Statement as delivered by Khosla Divya,
22nd Session of the HRC Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
May 8, 2015
The United States warmly welcomes the Honduran delegation.
We congratulate Honduras for its efforts toward its own goal of opening an OHCHR office, and for its historic accord with Transparency International, which outlines cooperation on combating corruption, promoting transparency, and developing public integrity. We also commend Honduras for passing a law to protect human rights defenders.
Honduras has made progress in combating impunity for serious crimes and reducing the homicide rate. However, overall conviction rates are still very low, and corruption contributes to continued impunity. Insecurity, lack of economic opportunity, and a weak justice sector are significant challenges.
We urge continued efforts to strengthen the justice and security sectors for the benefit of all Hondurans, including members of vulnerable groups such as human rights defenders, LGBT persons, indigenous individuals, and Afro-Hondurans.
Honduras has an important opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to good governance by ensuring the independence of the Nominating Committee and that the selection process for new members of the Supreme Court of Justice is transparent and not subject to political influences. Strengthening of the Honduran National Police and removing the military from internal law enforcement is important for long-term security.
We recommend Honduras:
- Continue strengthening government capacity to effectively investigate and prosecute all crimes, including labor law violations;
- Strengthen the judiciary by implementing a transparent, merit-based, and clearly defined selection process for supreme court justices; and
- Uphold its commitment to introduce a comprehensive police reform plan and pass the new organic police law by June 2015, and share a benchmarked time-bound plan to remove the military from civilian police duties.