The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women has called on the government and people of Honduras to address “widespread and systematic” violations of the human rights of women and girls. The Special Rapporteur, Rashida Manjoo, noted with concern the country’s “high levels of domestic violence, femicide and sexual violence,” as well as the significant institutional and social barriers to ending impunity for perpetrators and protecting victims. She said accountability for crimes of violence against women, which currently stands at less than 5%, must become the “norm” in Honduras.
Of particular concern, femicides increased by nearly 264% over the period 2005 to 2013, despite recent amendments to the Honduran penal code that make femicide a defined criminal offense. In general, a lack of reliable data on the prevalence of violence against women in Honduras frustrates efforts to understand the true nature and scope of the problem, which in turn makes it far more difficult to create appropriate policies to address it. Corruption, organized crime, institutional weakness and gender discrimination are also significant problems.
Additionally, “[t]he lack of focus and effective measures to address women’s empowerment needs is also a factor that contributes to continuing insecurity and fear, and precludes the possibility of eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls,” said the Special Rapporteur.
During her mission to Honduras, the Special Rapporteur visited Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba. She will present her formal report to the UN General Assembly in 2015.
Compiled from: Honduras: UN human rights expert calls for urgent action to address impunity for crimes against women and girls, ReliefWeb (July 10, 2014).