Photo: UN Photo/Mark Garten

Honduras

Priority Issues

  • Rights of Indigenous Communities
  • Land and Resource Rights
  • Security of Human Rights Defenders
  • Women’s Rights
  • LGBTI Rights

Began Program: 2013

Honduras has suffered for decades from poverty, weak government institutions, violence, and lack of rule of law. Following the military coup in 2009, the situation has only become more dangerous. Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Organized crime groups and drug cartels operate with impunity throughout the country. Corruption in the judiciary and co-option of police and security forces by criminal interests leave citizens unprotected and at risk. Journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers, indigenous peoples, and LGBTI people face regular threats, harassment, and attacks; all suffer alarming rates of murder.

Despite incredible adversity, a human rights movement has managed to persist in Honduras. Civil rights, arbitrary detention and extrajudicial execution have become priorities for human rights organizations. Many of these violations occur in the struggle over land and resource rights, where repression and hostilities by powerful state and non-state actors have been extreme. Fearless human rights organizations have still been able to achieve victories. Hydroelectric dams, mines, and mega development projects that would have been built despite the opposition of local communities whose health and livelihoods would be negatively affected have been stopped. Communities have been mobilized to protect their rights in a country where government institutions fail to do so.

“The support of the Fund enabled us address urgent security and legal defense needs, as we faced harassment, defamation and direct threats to our lives for our work on resource rights for indigenous peoples in Honduras.”
Berta Cáceres, Civic Council of Popular Indigenous Organisations

Our Strategy

Despite its remarkable resilience, the human rights movement in Honduras is severely underfunded. We provide support where the need is greatest: defending land and resource rights, protecting the security of human rights defenders, and protecting populations that have been disproportionately affected by an epidemic of violence in the country. Our grantees are documenting and litigating cases of femicide (women killed for being women), disappeared migrants, and heinous hate crimes against LGBTI persons. To strengthen the depth and breadth of the human rights movement, we’re also supporting larger organizations to build the capacity of small, community-based organizations to defend their communities’ rights, and facilitating connections among organizations in Honduras and with regional coalitions.