms and schools, families and communities endeavour to change behaviours, beliefs, habits and established customs in relation to the issue of violence. Schools promote good practices, which have an impact on the achievement of integral well-being and human development in students, and are promoted through strategic partners at the local level.
155.In accordance with the Guide to Gender Inclusion in the Classroom, new gender practices are being incorporated into the educational management of schools through forums and workshops held for the technical staff and directors of educational networks in eight of the country’s departments, reaching 301 educational networks and 643 school principals. A total of 280 guides and 25 sets of posters on gender issues and educational inclusion were distributed in Francisco Morazán Department and 1,240 teachers from 10 departments and technical staff from eight central-level line units are in the process of being certified in basic facts on gender in order to build the capacities of the education system and reduce gender equity gaps.
156.In relation to paragraph 33 (c), on strengthening efforts to retain pregnant girls and young mothers in school, the Multisectoral Plan for the Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy allows such young women to be integrated into all school activities.
157.There was a decline in the number of teenage pregnancies over the period from 2015 to 2019, when there were 6,207 institutional deliveries by minors and a 37 per cent reduction in pregnancies in adolescent high school students.
158.With regard to paragraph 33 (d), on education on sexual and reproductive health and rights for girls and boys in the school curricula at all levels of education, the Ministry of Education has prepared the following guides as part of the National Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy: “Taking care of my health and my life“; and the “School for Parents” guide on comprehensive sex education, for training activities in pre-school, basic and secondary education, aimed at teachers, students and parents, covering the themes of sexuality, sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancy, responsible parenthood and contraceptive methods.
159.Regarding training for teachers, in 2019, 22,750 teachers from 1,055 basic education centres were certified in the comprehensive education course based on the Guides, and 17,672 students were trained across the country.
160.Comprehensive sex education is offered to boys and girls as part of the curriculum, and there are programmes for Afro-Honduran women to improve their access to education.
161.The Public Prosecution Service, the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Education have signed agreements to provide training for teachers nationwide on the prevention of intimidation (school harassment) and sexually abusive behaviour among students in schools and colleges.
162.To address multiple discrimination against women, the Ministry of Education established the Commission on Gender, with technical assistance from the National Institute for Women and civil society organizations, which conducts training and awareness-raising on gender and inclusion through campaigns and forums in 12 departments.
163.The Adolescent Care Modules of the Ciudad Mujer programme provide services and training on the prevention of dating violence, school bullying and cyberbullying, suicide, sexual and reproductive education, pregnancy prevention and comprehensive services for pregnant women and teenage mothers between 12 and 18 years of age to enable them to continue their studies and, in cases of violence, receive legal advice and victim support. In addition, a referral and counter-referral system is in place with the relevant institutions in order to ensure comprehensive care.
164.From 2018 to August 2020, the Modules provided the following services:
Adolescent women served
Source: National Directorate for Children, Adolescents and Families.
165.The adolescent care module includes psychological care, and the violence screening checklist is applied with informed consent to detect cases of rights violations, including cases of child, early and forced marriage, and to provide individualized biopsychosocial care in cases of depression (stress, early pregnancy and marital and family pressures), domestic violence, anxiety (low self-esteem, stress, insecurity) and sexual abuse.
166.With regard to paragraph 33 (e), pursuant to the Basic Education Act, the commitment to guarantee an equitable and inclusive national education system has been reiterated with the adoption in 2019 of the Public Policy on Inclusive Education, to ensure that all persons with disabilities can exercise their right to a quality education that is equitable, relevant and effective throughout the life cycle, and that the barriers preventing them from exercising that right are eliminated.
167.The third strategic objective of this policy is to ensure universal access to inclusive education through the adaptation, optimization and reasonable adjustment of the required infrastructure in the national education system. By 2020, the Ministry of Education had trained 699 teachers in the organization and functioning of psychopedagogical teams at the departmental level for the education of children and adolescents with disabilities; 162 teachers in a course on information and communications technologies and disability; and 90 teachers in a focus on diversity. In addition, six curricular manuals were adapted.
168.To ensure the enrolment in regular schools of children and adolescents with disabilities, accessibility assessments were carried out in 9,285 schools nationwide, with the enrolment in 2020 of 15,495 students with disabilities: 7,864 with learning disabilities, 3,322 with visual impairments, 2,605 with hearing and language impairments, and 1,704 with physical disabilities.
169.Through the signing of eight agreements, a budget has been allocated to institutions that care for children and adolescents with disabilities, and teachers from 22 schools have been trained in interacting with persons with disabilities.
170.In addition, programmes to promote inclusion are in place, such as home schooling, radio-based learning, community education and special programmes for gifted and talented students.
171.As recommended in paragraph 35, the National Statistical Institute conducts annual permanent multipurpose household surveys, collecting disaggregated data with a view to producing indicators on the labour market and socioeconomic conditions of the population and incorporating information on demographics, migration, education, household composition, housing, income, the labour market by gender, persons with employment problems, child and youth labour, and poverty. An annual panorama of Honduran women is prepared on the basis of this survey. The survey is open to the public and available for consultation on the Institute’s website.
172.With regard to paragraph 35 (a), to ensure equal opportunities for women and men in the labour market, the National Institute for Vocational Training establishes educational training programmes and activities and courses for people from different population groups, including women from rural and urban areas, indigenous and Afro‑Honduran peoples and persons with disabilities.
173.In 2019, the National Institute for Vocational Training provided digital literacy courses for 26,881 women, and as of October 2020, 140,398 women have been trained in courses including financial tools, information and communications technology, the Microsoft Office suite of software, including basic Excel, accounting, databases and Adobe tools.
174.In addition, it provides technical and professional training in such fields as industrial mechanics, automotive mechanics, automotive painting, electricity, civil construction, biomedical construction, electronics, metal construction, carpentry and upholstery, teaching professional skills to 1,527 women (16 per cent) in 2019 and 472 (21 per cent) in October 2020.
175.Through the Window of Opportunity for Women strategy, economic empowerment for women sessions have been held within the framework of the Second Gender Equality and Equity Plan, to provide access to the services offered by institutional programmes, through events to disseminate flagship programmes and projects for the economic empowerment of women.
176.With regard to paragraph 35 (b), to close the gender wage gap there is the Wage Equality Act, which regulates remuneration for employment for men and women.
177.With regard to the prevention and eradication of the worst forms of child labour, the National Commission for the Gradual and Progressive Eradication of Child Labour was reactivated to coordinate, monitor, evaluate and ensure the implementation of the national plan, the public policy and the Road Map to Make Honduras a Country Free of Child Labour, Including Its Worst Forms.
178.The following are among the most noteworthy steps taken during the reporting period:
(a)Adoption of the Act on the Office of the Inspector General for Labour, making child labour an administrative offence and ordering the removal of children and adolescents from workplaces when they are under the minimum legal working age of 14 to 17 years, or when their health and safety are endangered in the workplace;
(b)Amendments to: the child protection regulations; the list of dangerous occupations; and the regulations on protected adolescent labour, formerly the child labour regulations;
(c)Drafting of the protocol for the referral of working children to government social programmes;
(d)Procedural protocol on child labour of the Office of the Inspector General for Labour;
(e)Drafting of work plans for the coffee, melon and lobster sectors;
(f)Programmes for the prevention of child labour in the coffee sector, which includes three phases (preventive activities; verification; and prevention and verification at harvest);
(g)The document on the categorization of permitted activities for protected adolescent labour, which will measure the risk of authorized work, is being drafted;
(h)Reopening of occupational medical services for working women and children, which provide medical evaluation and work authorization services for adolescents.
179.As part of the “Bright Futures” project, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the World Vision organization swore in 87 child labour prevention committees in five departments and the protocol for the creation and functioning of these committees is currently being drafted.
180.Pursuant to the Act on the Office of the Inspector General for Labour, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security conducted 126 inspections related to child labour and 177 inspections on dive fishing vessels in 2016 and 2017.
181.The Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Office of the Prosecutor for Child Protection, the Office of the National Commissioner for Human Rights, the fire brigade and the Standing Committee on Contingencies, among others, carry out municipal inspections of different enterprises in such sectors as agro-industry, community services, commerce, hotels, restaurants, electricity, gas, water, transport, storage, communication, fishing, manufacturing, construction and mining. Activities are conducted through the Municipal Committees to prevent child labour in its different forms.
182.With regard to paragraph 35 (c), on measures to promote work for women in the informal sector, including domestic workers, on 29 January 2018, the executive branch submitted to the National Congress a draft decree on adoption of the bill on domestic work, referred for analysis to a Special Committee, which issued a favourable opinion on the legislation.
183.With regard to the ratification of the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189), of the International Labour Organization, Honduras is a signatory to the Convention and its recommendation No. 201, but ratification is still pending.
184.In relation to paragraph 35 (d), concerning the resources available to the labour inspectorate to ensure that women’s working conditions and labour rights are respected, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has 150 labour inspectors nationwide, with a ratio of 3.5 inspectors to every 100,000 inhabitants, who verify compliance with labour regulations to prevent quantifiable or qualitative violations and verify and restore working conditions in the sectors of the economy.
185.The Ministry of Labour and Social Security applies a national inspection strategy in a number of prioritized economic sectors; in addition, in the sectors that employ indigenous and Afro-Honduran persons, it periodically carries out regular inspections to detect violations of the labour rights of those population groups.
186.The minimum wage tables negotiated in the sectors, applied equally to both genders, are classified by economic sector, with the total salary being determined in terms of the number of workers employed by the company.
187.With regard to paragraph 35 (e), on health measures and occupational hazards, particularly for women working in agro-industry, the Ministry of Health, through its facilities in the various departmental regions, provides comprehensive care for all women workers in the formal and informal sectors. Services to women workers in agro-industry are provided through medical teams, health fairs and educational campaigns.
188.There is also a National Health Plan for the Men and Women Workers of Honduras, which supports health and safety and prevents occupational hazards. It is coordinated by the National Commission for the Health of the Men and Women Workers of Honduras.
C.Access to health care
189.With regard to paragraph 37 (b), on the impact on women and girls of the criminalization of abortion and the ban on emergency contraception, the National Institute for Women, in collaboration with municipalities, has prepared four situational analyses at the municipal level on the situation of violence against women and teenage pregnancy, with a view to proposing actions at the local level aimed at conducting a pilot exercise to reduce violence and teenage pregnancy rates.
190.With regard to paragraph 37 (c), on access to high-quality sexual and reproductive health services, the Ministry of Health’s institutional strategic plan for the period 2018–2022 includes a gender equity and intercultural perspective in all health management processes (guidance, care and provision of health services).
191.The National Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy of 2016 provides general guidelines on health, sexual and reproductive health and gender equity in its protocols for comprehensive health care for women, girls and adolescents, including the protocol for comprehensive care for adolescents.
192.With regard to the prevention of adolescent pregnancy, the Ministry of Health adopted the Strategy for the Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy in Honduras in 2012. In 2019, an assessment led to the identification of a significant number of adolescents who were being left behind, including adolescents from rural areas and indigenous and Afro-Honduran communities, from sectors with lower socioeconomic status, with low levels of schooling and those deprived of liberty. A new strategy and the Adolescent Health Action Plan for 2020–2024, which incorporates the needs of adolescents, are currently being developed.
193.The Multisectoral Plan for the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy, a comprehensive initiative aimed at improving the living conditions of adolescents and their families, is focused on supporting the municipalities of six departments that make up the Dry Corridor in Honduras, a region with a large number of ethnic groups and high poverty rates. The initiative has led to the establishment of an adolescent pregnancy prevention programme through the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion.
194.With regard to family planning and maternal health services, there are 1,648 first-level and 28 second-level facilities in the health service network of the Ministry of Health that provide free coverage to the population. Maternal health services provided at the first and second levels include prenatal care, childbirth, puerperium and general morbidity care, and the second level also includes obstetric emergencies.
195.Comprehensive obstetric care is offered at 27 hospitals within the hospital network, including basic, general and specialty hospitals, and there are 74 maternal and child health services in 16 health regions offering basic obstetric care.
196.As part of the Ministry of Health’s strategies, the health service network has been strengthened through the adoption of standards, strategies and guidelines for care, as well as the provision of capacity-building for health service providers at the outpatient, inpatient, centralized and decentralized levels, including a methodological strategy manual for family planning services, prepared for the first and second levels of care, an operations management guide for family planning services and a family planning services protocol, the latter two approved in 2019.,
197.The primary health care component has also been strengthened through community strategies, including at the individual, family and community levels, through maternity homes and family planning in rural areas, which incorporate the local community and governments as active agents in promoting maternal health and preventing maternal and neonatal mortality.
198.Guidelines for the care of pregnant women during childbirth and the puerperium have been developed in the context of COVID-19.
199.Family planning and maternal health have been the pillars of national health strategies and policies aimed at reducing maternal mortality in the past three decades.
200.In accordance with the Maternal Mortality Ratio Update, and taking into account the mortality rate of women of childbearing age, the maternal mortality ratio decreased from 73 to 60 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015. The maternal mortality ratio per 100,000 live births decreased from 86 to 38 maternal deaths in urban areas, and from 85 to 58 maternal deaths in rural areas.
201.Haemorrhage during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium is the leading cause of maternal mortality (32 per cent), followed by hypertensive disorders (26 per cent) and puerperal sepsis (8 per cent).
202.The following table contains the number of infant deaths by age group.
Early neonatal (0–7 days)
Late neonatal (8–28 days)
Post neonatal (29 days–11 months)
* 1 953
** 1 537
Source: Health Surveillance Unit / Ministry of Health.
*2019 data are from the epidemiological bulletin` Health Surveillance Unit/Ministry of Health. Honduras 2019.
**Data are from the 2020 epidemiological bulletin up to week 45, Health Surveillance Unit/Ministry of Health. Honduras 2020.
203.As part of its strategy to prevent cervical-uterine cancer, the Ministry of Health developed the Scale-Up Project (2015–2019), focused on introducing papillomavirus (HPV) testing. Out of the 80,000 women who were tested in three regions of the country, 12,000 tested positive for the highest risk serotypes and 6 out of 15 women presented lesions, 70 per cent of whom received treatment.
204.With regard to the provision of care for people at high risk of developing cancer, 16 facilities treat cervical-uterine cancer, including 10 at the first level, which perform annual Pap smears to detect this type of cancer. A total of 189,864 Pap smears were performed in 2017, representing 92 per cent of the programmed goal, while 188,837 were performed in 2018 and 180,884 in 2019, accounting for around 80 per cent of the programmed goal in both years. In the six facilities that provide second-level care, a total of 1,460 patients were admitted for cervical-uterine cancer in 2019.
205.In the area of prevention, in 2016 the Ministry of Health, through its expanded immunization programme, included the HPV vaccine in its national vaccination schedule, given the high incidence of associated cervical-uterine cancer. The target population is girls aged 11 years, and the two-dose vaccine is administered consistently. During the period 2016–2019, the first-dose vaccination coverage varied from 75 to 94 per cent and that of the second dose from 55 to 65 per cent.
206.In addition, the sexual and reproductive health module of the Ciudad Mujer programme provides services for the prevention, early detection and timely treatment of breast and cervical cancer. Since 2014, it has set up mobile health clinics that provide free mammography services, prioritizing women at risk (between 40 and 65 years of age), at health fairs held in 163 of the 298 municipalities in the country, offering women instant early cancer detection check-ups and breast exams.
207.Every year, the mobile health clinics offer mammograms to more than 4,000 women, and more than 160,000 people have received general health care in the past six years. During the COVID-19 emergency period, between March and September 2020, the clinics have received more than 32,000 visits and provided more than 88,000 medical services.
208.Measures to prevent breast cancer include the campaign to promote breast self-examination organized by the Ciudad Mujer programme, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), an initiative aimed at raising awareness of the importance of prevention, early diagnosis and access to timely treatment.
209.With regard to subparagraph (d), on access to accurate information on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents and young women and men, see the recommendation contained in paragraph 33 (d), in the education section of the report of the Committee.
210.Educational and informative material has also been produced on the prevention of various types of cancer (breast, uterus, stomach, lung, abdomen, prostate), self-esteem, sexual and reproductive health, gender and health, prevention of violence, sexual abuse and HIV in women.
211.With regard to the recommendation contained in paragraph 39 (a), on ensuring equal access for women and men to care and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV/AIDS, the Ministry of Health has introduced the following measures:
(a)Expansion of the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan for 2020–2024 aimed at strengthening HIV prevention measures, with an emphasis on key populations and the most vulnerable populations; scaling up actions to expand the coverage and quality of care, treatment and psychosocial support services for people living with HIV, in an environment free from stigma and discrimination; and providing guidance to institutional actors working in the response to the HIV epidemic, including in the area of international cooperation;
(b)AIDS Epidemic Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for 2020–2024;
(c)Programme to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV;
(d)Reestablishment of the National Council for AIDS Prevention and Control to respond to HIV prevention and treatment initiatives by February 2020.
212.The National Institute for Women signed an agreement with the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS to promote the empowerment and active participation of women with HIV in political decision-making spaces and to guarantee their sexual and reproductive rights.
213.With a view to supporting people living with HIV, the Ministry of Health has 57 comprehensive care services nationwide, which are working to supply medication, identify people requiring antiretroviral treatment, monitor cases and control the HIV epidemic, among other tasks. A total of 54 services for adolescents have been set up in health facilities, and 12 have been established in schools with the highest concentration of students from the poorest areas. There are also 11 sentinel surveillance clinics for sexually transmitted infections.
214.According to the Global AIDS Monitoring 2019 report, 55 per cent of pregnant women with HIV (156 out of 285) were receiving antiretroviral treatment, 58 per cent of whom had started treatment during pregnancy and 42 per cent were already being treated before they became pregnant. There was a 1.46 per cent positivity rate for children with perinatal exposure to HIV.
215.There are 22 health centres with paediatric infectious disease specialists who can provide comprehensive specialized care for children and adolescents living with HIV.
216.The Ministry of Health issues guidelines for providing stigma- and discrimination-free health services to transgender and intersex people, sex workers, men who have sex with men and people living with HIV.
217.An important achievement to note is that no cases of bloodborne transmission have been reported over the past five years.
218.With regard to paragraph 39 (b), on HIV testing and raising awareness among women and men, including those living with HIV and those who engage in risky sexual behaviour, of their responsibility to reduce HIV transmission, campaigns are conducted annually to raise awareness of the disease and the importance of HIV testing, which are mainly aimed at those most at risk. In 2018, during the commemoration of World AIDS Day, the “Get Tested, Know Your Status” campaign was launched in collaboration with PAHO/WHO in Honduras, civil society organizations and people living with HIV.
219.During that commemorative week, activities included public events, educational and informative talks held by authorities and representatives, social network campaigns, free testing, distribution of condoms among the population and the organization of a film festival with university students.
220.In 2018, the National Institute for Women and the Mosquitia municipal office for women gave talks on HIV/AIDS prevention and protection aimed at women living in the area.
221.With regard to paragraph 39 (c), regarding an HIV prevalence study, the last such report was conducted in 2012 with funds from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
E.Economic and social life and empowerment of women
222.With regard to the recommendation contained in paragraph 41, on ensuring access to social protection programmes, a public policy framework Act on social matters has been adopted to create policies focusing on people living in poverty and communities facing vulnerable conditions, in line with State strategies and international instruments.
223.Within the same framework, the National Social Sector Information Centre was created to compile data on the beneficiaries of social programmes and projects implemented by the State’s social services. The Single Socioeconomic Form is distributed every five years to collect information on the population’s living conditions, geographical location, agricultural productivity, food security, citizen security, demographical data, education, occupation and health, among other factors. In addition, it is used to compile information on households: life cycle, gender, multiculturalism, geographical area, housing conditions and socioeconomic conditions.
224.According to data collected on the form in 2019, a total of 3,537,071 people are registered in the Unified Registry of Participants as recipients of benefits in the framework of social programmes and projects, including 1,950,557 women (55 per cent). Of the total number of women beneficiaries, 67.62 per cent live in rural areas and 32.38 in urban areas; 384,705 (19.72 per cent) are indigenous or Afro-Honduran women; and 4.48 per cent are women with disabilities. By life cycle, 16.42 per cent are in early childhood, 13.25 per cent are girls, 13.79 per cent are adolescents, 19.24 per cent are young women, 29.33 per cent are adult women and 7.95 per cent are older women.
225.With regard to the economic empowerment of women, the following policy measures have been implemented to promote economic growth by generating employment and bringing more people into employment:
(a)The National Employment Policy was approved in 2017 and included various programmes which have contributed to the employment of 229,618 Hondurans, 55 per cent of them women, between 2016 and 2019;
(b)The Honduran Bank of Production and Housing has allocated 36 per cent of its loans to women, benefited 60,290 families, generated 55,080 jobs and indirectly benefited 1.5 million people;
(c)Under the Presidential Solidarity Credit Programme, 176,652 loans have been granted and 152,535 jobs have been created. Eighty per cent of those loans have been given to women, 50 per cent of whom are heads of household, 8 per cent are indigenous or Afro-Honduran and 2 percent are women with disabilities.
226.In 2018, the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion and the National Institute for Women launched the Credimovil Strategy, a proposal for regularizing micro, small and medium enterprises; local marketing fairs were established to promote women’s economic empowerment within the framework of the Better Life platform; and a proposal was made regarding gender mainstreaming in solidarity-based housing, entrepreneurship and employability programmes.
227.The National Banking and Insurance Commission launched the Financial Inclusion Plan for Women, which is aimed at ensuring that data is compiled at the national level disaggregated by sex, and promoting access to and use of financial services and products by women.
228.Initiatives related to the empowerment of rural, indigenous and Afro-Honduran women include the adoption of the Act and regulations on credit for rural women; the creation by the Honduran Bank of Production and Housing of the Special Service Window for Women; and the launch of the microenterprise credit line “Working Capital for Women”.
229.In the framework of the agreement between the National Institute for Women and the Canada-Honduras agroforestry value chain project of the Canadian Cooperation Society for International Development, efforts are being made to support women in different regions of the country with a view to empowering them and their families in the area of economic entrepreneurship. A total of 44 agroforestry associative enterprises in five departments are affiliated and working to develop value chains.
F.Rural women and indigenous and Afro-Honduran women
230.With regard to the recommendation contained in paragraph 43 (a), on compliance with the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169), of the International Labour Organization, the bill on free, prior and informed consultation was submitted to the National Congress on 23 May 2018 and is being reviewed by a special commission. The following actions have been taken:
(a)The bill has been shared with private-sector institutions, civil society organizations, human rights defenders and international cooperation agencies to raise awareness about its goal and content, obtain technical opinions and manage cooperation, assistance and financing from cooperating partners for processes related to the dissemination, consultation and approval of the bill;
(b)Institutions have been selected for participation in the consultation process that must be carried out to lend legitimacy to the process;
(c)Advice and support in designing the consultation strategy was requested from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Honduras. In response to a request from the special commission, an ILO representative on indigenous affairs agreed to provide a technical opinion on the draft law;
(d)To ensure openness and inclusion of the sectors involved, OHCHR has collaborated in and supported the process. In November 2019, it submitted a technical proposal and schedule of activities, which is currently being analysed by the relevant branch of Government;
(e)Support was requested to develop training programmes for National Congress officials and deputies involved in the process of discussion and approval of the Law; in the project review and restructuring process, in consultation with indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples; and in the design of a methodology for the development and approval of the project.
231.The consultation process with the Diunat Miskito Territorial Council in Brus Laguna, on the implementation of the photovoltaic energy project, can be highlighted as a good practice in ensuring the right to free, prior and informed consultation and consent. The Miskito people were also consulted on an oil exploitation project on the Mosquitia coast through the Mosquitia territorial councils, in accordance with the Biocultural Protocol of the Miskito People.
232.With regard to the active inclusion of women in the design and implementation of climate change policies and plans, the School for Equality and Empowerment of Rural Women offers advice and support to rural women through a one-year gender empowerment initiative. The initiative is designed to develop skills for training agents of change and promoting equality and equity in the use, conservation and preservation of the environment and natural resources; and it provides training and knowledge forum that contributes to the comprehensive development of rural women and enhances their social, cultural and political participation. Supported by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, civil society organizations and international cooperation agencies, the initiative benefits 30 women representatives of various agroforestry organizations and indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples.
233.In 2019, the National Institute for Women advised the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment on the creation of the Gender Equity and Environment Strategy with a view to eliminating gender inequalities related to the environment and encouraging women’s participation in the development, implementation and evaluation of environmental policies and programmes for sustainable development. It also offered advice on the preparation and implementation of the Guide for Gender Mainstreaming in Environmental Project Development.
234.The National Institute for Women, in coordination with the Honduran Institute of Geology and Mines, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Forest Conservation Institute, the Regulatory Body for Drinking Water and Sanitation Services and the Permanent Contingency Commission of Honduras, drew up action plans to advance gender equity mainstreaming, facilitate equitable access to resources and promote a gender culture, in compliance with the Second Gender Equality and Equity Plan.
235.The first School for Equality and Empowerment of Rural Women, a national benchmark institution, has been set up to train rural women in risk-taking and decision-making, taking into account their culture.
236.With regard to rural women’s access to land, according to the National Agrarian Institute, from 2016 to 2020 a total of 7,133 women working in the cultivation of coffee and cocoa received land titles for a total area of 9,921.361203 hectares.
237.In 2018, a total of 1,020 definitive property titles were given to single mothers, and 38 women’s rural associative enterprises were established, benefiting 172 women.
238.Regarding the introduction of a gender perspective in policies and programmes to promote agricultural activities, in particular for indigenous and Afro-Honduran women, the Women’s Policy Agenda for indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples is the basis for a public policy to ensure access and full participation in local and national institutional structures, as well as effective participation in decision-making.
239.Regarding the National Agrarian Institute’s budget allocation, L 256,668,985.00 was allocated for the fiscal year 2015 and L 367,201,446.00 for the fiscal year 2020, an increase of 43 per cent from 2015 to 2020.
240.With regard to paragraph 43 (c), the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Ethnic Groups and Cultural Heritage registers complaints and investigates cases of land and natural resource disputes, including violations of rights, in areas where indigenous and Afro-Honduran communities are historically settled.
241.With regard to paragraph 43 (d), the National Social Sector Information Centre provides targeted services to women in vulnerable situations through social protection programmes.
Internally displaced women, refugees and asylum seekers
242.With regard to the recommendation contained in paragraph 45 (b), on efforts to prevent the causes of displacement and to meet the specific protection needs of internally displaced women, the Ministry of Human Rights Directorate for the Protection of Persons Internally Displaced by Violence was established in 2018. The Directorate, in coordination with the Inter-Institutional Commission for the Protection of Persons Displaced by Violence, which comprises representatives of public institutions and civil society organizations, works to promote policies and response measures in prevention, care and protection in the context of internal displacement, including:
(a)Publication of the second study on internal displacement caused by violence in Honduras (2004–2018);
(b)Preparation of the Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Mechanism Manual;
(c)Preparation of the Practical Guide for the Application of Differentiated Care Criteria with a Psychosocial Approach for Persons Internally Displaced by Violence in Honduras;
(d)Principles for the implementation of policies to assist the displaced population at the local level, with the aim of establishing basic criteria to guide national and local authorities on their roles and responsibilities in the response to internal displacement;
(e)Coordination with municipalities for the preparation and implementation of three municipal plans for responding to situations of internal displacement in three prioritized municipalities, with a strategy for durable solutions, which has made it possible to establish local coordination and response mechanisms;
(f)Specialized course on internal displacement, which has provided training to 40 public officials from 27 institutions.
243.In order to provide comprehensive care for victims of displacement, the Ministry of Human Rights has launched the pilot project “Generating knowledge and experience in emergency humanitarian assistance to returning migrants with protection needs in the context of forced migration in Honduras”, through which it is using public funds to support and monitor 21 cases, offering humanitarian assistance to 59 displaced persons (16 women and 29 children and adolescents).
244.With regard to paragraph 45 (c), on the adoption of urgent and durable measures to address displacement, on 27 March 2019 the Inter-Institutional Commission for the Protection of Persons Displaced by Violence submitted to the National Congress a bill on the prevention, care and protection of forcibly displaced persons, on which a final decision is pending. The “247,000 reasons” campaign was launched to expedite the discussion and approval process.
245.The measures taken to address displacement are based on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and the recommendations made in 2016 by the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons during her visit to Honduras, which have been adapted in the above-mentioned bill.
246.With regard to paragraph 45 (d), the Regional Comprehensive Framework for Protection and Solutions was adopted to provide a solidarity-based, coordinated and comprehensive response to forced displacement in the region within the countries of origin, transit and destination, aimed at protecting refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons and returnees in need of protection. The initiative was launched by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Organization of American States and the Central American Integration System.
Women deprived of liberty
247.As at November 2020, a total of 1,188 women were deprived of liberty (414 have been sentenced and 774 are facing charges), accounting for 4.64 per cent of the total number of persons deprived of liberty.
248.With regard to the recommendation contained in paragraph 47, the new Criminal Code provides for the following alternatives to imprisonment:
(b)Alternative penalty, including house arrest, weekend detention, permanent monitoring and deportation from Honduran territory;
(c)Conditional suspension of sentence;
(d)Parole, a benefit that is available when half of the sentence has been served in cases of imprisonment for terms of up to 15 years and when two thirds of a sentence has been served for sentences of 15 to 30 years. The previous Penal Code granted parole upon completion of two thirds of a sentence.
249.The National Congress amended article 184 of the current Code of Criminal Procedure, which sets out a list of offences for which alternatives to pretrial detention are not accepted. It also establishes an ex officio review of the precautionary measures of pretrial detention of prosecuted persons deprived of liberty who have underlying health conditions that put them at risk of contracting COVID-19, so that precautionary measures are replaced with house arrest.
250.In addition, the State implemented the Prison Decongestion Plan, under which from March to 30 October 2020 a total of 2,773 persons deprived of liberty were given alternative penalties, such as parole and commutation of sentences, serving of sentence, review of sentences and release of terminally ill individuals. Similarly, the National Penitentiary Institute has granted pre-release benefits to 216 women prisoners.
251.To ensure better conditions for persons deprived of liberty, including women, the National Penitentiary System has reduced prison overcrowding by 46 per cent since 2017 and has improved living conditions.
252.To achieve the social reintegration of persons deprived of liberty, training programmes have been provided to 1,400 people in 12 prisons, including 160 women who have received training in agriculture, values and development.
253.To ensure that women deprived of liberty benefit from good health and hygiene conditions, within the framework of the Public Health Policy and the National Health Plan 2021, the National Penitentiary Institute supplies prison medical clinics at the national level, including the National Women’s Social Adaptation Penitentiary, with medicines provided by the Ministry of Health and others purchased using funds of the National Penitentiary Institute.
254.When women enter the national penitentiary system, they undergo medical screening to determine whether sexual abuse and other forms of violence occurred prior to admission, in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules), and ongoing psychosocial care is provided.
255.Pregnant women deprived of liberty are referred to a hospital facility for care during and after delivery. During the postpartum and breastfeeding period, they have access to daily gynaecology and obstetrics care, and their children have access to paediatric services. Pregnant women deprived of liberty and those with children up to 4 years of age are placed in the nursery module, which is separate from other women deprived of liberty.
256.During the COVID-19 pandemic, teams have been organized within the National Women’s Social Adaptation Penitentiary to identify positive cases so that treatment and hygiene kits can be provided.
257.The Ministry of Health takes a comprehensive approach to providing services for women, establishing connections between the areas of information, advocacy, prevention and care, taking into account women’s life stages and looking beyond their reproductive function.
258.In August 2018, the Ministry of General Government Coordination, the Ministry of Human Rights, the Ministry of Health and the National Penitentiary Institute signed a framework agreement on interinstitutional cooperation for comprehensive health care for persons deprived of liberty, with the goal of establishing a technical and financial cooperation framework and pooling efforts and resources to provide comprehensive health services to persons deprived of liberty within the National Penitentiary System.
259.An agreement implementation plan was also prepared, incorporating institutional commitments to better protect the health of persons deprived of liberty, and a prison health committee was established to monitor the 37 agreements signed in the addendum to the agreement. The subjects covered include:
(a)Licensing of services;
(b)Integration of the National Penitentiary Institute’s health services into the Integrated Health Services Networks;
(c)Additional supplies, medicines and reagents to be provided at the national level by the Ministry of Health and limited to the items on the list approved by the Integrated Health Services Networks for first- and second-level care for prioritized health issues such as vaccines;
(d)Technical advice on good storage practices;
(e)The list of medicines in the basic national formulary will be given by level of care to create a basic guide for prioritizing purchases made by the National Penitentiary Institute.
260.To inspect the conditions of women deprived of liberty and provide them with humanitarian assistance, the Gender Unit of the judiciary conducts annual visits to the National Women’s Social Adaptation Penitentiary.
261.The National Institute for Women, in alliance with the International Development Law Organization in Honduras, is also addressing the issue of women deprived of liberty with the aim of establishing joint actions to improve their quality of life and access to justice.
A.Marriage and family relations
262.Regarding the recommendation contained in paragraph 49 (a), on the impact on women of the community property regime, according to the regulations in force, prior to marriage, the future spouses may agree on their present and future property by means of a marital agreement, which can be modified after the marriage has been formalized.
263.With regard to paragraph 49 (b), article 21 of the Family Code prohibits marriage for children. The final paragraph of article 16 of the Code, which allowed 16-year-old girls to marry with their parents’ authorization, was repealed by Legislative Decree No. 44-2017 of 12 July 2017. At present, only persons over the age of 21 may marry, and the minimum age of marriage for women and men is 18 years, with authorization from their parents or guardians.
264.In line with the recommendation contained in paragraph 49 (e), the implementing regulations for the Responsible Parenthood Act were adopted in 2019.
VII.Concluding recommendations and provisions
A.Data collection and analysis
265.With regard to the recommendation contained in paragraph 51, on managing, improving and analysing disaggregated data, the National Institute of Statistics has established the System of Social Indicators on Children, Adolescents and Women, a data collection mechanism that is regularly updated by the Inter-Agency Technical Committee on Children, Adolescents and Women.
266.The System of Social Indicators on Children, Adolescents and Women compiles more than 80 socioeconomic indicators that contribute to the design and implementation of State policies and to the annual preparation of thematic documents and reports on women and children.
267.The National Institute of Statistics, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, with assistance from the European Union and with technical and financial support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is conducting the National Population and Health Survey/Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey to collect information on the health situation of women aged 15 to 49 years and men aged 15 to 59 years, and also the social determinants; fertility, reproductive health and general health; children under 5 years of age and children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 17 years; the nutritional status of children and infant mortality; domestic violence; morbidity; HIV/AIDS; housing indicators; use of services; and health expenditures and demographic indicators of the Honduran population. For the first time, the quality of drinking water and salt iodization will also be assessed.
268.The 2019 National Population and Health Survey/Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey is of special interest owing to its use in measuring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the indicators proposed in the Plan for the Nation and Vision for the Country.
269.The National Population and Health Survey is conducted using the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey methodology, an international household survey programme developed by UNICEF. The survey includes modules on domestic and intra-family violence and on victimization and sense of security.
270.In addition, the monitoring platform on the national agenda for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals provides relevant quantitative and qualitative information related to the National Agenda’s prioritized indicators, and is a source of information and a space for collaboration for civil society organizations, academia, international organizations, public institutions and the general population.
B.Optional Protocol and amendment to article 20 (1) of the Convention
271.With regard to the recommendation contained in paragraph 52, on the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention, the National Institute for Women promotes its ratification by disseminating the text with the full participation of women.
C.Status of implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
272.In 2019, the State of Honduras presented to the Commission on the Status of Women an assessment report on the progress achieved and the challenges encountered in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The following achievements were highlighted:
(a)Response to, prevention of and reduction in violence in all its manifestations, including a 27 per cent decrease in violent deaths of women in 2018 compared with 2014, a 52 per cent increase in the culture of reporting domestic violence, and new methodologies for addressing violence;
(b)Inclusion of women and empowerment through programmes and services focused on services for women, especially in rural areas;
(c)Regulatory changes in planning and budgeting to ensure funding for equality, by incorporating a gender and women’s human rights perspective in budgetary provisions, as well as through the Gender Equity Investment Index;
(d)New strategies and mechanisms to mainstream gender by promoting gender units in public institutions and municipal offices for women.
D.Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
273.In 2015 Honduras adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As part of its commitment, it initiated strategic actions aimed at establishing a national framework for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, under the leadership of the Ministry of General Government Coordination and with support from the United Nations, external cooperation organizations and social actors. The National Commission for the 2030 Agenda was established in 2018.
274.The national agenda for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals was approved in 2019, prioritizing 68 national goals and 99 national indicators, which were defined according to their alignment with the main instruments of the National Development Planning System, such as the 2038 Vision for the Country, the 2022 Plan for the Nation, the Strategic Plan of Government for 2018–2022 and the measurement capacities of the National Statistical System. It therefore complements the instruments for planning, follow-up and monitoring of development, strengthening the inclusive and participatory approach to public policies promoted by the 2030 Agenda, and is a fundamental aspect of the country’s planning.
275.The first voluntary national review, entitled “Laying the foundations for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, was issued in July 2017, and the second report, “From economic growth to sustainable development”, was presented in 2020.
276.The National Agenda is prepared in an open process to make it consistent with the main instruments of the National Development Planning System, maintaining the fundamental content of the National Agenda unchanged with respect to the latter’s sustainable development goals.
277.In the implementation of the National Agenda for the sustainable development of Honduras, and in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal 5, the State has the following targets:
(a)Reduce discrimination against women and girls;
(b)Eliminate violence against women and girls;
(c)Ensure women’s full and effective participation in political, economic and public life.
(a)5.1.1 Percentage of compliance with legal frameworks to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex;
(b)5.2.1 Percentage of women aged 15–49 years who have experienced intimate partner violence;
(c)5.3.1 Percentage of women holding a seat in the National Congress;
(d)5.3.2 Percentage of women in local government positions;
(e)5.3.3 Percentage of women in executive and management positions.
279.In the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal 17, the State, in order to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, has set the following targets:
(a)Increase international support for developing countries to support national plans for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals;
(b)Encourage the constitution of effective public, private and civil society partnerships to obtain resources for development;
(c)Support statistical capacity-building in developing countries.
(a)17.6.1 Number of new non-traditional cooperation projects (private, South-South and triangular cooperation);
(b)17.7.1 New sources of financing for development incorporated into the cooperation system;
(c)17.8.1 Millions of United States dollars of international cooperation to strengthen the country’s statistical capacity.
281.The National Policy on Cooperation for Sustainable Development was approved with the general aim of ensuring the effectiveness of cooperation for sustainable and inclusive development in Honduras, with the participation of all actors and development partners, public and private, national and international.
282.In order to connect the human rights and development agendas, the Ministry of Human Rights, with technical assistance from OHCHR, linked the international recommendations of all treaty bodies, the universal periodic review, public policy actions and the national human rights action plan with the Sustainable Development Goals. The result has been made available to the public.
F.Ratification of other treaties
283.With regard to the recommendation contained in paragraph 57, on the ratification of the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure, while the State of Honduras is constantly reviewing and evaluating its international instruments, it has not yet decided to ratify the Optional Protocol. It is worth noting that the international remedy of submitting complaints to the inter-American human rights system is available to victims, once domestic remedies have been exhausted.
284.The State of Honduras wishes to report that it has ratified the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
G.Follow-up to the concluding observations
285.In compliance with the recommendation in paragraph 58, on 10 December 2018 Honduras submitted to the Committee its follow-up report on the implementation of recommendations 13 (a) and (d), and 29 (a) and (b) on the stipulated date.