United Nations


International Convention on the Elimination of A ll Forms of Racial Discrimination

Distr.: General

5 December 2018

Original: English

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Ninety-seventh session

Summary record of the 2685th meeting

Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Wednesday, 28 November 2018, at 3 p.m.

Chair:Mr. Amir

later: Ms. McDougall (Vice-Chair)

later: Mr. Amir


Consideration of reports, comments and information submitted by States parties under article 9 of the Convention (continued)

Combined sixth to eighth periodic reports of Honduras

The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.

Consideration of reports, comments and information submitted by States parties under article 9 of the Convention (continued)

Combined sixth to eighth periodic reports of Honduras (CERD/C/HND/6-8; CERD/C/HND/Q/6-8)

1. At the invitation of the Chair, the delegation of Honduras took places at the Committee table.

2.Mr. Gonzáles (Honduras), introducing the combined sixth to eighth periodic reports of Honduras (CERD/C/HND/6-8), said that, in order to speed up progress and sustainable development among the country’s indigenous peoples, such groups had been specifically taken into account in national and sectoral plans and policies such as the Vision for the Country, the Plan for the Nation and the Government Strategic Plan 2014–2018, as well as the latest gender equality and equity plan and programmes for children and adolescents such as Parenting with Love, Better Families and the programme on prevention of adolescent pregnancy. In that way it had been possible to reach nearly 475,000 members of indigenous and Afro-Honduran groups.

3.In accordance with the Committee’s previous recommendations, the definition of racial discrimination given in the Criminal Code had been amended to include the criteria of national origin and membership of an ethnic group or race, in line with the Convention. The new Criminal Code had also amended the offence of justification or defence of discrimination to penalize anyone attacking the dignity of another person by means of humiliating acts, utterances or images. In addition, a new offence had been defined with a view to protecting indigenous peoples and Afrodescendants from labour discrimination.

4.Turning to the Public Policy against Racism and Racial Discrimination for the Comprehensive Development of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Peoples 2016–2022, he said that its objective was to guarantee the indigenous peoples’ exercise of their human rights while maintaining their identity and participating in the social, economic, political, cultural and environmental spheres, with due respect for their world view. The product of a broad participatory process that had involved all nine indigenous peoples, the Policy took a three-pronged approach, based on human rights, gender equality and interculturalism. A plan of action had been prepared in 2018 to implement the six policy areas of social and political participation and intercultural citizenship, the right to education, the right to health, the right to ancestral heritage sites of economic interest and to decent work, the right to ancestral lands and natural resources, and customary law and access to formal community justice.

5.There had been a notable increase in the number of congressional deputies from indigenous or Afro-Honduran groups, who now numbered 20 and accounted for 8 per cent of the total. A bill had recently been submitted to Congress to set quotas for the representation of indigenous peoples and Afro-Hondurans, along with young persons and persons with disabilities, not only in elected posts but also in the internal structures of political parties.

6.A series of legislative and administrative measures had been taken to combat racial discrimination in the education system. The Bilingual Intercultural Education Act, for example, now made reference to accessibility, availability and acceptability, in accordance with international standards. The country’s 919 bilingual intercultural schools catered for one third of indigenous and Afro-Honduran children of school age and 7 new secondary schools would soon be opening in the department of Gracias a Dios and would take 1,000 Miskito youngsters. The bilingual intercultural system employed only teachers belonging to indigenous or Afro-Honduran groups.

7.In addition, the first dictionary of Honduran indigenous languages was in the pipeline and over 700 secondary and higher education scholarships were available to indigenous and Afro-Honduran students.

8.Particular consideration was given to indigenous peoples and Afro-Hondurans in the new model of national health coverage, notably in respect of health centres and hospitals, visits by primary health-care teams, comprehensive care and screening. The Ministry of Health’s strategic plan for 2018–2022 took gender and interculturalism as cross-cutting themes. Affirmative action included the foundation of a nursing school for indigenous peoples and the opening of a health centre specifically for the Tolupán people; under a special agreement, human resources training could be provided to health staff who were members of indigenous peoples. Housing conditions had been improved as a preventive measure against endemic diseases in indigenous and Afro-Honduran areas.

9.Of particular concern was the situation of Miskito divers. A special care protocol had been drawn up in consultation with beneficiaries, 98 housing units had been provided and a centre for injured divers had been built.

10.In the area of administration of justice, an increase in the number of complaints — from 50 to 500 according to the latest figures — showed that the indigenous and Afro-Honduran populations were becoming more aware of their rights and acquiring greater confidence in the Public Prosecution Service. One example of steps taken to protect those groups was the remedy in amparo submitted by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Ethnic Groups and the Cultural Heritage requesting protective measures in connection with several cases of death by violence in Warunta in the municipality of Ahuás, Gracias a Dios, and of threats against the Lenca communities in La Paz.

11.In the case of the murder of human rights defender Berta Cáceres, the trial of the nine accused had ended; the suspected instigator of the crime, the executive president of Empresa Desarrollos Energéticos SA (DESA), was in preventive detention pending the judgment. Meanwhile, in March 2018, protection for human rights defenders had been reinforced by the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, Journalists, Social Communicators and Justice Officials, which had jurisdiction to investigate offences and threats against those groups.

12.As an example of good practice, he wished to draw the Committee’s attention to the Partnership for the Development of the Honduran Mosquitia, which comprised the Government, the United Nations system, the Governments of Germany and Switzerland, various municipalities and the Union of Indigenous and Black Peoples of Honduran Mosquitia and had been launched in 2016 in an attempt to solve the problems of governance and lack of sustainable development in that region. It aimed to establish a framework for cooperation and coordination for the financing and administration of sustainable development projects with a view to addressing the problems in that region such as lack of job opportunities, high levels of poverty and food insecurity, lack of access to markets and technology, poor social service infrastructure, little access to social protection, weak government and environmental vulnerability. Under a plan for immediate action between 2016 and 2018, special measures were being taken to address governance, access to basic services, inclusive economic development and income generation, land and river access to markets and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

13.In respect of ancestral lands and territories, 12 title deeds had been granted. They stipulated that the land was, among other things, inalienable and transferable only to direct descendants of members of the territorial council.

14.The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development had been widely disseminated at meetings to which representatives of the indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples had been invited; a national agenda for the sustainable development goals had been adopted in late September 2018.

15.Honduras had redoubled its efforts to promote the empowerment of women and children, including those belonging to indigenous and Afro-Honduran groups, who continued to face structural and cultural discrimination and exclusion. The Better Life Platform, for example, had reached over 470,000 beneficiaries through 15 social programmes while, as part of the second National Gender Equality Plan, a gender unit had been created in the Ministry of Social Development and Inclusion. A school for equality and empowerment for rural women had recently started up in the municipality of Jutiapa in Atlántida department.

16.Other measures to which he wished to draw the Committee’s attention were the project on competitiveness and sustainable development in the south-west border corridor, a programme to promote food security and social inclusion in the Lempa region and the Dry Corridor Alliance project being run in departments with large Lenca populations and prioritizing female-headed households.

17.With the technical and financial assistance of Canada and in coordination with various sectors around the country, Honduras was putting in place a comprehensive system to guarantee the rights of children and adolescents.

18.The aim was not only to ensure that all children and adolescents enjoyed the same rights, without discrimination, but also to improve the coordination and content of national policies, including those that directly or indirectly related to indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples.

19.It should be noted that the Office of the National Commissioner for Human Rights was an independent constitutional institution with responsibility for monitoring the activities of the various branches of government. The incumbent of that Office could be removed only with the agreement of a qualified majority of the National Congress.

20.With regard to indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples’ right to land, the Government had granted land titles to the indigenous communities on a scale unmatched in the region. In addition, the Government had held meetings at the local, regional and national levels to facilitate the discussion and collective drafting of a bill on free, prior and informed consultation, taking into account its obligations under the International Labour Organization (ILO) Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169), and the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples. It was hoped that further dialogues in 2019 would lead to the adoption of the bill soon thereafter.

21.In closing, he wished to reaffirm his Government’s commitment to meeting its obligations under the Convention and express its determination to ensure that no one was left behind. In that regard, the Government appreciated the efforts of civil society in Honduras, which shared the Government’s goal of tackling the various challenges facing the country, and pledged to redouble its efforts in order to achieve the inclusion of indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples and eliminate obstacles to their full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

22.Mr. Murillo Martínez (Country Rapporteur), welcoming the high-level, diverse delegation of Honduras, said that the State party had made progress in a number of areas in the period since its previous review. Most notably, it had created the Ministry of Human Rights; enacted a law aimed at protecting human rights defenders, journalists, other media professionals and justice officials; and adopted a public policy to combat racism and racial discrimination and foster the comprehensive development of indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples, for the period 2016–2022. Noting that Honduras recognized nine indigenous and ethnic groups, which included Afrodescendent communities and accounted for almost 10 per cent of the population, he commended the Government’s granting of 158 land titles to indigenous communities and wondered what proportion of the country’s land those titles represented.

23.Notwithstanding the progress made, the State party faced major challenges that often disproportionately affected the indigenous and Afro-Honduran populations. For instance, 65 per cent of the population lived below the poverty line, the homicide rate was among the highest in the world and corruption was endemic. He had been particularly surprised to learn that current gun laws permitted individuals to carry up to three — and, in some cases, five — concealed firearms. He therefore wished to know what the Government was doing to tackle those very serious issues, including by improving gun control. He would also be grateful to receive information on the work of the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, established by the Government and the Organization of American States, and on the measures taken by the State party to comply with a 2015 judgment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights requiring the reinstatement of four judges who had been dismissed in an irregular manner.

24.In recent months, the attention of the international community had been drawn to the so-called migrant caravan, a group of several thousand migrants — predominantly from Honduras but also comprising nationals of other Central American countries — who were making their way towards the United States. He would be interested to hear the Government’s perspective on that outflux and wondered what proportion of indigenous and Afro-Honduran persons were among those leaving the country.

25.Despite the measures taken by the State party to strengthen the Office of the National Commissioner for Human Rights (CERD/C/HND/6-8, paras. 81–88), the Office had been accredited with category B status, indicating that it was not fully compliant with the Paris Principles. He wished to know what steps the Government intended to take to address the concerns of the Subcommittee on Accreditation of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions in order to achieve category A status. He would be interested to know whether the Government intended to reinstate the ministerial powers of the Directorate for Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Peoples and would welcome an update on the status of the National Commission against Racial Discrimination, Racism, Xenophobia and Other Related Forms of Intolerance, including what measures had been put in place to ensure its proper functioning.

26.According to the report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples on her visit to Honduras, indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples not only lived in conditions of extreme poverty but also faced persistent structural discrimination, which left them vulnerable to unfair and precarious working conditions and deprived them of educational opportunities and access to health-care services. For example, in the remote Mosquitia region — home to a predominantly indigenous and Afro-Honduran population — schools were in a state of disrepair, unable to provide teaching in indigenous languages and lacking in materials, staff and infrastructure. Similarly, hospitals were understaffed and plagued by shortages of medicines, equipment and electricity supply. Reports also indicated that some households were without drinking water and sanitation. With those factors in mind, he would be grateful to know the results of the policy framework for bilingual intercultural education, introduced in 2014, and the National Plan on Compulsory Literacy, Academic Underachievement and Popular Education 2014–2017. It would also be useful to know whether the implementation of initiatives such as the Better Life Platform and public policies on indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples had helped to reduce poverty and combat discrimination and actively involved members of the affected communities.

27.As in other Latin American countries, indigenous peoples’ land rights in Honduras was a major issue and a source of much conflict, due in part to a lack of delimitation, demarcation, titling and distribution. Indigenous peoples often received threats as a result of their efforts to protect their ancestral lands. In that light, he would be interested to know more about the mapping project of the National Agrarian Institute, which sought to identify such lands with a view to developing a bill on the subject. In that connection, he asked whether the delegation could provide information on the measures taken by the Government to implement the decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Garífuna Punta Piedra Community and its Members v. Honduras and the Garífuna Triunfo de la Cruz Community and its Members v. Honduras cases, which, among other requirements, had ordered the State party to award the necessary land titles to the communities concerned.

28.Noting that, according to information provided to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, civil society organizations and indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples had not been included in the process of drafting the bill on free, prior and informed consultation and consent, he would be interested to know what steps had been taken to ensure that the observations and comments made by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples had been duly taken into account as a part of that process.

29.In the light of information indicating that mining, tourist and hydroelectric projects had been launched in the territories of indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples without prior consultation, the Committee would like to know what was done to guarantee the right of peoples affected by such projects to free, prior and informed consent, to set up consultation mechanisms and to apply the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169). It also wished to know what had been done to safeguard and protect the resources and territories of indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples from the negative impact of large-scale economic projects.

30.The Committee recognized the efforts made by the State to establish mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders. However, the situation in their regard remained a matter of grave concern. According to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, many of the indigenous leaders who had been killed were beneficiaries of precautionary measures, which indicated a failure on the part of the national authorities to ensure the proper implementation of and follow-up to those measures. The Committee would therefore welcome information on the functioning of the protection mechanisms that had been created, the resources allocated to them and how protection measures were developed, including whether consultations were held with members of indigenous or Afro-Honduran peoples who were the beneficiaries of such measures and whether cultural differences were taken into account. It would be useful to have statistics on the situation of human rights defenders in Honduras.

31.Regarding the murder of Berta Cáceres, the Committee was very concerned about reports of procedural irregularities in the case, such as the refusal by the Public Prosecution Service to grant victims access to information and the fact that relevant evidence was not admitted. The Committee would like to know the current status of the case and about any measures taken to ensure due process.

32.Information would be welcome on the situation of indigenous and Afro-Honduran women, including statistics on their participation in decision-making posts and their access to work, justice, education and sexual and reproductive health-care services.

33.The Committee would be interested to hear more about the functioning of the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Ethnic Groups and Cultural Heritage, the number of cases it had investigated and brought to trial and the corresponding outcomes. Information would be appreciated on the financial and human resources allocated to the Office, any training on the Convention provided to law enforcement officials and the invocation and application of the Convention by judges in their rulings.

34.Mr. Kut (Follow-up Coordinator), noting that the State party had not submitted an interim report, which had been due in 2015, on the recommendations that had been identified for follow-up in the Committee’s previous recommendations (CERD/C/HND/CO/1-5, para. 27), said that the Committee attached great importance to the proper implementation of the follow-up procedure and expected to be provided with updated information on all of the issues raised therein.

35.Mr. Calí Tzay said that he would be interested to hear more about the non-indigenous, non-Afro-Honduran section of the population of Honduras and its place within a multicultural and multilingual society. He asked what measures had been taken to ensure that community support programmes such as the Better Life Platform remained neutral in the face of reported pressure from political parties. He welcomed the State party’s efforts to provide health-care services with an intercultural focus for indigenous and Afro-Honduran communities and wished to know whether indigenous medical practices were recognized and taken into account in that regard. Information would be welcome on the way in which intercultural relations were interpreted. He would appreciate the delegation’s comments on reports of shortages of supplies in community health centres for the Lenca indigenous people.

36.Noting that many issues remained to be resolved under a border demarcation agreement signed over 20 years previously by Honduras and El Salvador, he said that he would like to know what steps the State party was taking, among others, to expedite the granting of land titles to indigenous persons and to provide persons with access to identity documents in order to enable them to vote and, more largely, facilitate their integration into Honduran society. Information would be welcome on the prison population of the State party, in particular the proportion of detainees who were indigenous or Afro-Honduran persons. He would be interested to know whether those persons who formed part of the so-called migrant caravan had cited such factors as exclusion, poverty and lack of access to work, education and health care in their decision to leave their country.

37. Ms. McDougall (Vice-Chair) took the Chair.

38.Mr. Yeung Sik Yuen said that, in order to ensure that vulnerable persons were protected from racial discrimination, it was vital, at the national level, to establish a strong independent judiciary and to clearly separate the legislative, judicial and executive branches of Government. With regard to the judiciary, he wished to know whether, under the appointment process for judges of the Supreme Court of Justice described in paragraph 49 of the State party’s core document (HRI/CORE/1/Add.96/Rev.1), all the candidates selected by the Nominations Committee must have previously undergone legal training. He would also like to know who appointed the members of the Nominations Committee, how many members there were and whether a separate election was held for each Supreme Court post. The Committee would be interested to hear how election by the National Congress of Supreme Court judges was compatible with the principle of the separation of powers. In his view, the current system of seven-year, renewable terms of office for judges was not consistent with the concepts of security of tenure and an independent judiciary. He wondered what impact the fact that the president of the Supreme Court was elected by judges designate had on the working of the Court. With respect to the work of the Supreme Court, he would be interested to know how many cases were heard by it every year and whether the current procedure whereby each case was heard by all 15 judges was a productive way of working. Lastly, he noted that the State party’s core document needed updating.

39.Mr. Avtonomov, commending the State party for its adoption of the Public Policy against Racism and Racial Discrimination for the Comprehensive Development of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Peoples, said that detailed information would be welcome on any measures adopted to implement the six policy areas contained therein and the corresponding outcomes.

40.He would appreciate detailed information on the training sessions provided by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Ethnic Groups and Cultural Heritage for its staff and other stakeholders on the customary law of indigenous peoples and on the way in which that law was taken into account by ordinary and indigenous courts. The Committee would welcome information on any consultation processes carried out concerning measures affecting indigenous peoples and on any complaints of violations of the rights of those peoples received by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Ethnic Groups and Cultural Heritage or any other official body.

41. Mr. Amir resumed the Chair.

42.Ms. Shepherd said that she wished to commend the State party on its efforts in many areas to comply with the provisions of the Convention and to respect the social, economic and political rights of all sections of the population of Honduras.

43.The Committee would welcome information on the impact of sanctions and fines introduced to punish acts of racial discrimination and on their effectiveness as a deterrent. She would be interested to know the extent to which national educational policies had brought about the socioeconomic advancement of persons of African descent, the obstacles to access to higher education faced by those persons and the measures taken to address any such obstacles.

44.She wished to know if the State party had envisaged any action plan or programme of activities for the International Decade for People of African Descent and, if so, how any such plans or programmes were being implemented and whether they incorporated plans devised by persons of African descent themselves. She would welcome any information about educational policies that aimed to promote deeper knowledge about the culture, history and heritage of persons of African descent and greater recognition of their contribution to society. It was important, furthermore, that their history should not remain confined to the educational sphere but be inscribed into the very landscape of the nation.

45.Mr. Albuquerque e Silva said that a report issued in 2005 by the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance had pointed not only to the structural nature of racial discrimination in the State party, but to an absence of recognition that the problem existed at all, on the part both of the authorities and of society in general. That widespread lack of awareness had meant that there were no social, economic or cultural programmes to tackle racial discrimination, while indigenous peoples and persons of African descent were commonly portrayed in a stereotypical fashion by the media. In the 15 years since the report had been published, considerable advances had been achieved. In particular, the existence and structural nature of racial discrimination had gained public recognition. Nonetheless, according to reliable information received by the Committee, many of the problems raised in the 2005 report were still giving cause for concern.

46.One of the principal shortcomings of the State party report was the absence of detailed statistics. Without such information, the Committee was unable to assess the effective impact of public policies designed to combat racial discrimination, such as the National Action Plan on Racism and Racial Discrimination or the awareness-raising and education campaigns to combat stereotypes and promote knowledge of indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples. He would be interested to hear the delegation’s comments in that regard.

47.Mr. Marugán said that he had been pleased to hear about reforms to the Criminal Code in 2013 and 2018, which had defined the offences of racial discrimination, incitement to hatred and labour discrimination. He wished to know how many complaints had been presented and whether victims were sufficiently well informed and supported by the State to denounce such crimes. Could the delegation provide details about coordination between the State and civil society in that regard?

48.He would be interested to learn how the new provisions were applied by the courts and whether the general human rights training offered to law enforcement officials also included specific training on the Convention, in particular on articles 2 and 4. In fact, a correct understanding of those articles was vital if offences such as racial discrimination and incitement to hatred were to be effectively pursued through legal channels. Could the delegation provide details about any sentences handed down or resolutions reached? Although the Criminal Code now envisaged aggravating circumstances if an offence was motivated by hatred or contempt based on “national origin, membership of an indigenous or Afrodescendent group”, the Committee had been given no information about cases in which those circumstances had been upheld by the courts.

49.In the light of a recommendation made by the Committee in its 2014 concluding observations on the combined initial and second to fifth periodic reports of Honduras (CERD/C/HND/CO/1-5), he would be interested to know what steps had been taken to improve the functionality of the National Commission against Racial Discrimination, Racism, Xenophobia and Other Related Forms of Intolerance. He wished to know what human and financial resources would be made available to the new Office of the Special Prosecutor for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, Journalists, Social Communicators and Justice Officials, and how it planned to fulfil its mandate.

50.Ms. McDougall said that it was incorrect to describe the group of migrants currently in the media spotlight, who were making their way northwards from Honduras towards the United States border, as a “caravan”. It was by no means the first such group and the numbers of people involved had been greatly exaggerated. Nonetheless, they were facing serious humanitarian challenges. Their liberty and security were under constant threat and they were suffering acute shortages of water, food and shelter.

51.Ten special procedures mandate holders had written to the Governments of the countries on the migrants’ line of march — Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States of America — reminding them of their obligations under international law including the Convention, which required States parties not only to eliminate racial discrimination but also to protect vulnerable groups. In that regard, she would be interested to know whether the State party was communicating and collaborating with the other countries through which the migrants were passing.

52.Ms. Chung said that, although human rights had been incorporated into the training offered to law enforcement officials, she remained concerned about persistent acts of violence against leaders of indigenous peoples. According to a report issued in 2016 by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, around 100 leaders of the Tolupán people had been murdered over the previous decade. Leaders of other indigenous peoples had also suffered violence. She would be interested to know what the official stance was with respect to violence against indigenous peoples when practised by State actors. In addition, she hoped the delegation could comment on information the Committee had received about discriminatory employment practices against indigenous and Afro-Honduran persons who were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, or who suffered from HIV/AIDS.

The meeting was suspended at 5.30 p.m. and resumed at 5.35 p.m.

53.Mr. Yeung Sik Yuen said that the State party had taken commendable measures to eradicate extreme poverty and to establish a form of non-contributory social protection. He would be interested to know how many persons had benefited from those measures, what specific form the benefits took and what percentage of the national budget was devoted to that end. Did the reference in the State party report to a “guaranteed minimum income” mean that domestic law envisaged a standard minimum wage? He wished to know if the new Criminal Code had been duly enacted into law. Lastly, he hoped the delegation could provide updated information about the outcome of legal proceedings in a number of cases involving violations of the rights of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands, including one against a former government minister.

54.Mr. Calí Tzay said that he had been pleased to hear that racial discrimination and incitement to hatred were now penalized by law in the State party. Could the delegation tell the Committee which official body was responsible for receiving complaints in that regard, how many complaints had been lodged and whether prosecutors were adequately trained to pursue them?

55.Since ratifying the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169), in 1985, the State party had been under the obligation to seek the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples before granting mining concessions on their lands. He would be interested to know if there were plans to provide reparation in cases where concessions had been granted without seeking such consent.

56.Mr. Avtonomov said that the Committee was also concerned about human trafficking, the victims of which were usually ethnically different from the majority of the population in which the phenomenon occurred. He therefore wished to know if the authorities had any plans to combat the trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of persons and, if so, what precise measures those plans envisaged and whether they included mechanisms to evaluate their own impact and effectiveness. Furthermore, he hoped the delegation could inform the Committee about plans to establish the fund for victims envisaged in article 20 of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act (Legislative Decree No. 59-2012). Had reparation been paid out, what legal proceedings had been launched under the Act and what obstacles had the authorities had to face in that regard?

The meeting rose at 5.50 p.m.