IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures to Members of ARCAH in Honduras

August 23, 2023

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Washington, D.C.—On August 20, 2023, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 47/2023, through which it granted precautionary measures in favor of 11 members of Alternative for Community and Environmental Claims of Honduras, whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their human rights.

According to the petitioning party, the proposed beneficiaries defend environmental rights and report on industrial and extractive projects in Honduras. They are currently being subjected to surveillance, monitoring, intimidation, threats, and other circumstances that could expose them to risk as they go about their work. These situations have allegedly continued or even increased in 2023 even though the State has protective measures in place, as these are not being adequately implemented.

The State reported on the various actions it has taken to address the situation. It has allegedly included ARCAH in its Protection Mechanism, which included military liaison and occasional support from the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA). The State also observed that SEDENA's risk analysis report was submitted to the appropriate authority but that the Technical Committee has not yet met.

The IACHR commended the actions implemented by the State in favor of the members of ARCAH. However, it noted that they remain vulnerable due to the lack of implementation of adequate protection measures and stressed the need to continue investigations into the reported facts. As a consequence, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that the State of Honduras:

  1. adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of the 11 members of ARCAH;
  2. take the necessary measures to enable the beneficiaries to go about their work as defenders of environmental rights without being subjected to acts of intimidation, threats, or other acts of violence in the course of doing so;
  3. agree on any measures to be adopted with the beneficiary and their representatives; and
  4. report on the actions it implements to investigate the alleged events that led to the adoption of these precautionary measures to prevent them from being repeated.

The IACHR's granting of this precautionary measure and its adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on any petition that may eventually be filed before the inter-American system to allege that the rights protected by any applicable instruments have been violated.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate stems from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as an advisory body to the OAS on the matter. The IACHR is made up of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 192/23

9:10 AM