Article by PBI-Canada
“We never wanted to go to the police, because it was the police who were chasing us.”
On October 14, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted this quote and further explained: “The National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Honduras explains that in Honduras 70% of the attacks against women defenders the aggressors are state security forces, especially police or the military.”
The “Third Cycle” of the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Honduras is now scheduled for November 5. The UPR is a process that involves a review of the human rights records of all United Nations member states.
To read the PBI-Honduras report (that was published this past February) related to this UPR process, please see: Defending the Land Has a Woman’s Name.
It notes: “Through this report, PBI aims to bring increased visibility to the specific violence and risks that women defenders of land, territory and the environment face, in order to demonstrate the importance of a differentiated response on the part of the Honduran State.”
In the section “Towards a public security that complies with international standards: Militarization and excessive use of force”, PBI-Honduras highlights: “In the last 6 years there has been a 112% increase in the state budget for security and defence.”
“The PMOP [the Military Police for Public Order], created as a temporary measure, has become a normalized practice and the number of officers continues to increase. Civil society reports that this increase is accompanied by a rise in human rights violations, and more specifically an increase in sexual abuse.”
And it recommends: “In compliance with international human rights standards, abstain from using the Armed Forces for citizen security activities and commit to the definition of a clear timeline to eliminate the PMOP as police force responsible for public security.”
To read the Human Rights Council ‘Summary of Stakeholders’ submissions on Honduras’, which makes note of the recommendations by PBI, please click here.
The PBI-Honduras Project was established in 2013.