United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women - State Party Reports
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention
Seventh and eighth periodic reports of States parties to be presented in 2012
Note: The present document is distributed only in Spanish, French and English.
• The present document is being issued without formal editing.
[Date received: 27 February 2015]
1. General aspects
Overview of the process followed by INAM in preparing the CEDAW report
1. Please provide information on the process of preparing the combined seventh and eighth periodic reports on compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This information should indicate which Government departments were involved and the nature and extent of their participation and whether consultations were held with non-governmental organizations.
2. A consultant was hired to gather the necessary information to draw up the report. However, the process took place under the inter-agency coordination of INAM.
a. Ministers of State and agency directors were invited to a meeting at which they were briefed on the process of preparing the report.
b. At that meeting, agreement was reached on having each institution appoint liaison staff.
c. A team was formed, made up of those so appointed.
d. A training workshop was held for all members, to provide them with guidance as to what information the Committee wished to receive.
e. Consultations were held with civil society and the women’s movement.
3. The institutions taking part in the process were: Honduras Institute of Childhood and the Family (IHNFA); National Agrarian Institute (INA); Ministry of Social Development; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Labour and Social Security (STSS); Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Industry and Commerce (SIC); Ministry of Security; Public Prosecutor’s Office; Supreme Court of Justice, Centre for Electronic Documentation and Judicial Information (CEDIJ); United Nations Children’s Fund; National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH); Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (UNITEC); National Institute for Women (INAM); Honduras’s Second National Gender Equity and Equality Plan for 2010–2020 (II PIEGH)—Inter-Agency Committee against Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking; Inter-Agency Group on Gender (MIG).
4. The State of Honduras is presenting its combined seventh and eighth reports, in keeping with the Committee’s guidelines on the preparation of periodic reports. The report attempts to show the processes and measures taken and the results obtained from 2007 to the first half of 2012 pursuant to the provisions of CEDAW and the recommendations in the concluding observations.
5. It is worth mentioning that the process was headed up by the National Institute for Women (INAM). The process was fairly participatory, as the Inter-Agency Committee on Gender (CIG-CEDAW) was formed to gather as much specialized information as possible on the reporting period from the various institutions. It should be noted that that access to data for some presidential terms has been difficult.
6. In this report, we attempt to faithfully set out the situation of girls and of adult and senior women and the measures taken for their benefit.
7. The National Institute for Women (INAM) has been in charge of the accountability process since 1998. Since that time, the State of Honduras has submitted six reports.
8. The previous report was drafted in 2005 by INAM, which headed the Inter-agency Committee on Gender; it gave details of the Government’s efforts to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
9. The Committee considered the combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of Honduras at its 797th and 798th meetings, held on 26 July 2007.
10. Four years on, the time had come to begin drafting the official report for the 2007–2010 period.
2. Report on articles 1 to 16 of CEDAW
2.1. Article 1
11. Non-discrimination. The State of Honduras reports that it has made progress in the pursuit of equal rights for women; its assumption has been that women’s inequality requires not only legislation but a mainstreaming at all State levels of recognition of their rights in the political, economic, social, cultural and civil spheres and everywhere else. The Constitution of the Republic stipulates, in article 60, that: “All men are born free and equal in rights. There are no privileged classes in Honduras. All Hondurans are equal before the law. All forms of discrimination on account of sex, race, class or any other reason prejudicial to human dignity shall be punishable. The law shall establish the crimes and penalties for violators of this provision.”
12. To deal with the situation of human rights violations, on 25 February of the current year the National Congress of the Republic repealed Decree No. 6 issued by the National Constituent Assembly on 3 April 1936, enacting the State of Siege Act, which undermined fundamental rights and freedoms.
13. A proposed amendment to article 333 of the Criminal Code, concerning the offence of enforced disappearance of persons, has been submitted to the National Congress of the Republic (and referred to the relevant Advisory Committee). Also, a draft bill on compensation for victims of human rights violations has been submitted to the National Congress of the Republic and referred to the relevant Advisory Committee.
14. The Honduran Government has adopted a Protection Protocol based on the Ombudsman’s finding, in his sole discretion, that a risk situation exists; a consensus is reached with the victim on protection measures to ensure the beneficiary’s personal integrity and security; an investigation into the origin of the alleged threats is carried out to ensure full respect for human rights.
15. At a public ceremony on 10 June 2010, Honduras recognized its international responsibility for the homicide of Honduran environmentalist Blanca Jeannette Kawas Fernández on 6 February 1995; the Head of Government apologized to the Kawas family and Honduran society and acknowledged the unflinching struggle waged by the late environmentalist, her constant advocacy of environmental protection and conservation and the establishment of the Punta Sal National Park in Tela in the department of Atlántida.
16. In 2011 the Ministry of Human Rights submitted to the National Congress the proposed amendment to art. 117 of the Criminal Code relating to the crime of murder, adding as aggravating circumstances the commission of murder “with hatred or contempt based on the victim’s sex, gender, religion, ethnic origin, indigenous or Afro-Honduran identity, sexual orientation or gender identity, age, civil status or disability, ideology or political opinion”; and the proposed amendment to art. on grounds of sex, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, political views, civil status, membership of indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples, language, tongue, nationality, religion, family relationship, economic or social status, different abilities or disability, health situation, physical appearance or for any other reason that constitutes an affront to the human dignity of the victim”. Major information systems are managed by the National Statistical Institute (INE) and the judiciary through the Centre for Electronic Documentation and Judicial Information.
2.2. Article 2
17. Antidiscrimination measures. The Government reports that it has taken both legislative and structural measures to reduce discrimination against women and girls.
18. It notes the existence of the Inter-Agency Group on Gender (MIG), made up of representatives of aid agencies, whose goal it is to work to consolidate aid in order to channel resources to the implementation of actions of the National Policy on Women—Honduras’s Second National Gender Equity and Equality Plan for 2010–2022 (II PIEGH), which is State policy and should be considered the reference institutional mechanism for achievement of progress in the Gender-adjusted Human Development Index (GDI) and in the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). Special emphasis is placed on actions to benefit poor women. In this context, INAM plays a guiding and liaison role in mainstreaming the gender equity perspective in public policy. One of its concrete actions is to develop instruments and mechanisms for coordination and implementation between the various State institutions, specifying their roles and functions.
19. In its 2007 observations, the Committee called upon the State of Honduras to include in its next report statistical data and analysis on the situation of women, disaggregated by sex, age, ethnicity and rural and urban areas, indicating the impact of measures taken and the results achieved in the practical realization of women’s substantive equality.
20. A representative of the National Statistics Institute (INE), the National Institute for Women (INAM) and the Programme for Women’s Economic Agenda (AGEM) participated in this international activity, held 5–7 September 2007 in Aguas Calientes, Mexico, under the joint sponsorship of INEGI, UNIFEM, and the National Women’s Institute of Mexico, together with UNFPA and ECLAC. Its purpose was to ensure compliance with the recommendations of international conferences on gender statistics. Women’s organizations were urged to establish partnerships with statistical institutes. During the event, experiences were exchanged and discussions were held on conceptual and methodological advances in analysing and using gender statistics and indicators in public policies. Statistical institutes and governmental women’s mechanisms of Latin America and the Caribbean took part in the event. The participants for Honduras were Selma Estrada, Minister for INAM, Martha Leiva for INE and Amparo Canales for INAM/AGEM.
21. As a follow-up, in July 2007, in the framework of the 2007–2009 biennial programme of regional and international cooperation activities at the fourth meeting of the Statistical Conference of the Americas.
22. Honduras agreed to the creation of a working group on gender statistics, in order “to encourage efforts to systematize national statistical information with a gender perspective and promote in all countries the implementation of the time use survey or the inclusion in household surveys of a module to measure women’s unpaid contributions, and the systematic and regular submission to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean of the relevant statistical information for the monitoring of the Millennium Development Goals”; and, with the aim of building national capacity in the generation and production of statistics with a gender focus, a cooperation agreement was signed between the National Institute for Women (INAM) and the National Statistical Institute (INE), in order to build capacity in the operation of a national statistics system with a gender focus, in the course of 2007, 2008 and 2009, to monitor the MDGs.
23. In 2008, the process of review and analysis of basic gender concepts in the production of statistical information and its relevance to public policy was undertaken within the framework of the INE-INAM work plan. The scope and limitations of statistical information were ascertained, both to improve its production and use and to provide information relevant to the formulation and monitoring of public policies. A module on gender statistics for labour market analysis was included in the degree programme “Labour Market Research and Analysis” coordinated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (Directorate-General of Employment/Labour Market Observatory). Training and work was begun with the Inter-agency Committee on the System of Indicators for Children, Women and Adolescents made up of the National Registry of Persons, the Honduran Institute for the Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism, Drug Addiction and Drug Dependence (IHADFA), the Ministry of Education, the National Autonomous University of Honduras, the Ministry of Security, the judiciary, the Centre for Women’s Rights, the National Professional Training Institute (INFOP), the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the forensics office, UNFPA, the Central Bank of Honduras, the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (COHEP), the Honduran Apparel Manufacturers Association, the Ministry of health, INAM, and INE.
24. In May 2009, in the framework of actions taken to implement Honduras’s Second National Gender Equity and Equality Plan for 2010–2022 (II PIEGH), INAM developed indicators with a gender perspective with the goal of implementing the guidelines and transforming II PIEGH into a system of indicators in line with results-based management, included in the Follow-up and Monitoring System of the Technical Support Unit (UNAT) within the Secretariat of the Presidency. Support was received from the Latin American Faculty of Social Science in Argentina (FLACSO) and financial support from the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) under the EC/UN Partnership on Gender Equality for Development and Peace.
25. A notable achievement, in 2009, was INE’s establishment of a set of 103 gender indicators, with ECLAC support.
26. In 2009, as a result of all the actions undertaken to mainstream gender perspective in the generation of statistics in Honduras, the Permanent Multi-purpose Household Survey form was reviewed; changes were made to the questionnaire and new questions added. Since 2009, the completed questionnaires have been published on INE’s website in coordination with INAM (see Annex 1).
27. The official sources for this summary are: 1 / INE, Permanent Household Survey, May 2012 / INE, National Population and Health Survey (ENDESA)—women 2005–2006, men 2005–2006; 3 / INE, population projections from the 2001 census (2001–2015); 4 / Research on maternal mortality and mortality of women of reproductive age in Honduras (MER, 1997); 5 / INE, Permanent Household Survey, migration and remittances module, May 2011; 6/ Supreme Court of Justice, Centre for Electronic Documentation and Judicial Information. First-instance court having jurisdiction in cases of domestic violence, 2007; 7 / National Congress, web page, 2007; 8/ PARLACEN, 2007.
28. In May 2009, a time use module in the 38th Permanent Household Survey—an important achievement for the establishment of gender statistics, with five questions that make women’s workload visible, that is, the two days they work in one. The questions in that module, together with the questions relating to hours of paid work performed, provide an estimate of the overall workload for women and men (paid and unpaid) and reveal how the workload is divided between women and men; an idea of how domestic work and care-giving is divided between household members with respect to children, the elderly, and ill persons, the data being broken down by sex, age group, marital status, type of household and level of household income, as well as whether there are children in the household or persons with permanent limitations on their daily activities; and an analysis of the interaction between paid and unpaid work. That will provide a provisional basis for the future development of unpaid work satellite accounts (see Annex 2).
29. A new question was included in the Permanent Multi-purpose Household Survey conducted in September 2008, to obtain information on how live-out paid domestic work is performed, since the survey had previously looked only at information on live-in paid domestic work.
30. At the first Regional Meeting on Economic Statistics, the State of Honduras made a commitment to generate six gender indicators for the
31. Women’s Economic Agenda, to allow economic analysis with a gender perspective in order to facilitate the production of knowledge and provide information for public policies in five Central American countries (see annex 3).
32. In 2008, the regulations under the Equal Opportunities for Women Act (LIOM) were enacted in accordance with article 28 of the said Act: the State guarantees comprehensive and equal training for women and men according to the principle of joint and several liability.
33. Mainstreaming has been a priority over the past five years. The Equal Opportunities for Women Act (LIOM) provides that: All State institutions, including municipalities, decentralized, devolved and autonomous entities, shall, within their respective jurisdiction, incorporate the National Women’s Policy (PNM) into their plans, programmes and projects so as to promote women’s full development and guarantee them treatment befitting their dignity: equal, non-discriminatory treatment; and shall promote real equality of opportunity for women. The gender unit shall report to INAM each month on its actions. To give effect to this provision, the entities and the Ministry of Finance shall annually prepare the appropriate budget estimates; in 2012, 18 gender units were created in various State institutions.
34. Approval was also given for the creation and funding of Municipal offices for women (OMMs) in the Municipalities Act, which stipulates that each municipality will formulate and implement local public policies to meet the needs of women, youth, children, seniors, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities and other priority groups, such policies being implemented through the creation of social development units, departments or management nodes whose funding will be appropriated by the municipal council from its annual budget of income and expenditure for specific projects and programmes, according to the municipality’s needs and available funds. Municipal councils shall establish offices and support programmes for women to focus efforts in that area and protect women’s rights. Municipalities that already have such offices shall strengthen them and invite women, whether organized into groups or not, to collaborate with them. Municipalities unable to afford such programmes shall transfer resources from the Poverty Reduction Strategy, supplementing these with their own funds, monies transferred from the Central Government, and community volunteer resources. In 2012, 238 OMMs were in operation at the national level, some 80% of the total.
35. The main challenges are: to institute a system of relevant indicators; to draw up a measurement and monitoring strategy for management indicators within the framework of the Paris Declaration; to adopt a standard classification to delineate and record information on femicide, which is defined as a woman’s death by violence on account of her gender; and to compile political participation indicators that are properly systematized and disseminated as part of official statistics.
2.3. Article 3:
36. Development and advancement of women. Recognizing the situation of women, their vulnerabilities and the infringement of their rights, as well as their potential for the country’s development, the State of Honduras in 2009 approved its most ambitious proposals in the shape of the Act on the Establishment of a Vision for the Country and Plan for the Nation, which provides that the development process must be designed to reduce the country’s vulnerability and its dependence on external financing and to build the productive capacity of our society’s different economic agents. All ministries, State institutions and agencies are required to bring their work systems, programmes and any projects implemented at the regional level in line with the provisions of the Act. Gender equity as a cross-cutting theme is one of the 17 development principles.
37. Avoiding double discrimination. The State of Honduras has made a particular effort to serve the population of girls and women with disabilities and senior women.
38. Senior women. The rights of senior women are covered by the Comprehensive Act on Protection for Older Persons and Retirees, enacted in 2007, whose regulations are currently under review. The Directorate-General for Older Persons (DIGAM) was established in 2008 under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Justice, which has a legal mandate to regulate affairs concerning older persons, with the aim of ensuring compliance with the Act: Institutions working on issues pertaining to the elderly are: DIGAM, the Ministry of Health’s programme of comprehensive care for the elderly, and the welfare institutes: the National Teachers’ Retirement and Pensions Institute (INPREMA), the Honduran Social Security Institute (IHSS), the Military Pension Institute (IPM), the National Public Employees’ Retirement and Pensions Institute (INJUPEMP), the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the National Statistics Institute (INE), the Mayoralty of the Central District, the Office of the Attorney for Consumers and Seniors, the National Commissioner for Human Rights (CONADEH), and the Family Allowance Programme (PRAF).
39. Among the benefits provided for seniors under the Comprehensive Act on Protection for Older Persons and Retirees are the following: discounts on bills for treatment provided in hospitals and private clinics, the purchase of medicines and surgical equipment, medical and dental consultations, recreational activities, discounts for air, land and sea travel, and benefits provided by the welfare and social security institutes; just 23,054 individuals (7.7%) receive any form of retirement benefit or pension in Honduras. The Family Allowance Programme (PRAF) offers a half-yearly voucher for 600 lempiras to a very small group aged over 60 in certain departments of the country. In April 2010 an undertaking was signed by the transport sector and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, obliging both parties to provide seniors with free passage on public transport in the cities of Tegucigalpa and Comayaguela.
40. The National Institute for Women and Seniors has recorded the following accomplishments (see Annex 4).
41. Girls and women with disabilities. In the year 2007, Honduras acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted on 13 December 2006; the Convention was ratified by Honduras on 18 February 2008 and its Protocol on 30 June 2010. Since 2008, accordingly, Honduras has been a party to the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities.
42. In 2007 the Special Programme for Persons with Disabilities was set up within the Office of the National Commissioner for Human Rights (CONADEH), and in 2010 the Disability Unit of the Ministry of Social Development, the Office of the Special Commissioner on Disability of the Office of the President, and the position of Minister-Adviser to the President on Human Rights were established. In addition, Congress established a committee for liaison with the disabilities sector, under the Congressional Human Rights Commission.
43. During the 2009 elections, which were supervised by the Supreme Electoral Court, in cooperation with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Mirador Electoral (Elections Watchdog), special support mechanisms were developed to boost the participation of persons with disabilities around the country. In 2009 the Directorate-General for Development for Persons with Disabilities and the National Registry of Persons, with the support of UNICEF and the Honduras Social Development and Welfare Fund FIDAS/FHIS, launched a campaign to register children with disabilities (“Children have a right to a name and nationality”), which was conducted in the departments of Francisco Morazán, Intibucá and Santa Bárbara.. A special mechanism is now being developed by the National Registry of Persons to facilitate contact between the identification service and children with disabilities. In 2009, with the support of Japanese Cooperation (JICA), the Honduran Movement for an Independent Life was founded, and has already concluded a Covenant on the Enjoyment of Rights and a Better Standard of Living for Persons with Disabilities.
2.4. Article 4:
44. Acceleration of equality between women and men. The Committee recommends that States parties make more use of temporary special measures such as positive action, preferential treatment or quota systems to advance women’s integration into education, the economy, politics and employment.
45. In 2009–2011 the State of Honduras undertook specific projects and programmes within the framework of the gender equality policy, which are 30% funded out of national appropriations totalling 5,155,843.46 lempiras (US$ 272,866) and 70% from external sources (loans, non-refundable technical assistance and cash donations), amounting to 12,292,614.68 lempiras (US$ 650,571). Four health sector projects account for 15.2% of the budget; 13.6% goes to 14 projects in the education and culture sector, 3.90% to 12 housing sector projects around the country, 5.6% to 8 projects in the water and sanitation sector, 29.2% to 16 projects in the social protection sector, 27.7% to 2 feasibility studies, 4.7% to 9 projects in the agriculture and livestock sector, 1.9% to one State modernization project, and 1.8% to a defence project.
46. Since 2006, the Ministry of Security has been promoting the master’s degree curriculum of the Human Security Programme, which addresses the issues from an interdisciplinary and multidimensional perspective. Five dimensions of human security have been identified for the master’s programme in human security, whose curriculum is based thereon: population and development, gender equity, human rights, equity and education, criminology.
47. Each year since 2007, the Ministry of Security has managed to improve the representation of women at the various educational establishments of the National Police, and the trend is continuing, with a ratio of 12 per cent of women enrolled in study areas.
48. Representation of women in study processes at the Ministry of Security by year (see Annex 5).
49. In November 2009, the Honduras National Police University approved a reform of its bylaws whereby its responsibilities would include citizen liaison and promotion of citizen participation in non-police matters, with particular attention to the achievement of sustainable development that is attentive to environmental impact as well as population, gender and social development issues, communications management and development, and technological consulting in the various fields of security and investigation.
2.5. Article 5:
50. Elimination of discriminatory sociocultural patterns and stereotypes. The State undertakes to promote cultural changes to eliminate gender stereotypes that perpetuate values and practices of discrimination, subordination, oppression and violence against women, adolescents and girls and encourages respect for their human rights and their right to live in peace and free of violence. Coordinated programmes have been devised and implemented between the ministries to eradicate concepts and practices of gender-based violence, in society and in the family, as well as sexist roles and stereotypes, authoritarianism, sexism and power relationships wherein males dominate and females are subordinate, catering for ethnic and cultural diversity and adopting a perspective of equal rights for women and men.
51. Since 2007, the Policing Education Directorate, through the Policing Instruction Centre whose responsibility is to provide basic training for National Police personnel, has included a 14-hour course on gender equality in its operational police administration curriculum (as part of the humanistic component), as well as a 12-hour course on sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. The first course offers an introduction to domestic violence and gender, an introduction to gender, construction of gender identity, defines domestic or intra-family violence and its different types, and presents the Domestic Violence Act. The second course introduces the concepts of commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, trafficking, trafficking for sexual purposes, sex tourism, early marriage, exploiters, victims of exploitation, victim impacts, and possible solutions.
52. Since 2009, the Ministry of Health has been developing materials and information on masculinity, to raise men’s awareness of childcare and fatherhood and promote equality between men and women.
53. In order to eliminate all discrimination against women, the armed forces have adopted educational measures whereby women and men have the same opportunity to be admitted to officer training centres at the various military academies (army, air force and navy) and receive equal treatment, thus dispelling the stereotype that only men are able to defend our national sovereignty. In the course of their military career, men and women have the same opportunities for promotion to the next higher rank, provided they meet all the requirements—physical, medical, psychological, and knowledge-related—of the relevant laws and regulations. In the armed forces, men and women have equal opportunities to gain command rank, based on the merit they have displayed during their entire career path. The armed forces guarantee all personnel, non-commissioned officers, troops and members of the women’s auxiliary the social protection, health and security benefits to which they are legally entitled.
54. Between 2008 and 2011 various skills development courses on gender equity were introduced for officers, to achieve a change in attitude and eliminate prejudices that hamper equality. In 2012, armed forces personnel took the degree programme on gender and will act as promoters and agents of change in the workplaces where they perform their duties.
55. In 2011, the National Autonomous University of Honduras approved its Special Regulations to prevent, treat, punish and eradicate sexual harassment in the institution.
56. Through II PIEGH, the State seeks to promote and guarantee secular education that eschews sexism and discrimination by means of coeducation, curricular reform and the use of methodologies and educational materials based on human rights and gender equality. Under the Plan, mainstreaming of the gender perspective and interculturality in the plans, programmes and policies of the entire educational system is mandatory, guaranteeing the right to a quality secular education that is free, mandatory and governed by the principles of equality and non-discrimination. Also mandatory are programmes designed to implement the necessary measures to prevent and eradicate all forms of gender-based violence in the educational sphere. Consequently, the development of programmes and policies of training and skills development in gender and human rights is promoted for teachers at the pre-basic, basic, medium and higher educational levels; completion of these programmes is mandatory for promotion to the working level.
57. This ensures that the necessary legal and institutional conditions are in place to help the community, mothers and fathers to take an active part by citizen monitoring and social auditing of the educational process, to ensure student safety and well-being for women and men in keeping with the principles of equality and non-discrimination. Training and awareness programmes are also promoted for mothers and fathers on human rights, gender equality and equity, and violence against women, children and adolescents.
58. In 2012, armed forces personnel took the degree programme on gender and will act as promoters and agents of change in the workplaces where they perform their duties. Through II PIEGH, the State seeks to promote and guarantee secular education that eschews sexism and discrimination by means of coeducation, curricular reform and the use of methodologies and educational materials based on human rights and gender equality. Under the Plan, mainstreaming of the gender perspective and interculturality in the plans, programmes and policies of the entire educational system is mandatory, guaranteeing the right to a quality secular education that is free, mandatory and governed by the principles of equality and non-discrimination. In 2011, the National Autonomous University of Honduras approved its Special Regulations to prevent, treat, punish and eradicate sexual harassment in the institution.
2.6. Article 6:
59. Suppression of trafficking and sexual exploitation of women. The State of Honduras, in compliance with General Recommendation No. 19, paras. (g) and (h), and with the Recommendations of the CEDAW Committee on the 5th report of Honduras (2006), in which the Committee called on the State of Honduras to fully implement article 6 of the Convention; and in compliance with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and Beijing+5 on violence against women, to eliminate trafficking in women and assist victims of violence resulting from prostitution and trafficking in women, reports as follows.
60. Between 2008 and 2011, the Inter-Agency Commission against Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking (CICESCT) organized training for the various stakeholders in order to improve care for victims of trafficking, prevent abuse and sexual exploitation and avoid secondary victimization. 30 investigators from the National Directorate of Criminal investigation (DNIC) and the Public Prosecutor’s Office participated in in the training course for investigators of the offence of trafficking; 262 State officials were trained over three days on the rights of the child with respect to trafficking; 35 consular service providers attended the course on “the crime of trafficking in persons and the role of consular officials” given on 22, 23, 24 and 25 August 2011, together with another 20 people from the embassies and consulates of countries that are part of the Regional Conference on Migration (CRM).
61. In October 2010, Honduras joined the Regional Framework of Activities to Combat and Prevent Trafficking in Persons in Central America and to Care for Victims, an initiative of the Governments of the five countries of Central America. The Framework, which began operations In 2009, enjoys the support of the Inter-American Development Bank and of ECPAT Guatemala as executing agency as well as the various national executive committees.
62. In the 2010–2011 period, the National Police, in co-operation with the Trafficking and Border Police Unit, Migration and Aliens Directorate, and with prosecutors, judges, and municipal directors of justice of the centre-southeastern zone of the country, Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, Puerto Cortes and personnel of the western zone, developed geographic and social mappings identifying the route taken by traffickers within the country and towards other countries of the region, which are fundamental in preventing and combating the crime of trade and trafficking in persons. A technical committee was later set up to develop a regional protocol for the construction, use, updating and backup of the geographical and social mapping of Central American trafficking.
63. In November 2010, Honduras signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Mexico to ensure the dignified, orderly, prompt and safe (overland) repatriation of unaccompanied girls, boys and adolescents; for that purpose, a Consular Protection Sub-directorate was created in August 2010.
64. In 2010–2011, in conjunction with the National Autonomous University of Honduras, Casa Alianza and Save the Children conducted two six-month diploma courses on violence and trafficking, with emphasis on children and adolescents. Enrolment was 55 women and 14 men; and in partnership with the National Autonomous University’s master’s programme in human rights and development, talks on trafficking in persons were given to students of different educational centres, training a total of 1011 students. The national guidelines for enhanced institutional coordination were completed and broadly disseminated, while research and review was completed on the strategy for comprehensive care to victims of trafficking in the Central American region.
65. In 2011, the special unit on trafficking and sexual exploitation of children based in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula received 57 reports of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. A total of 211 complaints were under investigation, including complaints filed in other years. 17 cases were referred to Courts of Justice for crimes of commercial sexual exploitation. The 35 actions filed relate to 17 persons prosecuted and 16 victims in protection. Victims under 18 were generally referred to Hogar Querubines, and some were reunited with their families. Adult victims were returned to their families. Six accused are in prison, while arrest warrants were issued for another four, i.e., the judge found grounds for their prosecution but they are fugitives from justice, and three remain at large because the judge found no such grounds; however, the judge’s decision has been appealed to the High Court.
66. In May 2012, under Decree No. 59-2012 of 25 April 2012, the Trafficking Act was approved. The Inter-Agency Commission against Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking (CICESCT), which is in operation and currently headed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, has tabled a draft bill (the Special Trafficking Act) in the National Congress, to criminalize and punish all forms of trafficking; it also contains serious provisions for the restoration of victims’ rights and prevention of the crime.
67. The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has completed the country report on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, which will be submitted to the Committee in 2012, and in August 2012 invited the Rapporteur concerned with the matter.
68. The Migration and Aliens Directorate has given training to 95% of its staff (200 people) on migrant smuggling and trafficking, with an emphasis on victim identification; Training has been given to 90% of its staff (180 people) on the use of the handbook on preventing and combating human trafficking and detecting its victims, which is used to monitor and evaluate personnel so as to improve procedures in coordination with IHNFA. One hundred twenty persons (75% of its staff) took part in a workshop on the protocol for the repatriation of child and adolescent victims of trafficking in persons or those vulnerable to trafficking and, with the support of Government of Mexico through its National Migration Institute (INM), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IOM, two training sessions were given on Child Protection Officers for unaccompanied child migrants. In addition, 25 people from governmental and non-governmental institutions participated in the workshop on “capacity building for the identification of vulnerable migrant populations”. Certain features and trends of migration are being recognized, together with regional and national legislation on refugees and vulnerable migrant populations: identification and treatment of victims of trafficking, asylum seekers and refugees, women and unaccompanied children; assistance and protection for vulnerable migrants, human rights protection and guidelines for identification and immediate assistance. The National Special Investigations Directorate of the National Police trained 150 members of the Trafficking and Border Police Unit through specialized seminars on Investigation of the Crime of Trafficking in persons, Migrant Networks, and Trafficking in Human Beings, given by personnel of the Embassy of France in Honduras, with information on trafficking in persons and related crimes and on the 101 human trafficking hotline. They also received an upskilling course on the complaint and assistance process for victims of trafficking in persons. the State has two handbooks for prosecutors and investigators whose goal is to establish the priority investigative tasks in cases of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking: the protocol on the 101 hotline to receive reports of crimes of trafficking in persons; the protocol for repatriation of children and adolescents who are victims of or vulnerable to trafficking in persons, plus a memorandum of understanding on the comprehensive care of victims identified at border crossings.
69. In 2011, the National Institute for Women made concerted efforts on the issue of prevention of trafficking in women, conducting five workshops for 164 representatives of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the National Police, DNIC, municipal offices for women and women’s movements organized in the cities of Juticalpa, Olancho, Ocotepeque, Copán, Danlí and El Paraíso.
70. In 2010–2011, to prevent the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women and girls, CICEST headed a campaign called “No More Trafficking in Persons” which involved training for 21 journalists; a series of forums at universities such as UNITEC and Universidad Metropolitana for 150 students doing programmes in law, international relations, social communications, management of social development and ecotourism; an awareness day in the central park of Tegucigalpa for hundreds of people; and wide press coverage. To mark World Day against Trafficking in Persons, informative talks were given at urban schools and colleges to some 115 students. The “Trafficking in Persons” forum was developed in coordination with the National Autonomous University of Honduras and attended by 77 interns following UNAH’s social work programme.
71. At the regional level, as part of the social and economic reintegration project in Choluteca, training was given to 51 people from local government agencies and NGOs on trafficking and assistance to vulnerable migrant populations and victims.
2.7. Article 7:
72. Women in political and public life. In the context of the Vision for the Country and Plan for the Nation, Executive Decree No. PCM-051-2010 has been approved. It establishes the National Youth Policy, whose goal is to coordinate the efforts of the Government and civil society aimed at improving the living conditions of young people by guaranteeing the full exercise of their civic rights, developing their skills and fostering a sense of solidarity so as to build a participatory, inclusive democracy.
73. Honduras’s Second National Gender Equity and Equality Plan provides that women’s social and political participation and full exercise of their citizenship will be promoted, protected and guaranteed, as the State undertakes to ensure women’s equal access to and full participation in power structures and decision-making in the public sphere, to strengthen their leadership and right to partnership.
74. The State shall institute and promote legal and institutional mechanisms to ensure women’s participation, enhancing their role in the definition and implementation of plans, programmes and policies developed by national and municipal governments, and to promote and support comprehensive citizenship training with a gender and interculturality focus for individual women and women’s organizations, with a view to enhancing their social and political role. It shall also create legal and institutional mechanisms to ensure equal participation of individual women and women’s organizations in plans, programmes and policies at the national, departmental, municipal and local level, including budgetary policies.
75. Article 104 of the Elections and Political Organizations Act provides that the State shall, through the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, monitor the governance structure of the political parties and candidacies for posts filled by popular vote to ensure that there is no discrimination on the basis of gender, creed, race or religion nor any other form of discrimination. In addition, II PIEG obliges political parties, with women’s participation, to approve an internal gender equality policy, which shall be overseen by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. Political parties are required to report to the Tribunal on their compliance with the gender policy (6) six months before internal or primary elections are called. Political parties failing to comply with the gender equality policy will be liable to a fine equivalent to five per cent (5%) of their “political debt” [public financing].
76. At the November 2009 elections, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal reports that of 128 members elected to the National Congress, only 25 principal deputies and 31 alternate deputies were women, or 19.53% and 24.22% of the total, respectively (see Annex 6).
77. Of the country’s 298 municipalities, only 17, or 5.70%, have a woman as mayor, while 82 women are deputy mayors.
78. Of 1,954 councillors in the country’s 298 municipalities, 455 are women, or 23.28%. Of the non-traditional parties, only the Democratic Unification Party has no women councillors on municipal councils.
79. In the results of the 2009 municipal elections, the number of women mayors was down from 2005 by 2.35%, from 24 to 17; however, the number of deputy mayors rose by 5.37%, from 66 to 82. This result shows that the notion that men must fill most important positions still holds sway, but even so, the progressive increase in the number of women on municipal councils is a positive development (see Annex 7).
80. During its current term, 2010–2014, the Government has appointed five (5) women ministers, to the Secretariat of the Presidency, the Ministry of Justice and Human rights, the Ministry of Social Development and the National Institute for Women.
81. Twelve men and three women are now on the bench of the Supreme Court of Justice (2009–2016); in order of precedence, the women are 3rd, 7th and 15th (see Annex 8).
82. Quotas and parity. On 19 April 2012, by a supermajority vote, the National Congress approved a reform of the Elections and Political Organizations Act providing that representation of women in the primary and general elections of 2013–2014 would be 40 per cent, and 50 per cent in the 2016–2017 elections.
83. In the light of article 105 of the Elections and Political Organizations Act (LEOP), this means that the elections were non-compliant, as the process of women’s political participation is meant to be progressive rather than regressive, with a minimum quota of 30%. The number of female alternate deputies rose from 27 to 31, or 3%, less than the 5% rise seen in principal deputies.
2.8. Articles 8 and 9:
84. International representation and participation. Currently, Honduras’s international representation at the ambassadorial level is 12 female and 20 male ambassadors; representation on international bodies.
2.10. Article 10:
85. Education. The State of Honduras, in compliance with General Recommendations Nos. 5, 18, 19 and 25, and the general comments of the CEDAW Committee on the 5th report of Honduras (2006); and pursuant to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and Beijing+5 on education and training for women, as well as the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals and targets (2000) concerning goal 2, target 3; Goal 3, Target 4; informs the Committee of the progress made towards full implementation of the Convention.
86. The Ministry of Education, heedful of the comments that it should broadly combat all forms of discrimination against women in its various directorates, departments and units, has carried out various actions, as follows:
87. The Educational Technology Unit has trained 217 librarians, of whom 197 are women and 20 are men.
88. Education programmes have been implemented to help eliminate prejudices that hinder women’s equality. To encourage active participation through the Educational and Vocational Guidance Unit, support was provided to school administrations and student governments, benefiting 5,330 girls and 4,787 boys, as well, within the framework of the projects: the Opening Humanitarian Spaces programme has benefited 900 girls and 518 boys, while the Values Education Upgrading project caters to 315 boys and 517 girls. In addition, 400 teachers have received training, of whom 275 are women and 125 are men, on issues relating to the organization and functionality of the School for Parents.
89. The Youth, Population and Health Unit (JUPS) unit has focused its efforts on printing 12,000 sets of methodological guides entitled “Taking Care of My Health and My Life,” thus benefiting 2,240 teachers; the programme was developed in conjunction with the Ministry of Health to provide boys and girls with better information on their sexual and reproductive rights.
90. The National Institute for Educational Research and Training (INICE) has trained 36 women and 14 men, participants in the Training the Trainers degree programme on gender equity and conflict mediation, with the support of instructors from EQUINSE, S.A., to replicate an education against discrimination within the schools.
91. The Management Planning and Evaluation Unit (UPEG) incorporates the database of the CECC/SICA Secretariat Portal and a series of educational indicators, disaggregated by gender, making use of the interactive network of the Secretariat website: <www.se.gob.hn>, with optimum coverage.
92. Legislation on Municipal Educational Development Councils (COMDEs) was passed with the support of the Ricardo Ernesto Maduro Foundation (FEREMA) (Decree No. 35-2011, Official Gazette).
93. To meet special educational needs, the Focus on Diversity Project was developed and benefited 360 girls and 75 boys. Within the gender equality education programme, benefiting 632 girls and 141 boys, the global campaign of Education for All Visually Impaired Children (EFAVI) is helping 360 girls and 75 boys; the Inclusive Education Project for visually impaired persons benefited 120 girls and 5 boys; the Focus on Diversity Project for children and young people with hearing disabilities is helping 84 girls and 20 boys. Similarly, the Focus on Diversity Project with inclusive education is helping 520 girls and 75 boys.
94. In addition, the State is administering the Honduras School Feeding Service (SAEH) as a factor in ensuring school retention, providing pre-basic and basic level students with food; in recent years the coverage rate has been (see Annex 9).
95. The Ministry of Education has offered bonuses and scholarships to the neediest populations, to promote further stimulus. The transport bonus was paid to 97,165 girls and 83,864 boys in 2010—81,957 girls and 71,351 boys in 2011—and in 2010 and 2011 scholarships provided economic support to 25,231 and 36,235 girls and 22,352 and 36,836 boys, respectively.
96. In 2011, through the Department of Education, Environmental Communication and Health (DECOAS), training was given to teachers on environmental education with methodological handbooks for natural and social sciences, which were distributed in the municipalities of Jutiapa, Ceiba, Trujillo, Tocoa, Arizona, Tela and Másica, benefiting 368 women and 104 men. Risk management and mitigation workshops were held for 518 women and 242 men, and teachers—233 women and 103 men—were trained on the National Risk Management Plan, which was released on 24 August 2011 and disseminated to 4 major cities of Honduras.
97. The Distance Education System (SEMED) has catered for 43,190 youth and adults, of whom 26,442 are women and 16,748 are men, who for various reasons could not finish their studies in the classroom system. In addition, faculty and administrative staff are constantly being trained and monitored; the appropriate efforts were also made to provide Spanish and mathematics textbooks for 13,760 female students and 10,239 males; 2,095 teachers who are hired to work on SEMED each year also benefited. Educatodos focuses on a population of young people and adults seeking to complete their basic education rapidly; that population numbers 55,667 young people and adults, while the number of women served by Educatodos is 24,515, equivalent to 44% of the total population. In addition, the Honduras adult literacy program PRALEBAH has helped 65,200 young people and adults, including 37,476 women; the Classroom Mentor project was conducted in Francisco Morazán with an enrolment of 7,050 young people and adults through a strategic alliance with AHPROCAFE, ALFAZUCAR, ANDALUCÍA and the Organization of IberoAmerican States for Education, Science and Culture. Because of the educational crisis affecting the sector, management of external cooperation funds has been made a priority, so that collaborative agreements have been developed with Japan, Colombia, Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, the United States and the European Union, strengthening 20 projects that promote human resources and the educational system in general and promote gender equality. The National Programme of Education for Indigenous Ethnic and Afro-Antillean Groups of Honduras (PRONEEAAH) focuses its efforts on the needs of the country’s ethnic groups and produces updated educational materials for them; it has also trained teachers on issues of Intercultural Bilingual Education (EIB). The Programme to Support the Quality of Basic Education under the EFA-FTI Plan (PROEFA) invests its efforts in the institution-building component, benefiting 33 men and 20 women, while the teacher training component has benefited 3 men and 13 women and the school management component,102 men and 83 women.
98. In general the State has managed to progressively reduce illiteracy in persons over 15 years of age (see Annex 10).
2.11. Article 11:
99. In 2008, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Honduran Social Security Institute approved a special gradual affiliation regime for the domestic workers sector. It calls for voluntary employer affiliation so that domestic workers may enjoy first- and second-level care services, as well as pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum care. The benefits of the principal will also cover his or her children up to age 11 for 1st- and 2nd-level general and specialized medical care and pharmaceutical medical services.
100. In May 2008, a list of types of child labour that are hazardous by nature or under certain conditions was approved. The second list covers conditions present during work activities which, on the basis of national and international studies on risk or endangerment conducted in Honduras (enclosed), have been considered dangerous because they cause or are likely to cause damage to the health, safety, morals and development of persons under 18 years of age, considering cultural and gender determinants for each people or group of persons. Following the Committee’s recommendations, types of work that are hazardous under certain conditions are listed, providing protection to adolescent women under the age of 18 involved in child domestic labour, because according to the household survey the greatest number of female domestic workers are found to be between the ages of 15 and 24, while in self-employment the greatest number of working women are 25 and up. As regards unpaid family work, most women workers in that category are between 10 and 24 years of age (see Annex 2).
101. In 2008, article 8 of the Child Labour Regulations was amended to introduce the of lists of types of work that are hazardous by nature and under certain conditions. In July 2008, the Procedure for Comprehensive Care of Working Children and Adolescents was issued by.
102. the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in order to develop, in a systematic and orderly fashion, comprehensive care measures for those cases of working children and adolescents known to and collected by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, in order to establish protective measures through enforcement of the rules and regulations in effect and in coordination with the Honduran agencies and institutions that defend children and adolescents.
103. The State of Honduras has approved the second National Action Plan for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour 2008–2015, whose purpose is to identify what actions should be carried out by State institutions, with the support of civil society and international cooperation agencies, to prevent and eradicate “child labour that needs to be eliminated”, and what coordinating, financial, organizational, planning or other measures need to be taken to ensure that those actions constitute an effective response. Its validity will be the same as the overall framework of government processes in Honduras, the Poverty Reduction Strategy, with which it must necessarily be linked. The Plan comprises 9 components: Family Income and Productivity Options, Education, Health, Legislation, Institution Building and Research (see Annex 11).
104. In 2011, the Government approved the Road Map to Make Honduras a Country Free of Child Labour, Including Its Worst Forms. The Road Map provides the basis for strategic programming and linkage among different public policies and supplementary interventions that directly and indirectly affect efforts to restore the right of children not to work and to oversee the labour rights of adolescent workers. It includes six ways of combating poverty; health, regulatory and institutional framework; rights protection; social awareness and mobilization; and knowledge generation and follow-up, with the appropriate objectives, results, indicators and goals and fundamental strategies for achieving them.
105. As regards women’s employability situation, the information generated shows that women in the labour market in the formal sector of the economy have a lower rate of participation than men. In the 2008–2011 period, women’s activity rate was 35.6% on average, while men’s was 64.4%. Women’s workforce participation was similar to their participation in the economically active population, at 35.6%, while men’s participation was 70.6%. Unemployment figures by sex show that women have an unemployment rate higher than men’s. Over the last year the unemployment rate for women was 6.1%, while men’s rate was 3.3%.
106. Underemployment: In this category, women’s rate is lower than men’s. According to Table 1, in 2008 the rates of invisible underemployment among women and men were 21% and 33% respectively, while in 2011 the situation had remained much the same, with percentages of 28.8% for women and 40.2% for men (see Annex 12).
107. According to the records of the Directorate-General of Employment of STSS, job placement data show that there are more job offers for women than for men; on the demand side, however, men dominated, as appears in Table 2. As regards the according to records of the Honduras National Employment Service (SENAEH), the majority of job seekers were men in the 2008–2011 period. The indicated percentages were 57% men to 43% women in 2008, and 61% to 39% in 2011.
108. As regards the inactive population, it was found that the group of beneficiaries of the “My First Job” project of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security were 88% women and 67% men—evidence of women’s labour market situation (see Annex 13).
109. Recognizing the status of women, from December 2010 to December 2012 the Ministry of Labour conducted the Training and Job Placement Project for Women and Persons with Disabilities, in order to make it easier for those groups to generate income and improve their quality of life. Among the important activities undertaken were social and labour integration workshops. In 2010, 1,533 women and 657 men, or a total of 2,190, and in 2011, 1,298 women and 554 men, or a total of 2,190 unemployed persons registered with SENAEH to improve their chances of getting a job, with the support of the Training and Job Placement Project for Women and Persons with Disabilities and INFOP; they received basic training in computer science, graphic design, Excel, PC repair, basic English, tourism culture, cooking, food handling, bar and restaurant I and II, customer service, management and supervision techniques, cleaning techniques, sales techniques, total quality, creation of micro-enterprises, accounting, and work motivation. The process included the development of entrepreneurship skills thanks to organizations of unemployed women, leading to coordination with the Honduran Association of Black Women, the Special Training Centre (CECAES), FEHMUN, the Quality of Life Association, Project HOPE, the Mayoralty of Cané, the women’s network of the Amaya Amador colony, ASOHMUN, and the Women of Santa Ana.
110. Workplace integration of female inmates was promoted by the National Women’s Prison for Social Adaptation (PNFAS), which seeks to develop employment or self-employment as a means of reintegration into society, through the development of leatherwork and tailoring courses for 51 women.
111. To promote a culture of employability, the following materials were produced: 5,000 handbooks on corporate social responsibility and disability (CSRD), 1,000 copies of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), the Equity and Comprehensive Development Act for persons with disabilities, the legal framework on labour rights of persons with disabilities, 3,000 promotional brochures on the Care Unit for Persons with Disabilities, a promotional booklet on the National Hourly Employment Programme and the Women and Disability Programme of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the hourly employment programme: an occupational therapist, an accessibility promoter, and a special educator; while 4 regional offices were adapted to provide job placement of women and persons with disabilities and women.
112. In the framework of the Comply and Win Project, labour rights are being enhanced in Central America and the Dominican Republic, including the promotion and protection of women’s labour rights; in 2009 the study entitled Gender Discrimination and Women’s Labour Rights was undertaken. A shared responsibility that will require joint effort: a “national survey”. The survey is intended to clarify the status of women in terms of discrimination against female workers by reason of gender, with an emphasis on the textile mills and/or apparel manufacturers of Honduras (gender-based labour discrimination, maternity protection, workplace sexual harassment, direct discrimination and differential treatment by sex, discrimination, indirect discrimination or discriminatory effect, equal treatment of persons in various situations that result in the denial or restriction of rights).
113. In September 2011 Honduras conducted a Decent Work and Gender Equity workshop to train representatives of the placement services of Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic under the agreements of the Subregional Employment Managers’ Forum.
114. On 1 September 2011, by means of its Electronic Employment Exchange, STSS succeeded in placing 3,237 persons in Employment: 1,433 women and 1,804 men (see Annex 14).
115. In 2008, in order to encourage a culture of compliance during the period, 4,019 general inspections were done, benefiting 42,575 workers: 18,910 women (44.4%) and 23,665 men (55.5%); Similarly, 5,460 inspections of special cases were done, benefiting 12,933 women (48.2%) and 13,867 men (51.7%). During the period, a total of 78,792 labour benefits and compensation calculations were performed, 25,123 of them in cases of resignation, benefiting 15,960 men (63.5%) and 9,163 women (36.4%), while 53,669 calculations of severance benefit were done, benefiting 33,541 men (40%) and 20,128 women (59.9%); this reflects the far larger numbers of women removed from the labour force during 2007.
116. As regards the establishment of equal opportunity practices, in 2007 a total of 5,272 women took up non-traditional activities, with a greater number entering the building trades, followed by electricity, gas and water, and a smaller number working in mines and quarries.
2.12. Article 12:
117. Health and social security. The State of Honduras, observing the provisions of article 10(h) and article 12(1) and 12(2) on enforcement of the Convention, the Committee’s recommendations on the 4th, 5th and 6th combined reports of Honduras; in compliance with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and Beijing+5 pertaining to Women and Health, as well as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Targets (2000), specifically Goal 4, Target 5; Goal 5, Target 6; Goal 6, Targets 7 and 8; hereby informs the Committee of its progress toward compliance.
118. In 2007, the Ministry of Public Health approved the policy of accelerated reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality (RAMNI), which employs a train of strategies to improve the health of the mother and infant population. The cross-cutting themes of the policy are reform of the health sector and a sectoral approach to health promotion; the following strategies are being developed: Extension of coverage; Continuous quality improvement; Supervision; Monitoring and evaluation; Health information system; Assured Supply of Contraceptive Items (DAIA) strategy; Mortality monitoring in mothers and children under 5; Essential Obstetric and Neonatal Care (CONE) strategy; Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI); Approach to teen pregnancy; Methodological family planning strategy; Vaccination; Hospital strategies; Provision of safe blood; Care and prevention of STI/HIV AIDS; Laboratory; Individual, Family and Community (IFC) strategy; Maternity waiting homes; National Mother-and-Child Communication Strategy; Comprehensive Care for Children in the Community (AIN-C); Promotion of breastfeeding; and nutrition.
119. Since 2007, one of the 19 RAMNI actions is the Essential Obstetric and Neonatal Care (CONE) Strategy, which is implemented at the national level and seeks to enhance the quality of health care services for women and children during pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum period, as well as newborn care. PAHO/WHO-recommended practices are supported as well as new approaches based on the scientific evidence available as of December 2009 for treatment of women during pregnancy and childbirth as well as post-partum care and newborn care.
120. In 2008, the Ministry of Health updated its methodological family planning strategy with a view to helping bring down maternal and perinatal mortality rates by reducing the unmet demand for family planning materials. At the same time, the Programming, Organization, Monitoring and Evaluation of Family Planning Services model came into use; it calls for systematization, staff awareness, the definition of the necessary institutional commitments, and respect for the couple’s freedom to make a responsible decision on the number and spacing of their children, providing them with the necessary information to do so and ensuring the availability of the whole range of contraceptives for their choice.
121. In August 2010, by Ministerial Decree No. 2472 of 25 August 2010, the Ministry of Health began to update Honduras’s standards on family planning, climacteric, menopause and infertility, to provide the technical guidelines to decentralized and private public health care services; to guarantee the entire population universal access to quality family planning information, guidance and services in the broader context of reproductive health, with multiple options in terms of effective contraceptive methods that will permit them to freely exercise their right to make an informed decision on the number and spacing of their children; to increase access to family planning services for citizens with unmet needs, i.e., low incidence of contraceptive use; to promote climacteric/menopause and infertility services within the framework of comprehensive care for women.
122. In 2010–2011, standards training was given to 90% of departmental health regions, who will take on a facilitation role during follow-up. In hospitals, the process is slower; training has been given at only 2 of the 25 hospitals in our hospital network, namely the two national hospitals (Hospital Escuela and Maternidad del General San Felipe in Tegucigalpa).
123. Since the inception of the strategy, the goal was to serve 20% of potential couples in 2011; in practice 17% are being served, or 85% of the goal. Reports from the hospitals and regions reflect an 80.6% increase in the number of couples protected over the past 5 years (see Annex 15).
124. Implementation of the strategy has meant a reduction of unmet demand, while maternal mortality has also fallen, to a rate of 74 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011, as against 108 per 100,000 live births in 1997.
125. In order to reduce social exclusion, the models were started in 2005 with 17 health units (mother and child clinics and primary care health units) distributed over 8 municipalities in 6 departments of the country, benefiting 60,130 inhabitants. By 2010, there were already 115 decentralized health units serving 62 municipalities in 13 of the 18 departments of the nation, benefiting 854,576 inhabitants.
126. The State of Honduras continues to deliver care through the institutional system, at its 28 national hospitals; thus, primary health care has been provided at the national level through 380 medico-dental centres (CESAMOs), 1,029 rural health centres (CESARs), staffed by auxiliary nursing staff, and 58 mother-and-child clinics.
127. Newly included in the current standard is a chapter for pre-conception care as a critical component in health care for women of reproductive age. It is defined as a set of interventions that are designed to identify and modify risk factors whenever possible: those that correspond to medical and demographic variables that are directly or indirectly related to causal factors of congenital malformations or to poor perinatal outcomes. Pre-conception care should be seen in the context of identifying factors: habits, behaviours and pathologies that pose a reproductive risk for women and their newborn, providing them with appropriate care, promoting actions to improve the health of the mother and the newborn and to orient the couple towards ways to postpone her pregnancy until she is able to become pregnant.
128. The Committee urges the State to ensure that its policies and public decisions are in accordance with its Constitution, which establishes it as a secular State. The Committee also recommends that the State party consider reviewing the law relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which abortion could be permitted, such as therapeutic abortions and abortions in cases of pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, and removing punitive provisions imposed on women who undergo abortion, in line with the Committee’s general recommendation 24, on women and health, and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
129. As a signatory to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995), Honduras has maintained its commitment to improving treatment in cases of unsafe abortion, providing care in the event of complications and improving advice on contraception, health education and services. Honduras still defines abortion as an offence; however, based on its prevalence nationwide over the past five years and at all hospitals in the country, the Ministry of Health has promoted a strategy of comprehensive care for women through the post-abortion period and its complications, in keeping with its commitment to providing skilled care in pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum period and the goal of reducing maternal mortality.
130. Honduras still recognizes abortion as an offence. Therapeutic abortion is recognized in the obstetric complications chapter of the national standards for maternal and infant care (2011), where it is defined as the termination of a pregnancy to preserve a woman’s health or save her life in the following situations: (a) when the woman’s health is at risk; (b) when the woman’s life is at risk;
(c) when the embryo presents congenital malformations incompatible with life; and (d) when the pregnancy results from a non-consensual relationship or fertilization.
131. With the expansion of the process of post-abortion care, unit staff may follow the Post-abortion Care Protocol. Care includes counselling for women, attention to their health needs, complementary birth control services and, when required in the light of the clinical findings, the use of manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) as an evacuation technique. In 2011, 5,353 MVA procedures were performed nationwide. National standards define the requirements for post-abortion care, for instance: presence of a multidisciplinary health care team to provide efficient professional care to the woman, her partner and her family, providing psychological support and polite, prudent and respectful counselling, which ensures her of tranquillity and safety during the care process at our health units.
132. As part of comprehensive care for women of all ages and their partners who come for post-abortion care, they are provided with: (1) Education/counselling on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS;
(2) Diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS; (3) Education/counselling on post-abortion contraception post abortion; (4) Education/counselling on family planning and provision of the chosen means; (5) Detection, treatment and referral for survivors of gender-based violence; (6) Diagnosis of sterility/infertility, guidance, counselling and treatment; (7) Diagnosis and treatment of cervical and breast cancer; (8) Education on nutrition, hygiene and vaccination.
133. The Ministry of Health promotes essential activities during post-abortion care.
134. In 2009, the friendly services for adolescents strategy was inaugurated at 32 units nationwide, while a counselling guide for adolescents was revised and published and is in use at hospitals and health units to prevent subsequent pregnancy. Immediately thereupon the Adolescent Information System (SIA) was launched, with disaggregated data to reveal the health status of this population group, their main problems, and their needs, broken down by origin and sex.
135. In 2011, a Plan for the Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy (2012–2016) was developed, taking a human rights- and gender-based approach. As part of an inter-agency alliance a process of sexual education at schools and colleges was undertaken, and currently implementation of the guide “Taking Care of My Health and My Life” is being promoted. Since 2010 the Ministry of Education has launched the guide Taking Care of My Health and My Life, in which connection it has trained 20,000 teachers in 14 departments of the country, so that guidance counsellors and teachers in 4 departments—Santa Bárbara, Olancho, Gracias a Dios and El Paraíso—have yet to be trained; the activity was conducted with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
136. The Committee also urges the State party to provide women with access to quality services for the management of complications arising from unsafe abortions and to reduce women’s maternal mortality rates. The Committee recommends that the State party include a gender perspective in its HIV/AIDS programmes and policies and ensure that such programmes and policies address the needs of women from ethnic minorities.
137. In December 2007, the State presented its third National Strategic Plan on Response to HIV and AIDS 2008-2012 (PENSIDA III), with the commitment to continue tackling the problem in Honduras, as described below (see Annex 17).
138. In October 2009, the Standards for Comprehensive Care of Pregnant Women for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV were issued. The Standards are the result of a broad process of consultations and are based on a set of standards of comprehensive care for HIV/AIDS. The document constitutes support for the provision of friendly services of high quality and effectiveness as well as for the training and development of human resources.
139. In September 2011, the Guide on Syndromic Management of Sexually Transmitted Infections was published.
140. In October 2011, the Ministry of Health made available to all health workers, religious leaders, municipal councils, NGOs, IHSS, private enterprise, civil society organizations and other institutions its Standards for the Comprehensive Management of Maternal and Congenital Syphilis, so that they could be implemented throughout the country. Their general objective was to build capacity to respond to information and to ensure access to quality comprehensive services to prevent vertical (mother-to-child) transmission of HIV and syphilis during the 2009–2012 period.
141. The purpose of the standard is to establish protocols for care of maternal and congenital syphilis in accordance with their clinical stages and for counselling, diagnosis and treatment, including the definition of cases and indicators for the follow-up and monitoring of syphilis. It aims to strengthen actions for the detection, management and elimination of syphilis infection through differentiated comprehensive care (see Annex 18).
142. It aims to strengthen actions for the detection, management and elimination of syphilis infection through differentiated comprehensive care.
143. Incidence of the infection in pregnant women at the national level hovered around 2.2% before 1994, and has declined slightly in recent years. Meanwhile, the trend in the number of cases of congenital syphilis reported by the regions has been up and down over the 2006–2009 period. Only five regions reported cases of congenital syphilis in 2009, namely: Metropolitan Tegucigalpa (9), Atlántida (8), Cortés (4), Francisco Morazán (1) and Gracias a Dios (1), for an incidence of 0.11 cases per 1,000 live births.
144. The number of pregnant women diagnosed with syphilis through antenatal checks dropped from 164 women in 2008 to 125 in 2009: a reduction in the rate of positivity of 0.12% to 0.09%.
145. The Directorate-General of Health Monitoring presents a preliminary report drawn up by the maternal mortality monitoring team. The report is produced using data from the Maternal Mortality Monitoring Subsystem for 1 January–31 December 2011: cases of death related to pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium obtained using the instruments defined by the Subsystem, reported and investigated by the health regions of Honduras during that period; 139 deaths related to pregnancy were reported in the epidemiological bulletin, 132 of which were reported through the maternal mortality monitoring system; 120 were classified as maternal deaths, 86 of these direct obstetric deaths and 34 indirect obstetric deaths, at ages between 20 and 34, in de facto unions and with a basic educational level (incomplete primary education). Regarding the OB GYN situation, most women had had more than four pregnancies and 76% had had an antenatal checkup; childbirth care was institutional, mainly by physicians at public hospitals. In 2011 the main underlying causes of direct obstetric death in mothers were: pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, and retained placenta. Most indirect obstetric deaths resulted from complications of circulatory, respiratory and digestive system diseases.
146. In 2006, WHO/PAHO launched new nutritional growth standards for international use, which were adopted by the Ministry in 2007. The comprehensive childhood care programme adopted those standards and formulated the nutritional surveillance standard for children under five; as part of this surveillance the following instruments are used: (a) Comprehensive Care Card for a Girl (for the mother’s or father’s use); (b) Comprehensive Care Card for a Boy (for the mother’s or father’s use); (c) Boy’s Medical History (for use on the outpatient record); (d) Girl’s Medical History (for use on the outpatient record)
147. The above set of instruments is for institutional use; it contains charts of growth, weight for age, height for age and height for weight, allowing the child to be provided with thorough, differentiated care, since it contains information on birth, vaccination plan, micronutrients and developmental assessment and maintenance of nutritional surveillance. Due to the existing strategies in Honduras, where growth monitoring is obligatory, the WHO/PAHO standards were modified; unusually for Latin America, they emphasize growth trend monitoring. All of this work was done under the watchful eye of PAHO/WHO Washington, since it is a first for Honduras.
2.13. Articles 13 and 14:
148. Economic and social life. The Honduras National Statistics Institute’s Permanent Multi-purpose Household Survey of May 2011 indicates that Honduras has a total population of 8,200,795: 4,213,559 women and 3,987,236 men. The urban population is 3,733,876, the rural 4,466,919. Honduras has 1,064,165 poor households (61.9% of the total), 348,679 (20.3%) living in relative poverty and 715,486 living in dire poverty (41.6%).
149. Women in rural areas, indigenous women, and those of African descent. The State of Honduras, in compliance with CEDAW’s General Recommendations Nos. 16, 19, 23 and 25 on its 5th Report (2006), and with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and Beijing+5 on women and poverty, as well as the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals and targets (2000) concerning Goal 1, Target 1, Target 2 and Goal 8, Target 12, reports:
150. Between 2007 and 2011, the Honduran State, through INA, supported women’s participation and benefits for women in 30% of all processes. In rural enterprises, technical assistance was provided to 915 women (30%), and 2,134 men (70%) in response to specific requests; and systematic and continuous technical assistance was provided, continued from one stage to the next, on the same percentage basis, to a total of 601 women and 1,402 men; support was provided to 162 rural processing and services enterprises (EACTS) with a similar percentage breakdown of 1,564 women, 3,560 men.
151. In business development processes, 526 training courses dealt specifically with gender equality (8%) and 6,043 with other issues (92%). The total of learners was 1,726 (518 women, 30%, and 1,208 men, 70%). Business development courses had a male and female enrolment of 1,208 (70%) and 518 (30%) respectively. Subjects covered were diagnostics, plans, EVI, projects, intellectual property and commercialization. A total of 732 rural savings and loan cooperatives (CRACs) were created: 220 by women (30%) and 512 by men (70%). Rural companies were legally incorporated, 433 by women (30%) and 966 by men (70%).
152. In the 2007–2011 period, 34 rural enterprises were incorporated (17 by women, 7 by men and 10 mixed) through the Business Centre to market their products (packaged goods, coffee, soap, floor disinfectant, honey, wine, sweets, bread, fruits, jewellery, saddlery, and handicrafts made of husks, reeds, tule, plaster or clay). Productive projects are developed through the Land Access Programme (PACTA) by195 companies, 59 owned by women (30%) and 136 by men (70%), while 67 new enterprises were incorporated, for rural production, with 17 projects, and land ownership: 20 owned by women (30%) and 47 by men (70%). Currently 731 projects have been set up—farming, agro-industrial, micro-irrigation and investment—219 by women (30%) and 512 by men (70%), some of them in operation, others in the planning stages.
153. Currently 731 projects have been set up—farming, agro-industrial, micro-irrigation and investment—219 by women (30%) and 512 by men (70%), some of them in operation, others in the planning stages. In the 2007–2011 period, a census was taken of 2,694 campesino bases in the reformed sector in order to improve national statistics; a population of 17,830 women (36%) and 31,170 men (64%) was found. Of those bases, 980 were run by women and 1,714 by men. The National Agrarian Institute (INA) has issued 29,780.00 deeds: 1,083 in the reformed sector, 28,653.23 in the independent sector, and 44 in ethnic communities. Since 2008, the State of Honduras has decided to go forward with a more effective State response to poverty, and for that purpose is undertaking a structuring process which, at the end of 2008, culminated in the creation of the Ministry of Social Development and Solidarity Network (SDS), a body that seeks to: formulate, coordinate, implement and evaluate public policies on social matters and in the poverty reduction sphere; establish the country’s development priorities as set out in the Vision for the Country and Plan for the Nation and the Millennium Development Goals; link and integrate public policies and social programmes and projects arising from these efforts.
154. It is important to note that more than 45 food and nutrition security programmes have been implemented up to 2009, financed by the Government of Honduras and by donor countries and international agencies such as the Government of Spain, the United States, Switzerland, the European Union, FAO, WFP, AECI, USAID, PAHO/INCAP and the World Bank; they have been carried out by governmental institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Ministry of Health, the Secretariat of the Presidency, the Ministry of Finance, PRONADERS, DINADERS, INA, the National Fund for Sustainable Rural Development, the Honduran Tourism Institute, the National Commodity Supplier (BANASUPRO), the Honduran Production and Housing Bank (BANHPROVI), the Honduran Social Investment Fund (FHIS), the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Family Allowance Programme (PRAF); and non-governmental organizations including CARE, ADRA, Save The Children and World Vision.
155. In April 2009, Decree 18-2008 was issued: a legal instrument which will support the Government in facilitating a process of land expropriation for the purpose of agrarian reform, especially for campesinos who have held the land for more than 30 years. In January 2011 the Supreme Court declared the Decree inadmissible because unconstitutional. With those campesinos, the National Agrarian Institute expedited a review of 408 files opened over several years involving 512 groups. Expropriation and recovery decisions were issued for 210 files, representing 20,190 hectares.
156. In 2010, the structuring, linkage and assignment of social protection and poverty reduction programmes began. Their organizational structure (see Annex 4) is based on the dependencies and profiles set out in a functions manual. From the beginning support was received from the operational office of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (ERP), whose goal is to build municipalities’ decentralization capacity through the transfer of decentralized ERP funds to 18 departments comprising 298 municipalities.
157. Executive Decree No. PCM-038-2010, issued under the framework of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, established the National Policy and Strategy on Food and Nutrition Security for the purpose of guaranteeing the fundamental rights of Honduran citizens, particularly as regards respect for the right to life, by means of efforts to attain food security and improve citizens’ overall security. The Policy adopted and extended the guidelines of the respective sectoral policies and long-term plans in the areas of health, education, agro-forestry, micro-enterprises, social protection, water and sanitation, governance and basic infrastructure. At the same time, it defined an action plan that sets out specific tasks that the various ministries will be called upon to perform in order to ensure a coordinated and speedy response on behalf of families living in extreme poverty.
158. In 2010, SDS was assigned responsibility for such presidential programmes as Healthy Schools (PES), which in 2011 provided elementary school children with 202,500,000 snacks, or 150 snacks per child, with a geographic coverage of 296 municipalities in 18 departments. That same year, to deal with the problems of nutrition, the Glass of Milk Act for Strengthening School Feeding and the corresponding project were approved (see Annex 3). 528,344 public school children received a daily glass of milk to supplement their school snack; the programme was offered in 132 municipalities in 16 departments.
159. Since 2010, 76 micro-enterprises have been supervised and 175 have been created and supervised, in 4 municipalities of 2 departments, thanks to seed capital provided through community development units (UDECOs). In addition, some 5,000 people benefited from massive employment on community social work projects.
160. That same year, Honduras enacted and implemented the Act on Supplementary Income in Rural and Marginal Urban Areas (see Annex 4), which has benefited 19,770 persons, mostly women, through the Supplementary Income Programme in marginal urban areas of 102 municipalities in 13 departments; the Programme was implemented through SDS’s “Desarrollemos Honduras” Programme (Let’s Develop Honduras). A liaison strategy was also drawn up and executed through the implementation of the Vivir Mejor (Better Living) Programme: 2,000 families benefited through joint inter-agency investment programmes involving the public sector and civil society in 2 departments and 6 municipalities. The Better Living Programme exemplifies the integration model favoured by SDS.
161. On 14 October year 2010, under Legislative Decree No. 203-2010, the Ministry for the Development of the Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Peoples (SEDINAFROH) was created, the culmination of years of struggle by organizations and federations representing the indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples. It recognized the reality that Honduras is a multicultural, multi-ethnic State inhabited by 9 indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples, to wit, the Garifunas, Lencas, Maya-Chortis, Miskitos, Nahuas, Pech, Tawahkas, and Tolupanes. The Ministry recognizes their existence and guarantees them the rights provided in the Constitution of the Republic, treaties and international conventions, and other Honduran laws, ensuring their active participation in national life, preservation of their cultural and ancestral values and the conditions that make it possible, and is responsible for building public policies whereby the necessary conditions for their development can be created. It was determined that a Directorate-General of Social Inclusion and Gender Equity (DISEG) urgently needed to be created within SEDINAFROH, its overall purpose being to manage, promote and guarantee the equitable participation of the indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples in all development-generating endeavours, whether political, economic, social, or academic, highlighting the real living conditions of children, youth at risk, women, single mothers, persons with disabilities and seniors. Of the Ministry’s directorates, the most significant are the Directorate-General of Social Inclusion and Gender Equity and the Public Policy and Affirmative Action Directorate. Through its Directorate-General of Social Inclusion and Gender Equity (DISEG), SEDINAFROH seeks to raise awareness among indigenous and Afro-Honduran women of the importance of their participation in the development of their respective peoples; (b) Propose, manage and carry out development projects, such as productive, educational, health and housing that will benefit the Directorate-General’s target population by improving their living conditions; (c) Train women leaders in each village to responsibly deal with women’s problems; (d) Require effective implementation of laws; (e) Promote economic, political and social development; (f) Promote knowledge of indigenous and Afro-Honduran women’s rights; (g) Devise and promote a policy of social inclusion of indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples and create a legal framework that guarantees them better living conditions and generates real development.
162. Since 2010, a programme approved and developed by the Office of the President, Bono 10,000, has been in operation. This new social assistance scheme is designed to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, in which the conditional cash transfers (CCTs) have played a big role. It directly supports basic educational, nutritional and health services by giving cash to these extremely poor households on the condition that their children and adolescents attend school; that children and pregnant and post-partum women go to health centres for their ante- and post-natal checkups and receive their nutritional package. CCTs have two main objectives: to increase income and alleviate poverty in the short term, while to breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty due to the increase in human capital.
163. Its specific objectives are: 1. to make conditional cash transfers to households living in poverty or extreme poverty, with children and adolescents attending school, provided they are enrolled in schools in the national public system (formal or informal); in order to encourage enrolment, retention and regular attendance during the school year. Priority will be given to the most vulnerable, such as girls, children under 5, and pregnant and post-partum women; 3. to help create a social safety net, to prevent the poorest and most vulnerable from being affected by internal and external economic crisis, by promoting the creation of the necessary conditions for them to overcome their plight of poverty or extreme poverty.
164. In 2011, as its contribution to social work institutions, SDS established the National Social Sector Information Centre (CENISS) within the Ministry of Social Development, with responsibility for providing timely decision-making information to the various actors of the social sector. CENISS comprises the Single Registry of Beneficiaries (RUB), the Registry of Available Institutional Services (ROI) and the National Documentation Centre (CENAD), all of which directly impact poor rural households, especially those with single women as heads of households.
165. Social protection. In mid-2011, the Ministry of Social Development brought together government institutions, civil society, private enterprise, private development organizations, academia, churches, humanitarian workers and other actors to formulate a public policy document that would be acceptable to the majority. After completing a series of individual consultations, a number of activities were carried out, including a workshop held on 5 and 6 October with broad representation from organizations and institutions like Ministry of Labour and Social Security, UNAH, CONEANFO, SEDINAFROH, SJDH, a civil society group, CIARH, the National Association of Older Adults of Honduras (ANAMH), COMPAH, IHSS, Child Fund, the Federation of Development Organizations of Honduras (FOPRIDEH), the Office of the President, Puente al Desarrollo, IHNFA, INAM, and the World Bank, among others. Another important achievement of this workshop was the creation of the Technical Social Protection Committee (CTPS), which received primary responsibility for reaching consensus on, and finalizing, the social protection policy to be submitted to the Social Cabinet, which would refer it the full Cabinet for approval as government policy, then to the National Congress to make it State policy.
166. In 2012, the Social Protection Policy was enacted after five previous attempts since 2005. It was devised in a participatory manner at various times and focuses on human rights, the life cycle and gender equity, bringing out the risks people run and seeking to respond through different policy actions tailored to specific sociocultural, family and community situations with a dynamically changing focus and intergenerational approach.
167. The Policy covers such things as: (a) Antenatal stage: men and women of reproductive age or pregnant women in urban or rural areas belonging to indigenous and/or Afro-Honduran peoples; (b) Early childhood (age 0 to 6): children in urban or rural areas belonging to indigenous and/or Afro-Honduran peoples; (c) Childhood (age 7 to 11): children in urban or rural areas belonging to indigenous and/or AfroHonduran peoples; (d) Adolescence (age 12 to 18): teenage boys and girls children in urban or rural areas belonging to indigenous and/or Afro-Honduran peoples; (e) Youth (age 19 to 30): young men and women in urban or rural areas belonging to indigenous and/or Afro-Honduran peoples; (f) Adulthood (age 31
to 50): men and women in urban or rural areas belonging to indigenous and/or AfroHonduran peoples; (g) Old age (age 60 and up): men and women in urban or rural areas belonging to indigenous and/or Afro-Honduran peoples.
2.15. Article 15:
168. Justice and equality before the law. the State of Honduras, in compliance with the provisions of article 15 on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and with General Recommendations Nos. 12, 19, 24, 25 and the CEDAW Committee’s general recommendations on the 5th report of Honduras (2006) in accordance with its general recommendation 19 of the Committee and Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and Beijing+5 concerning violence against women and girls; hereby informs the Committee of its progress toward compliance:
169. In 2007, an inter-agency cooperation agreement was signed between the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), the Supreme Court of Justice, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Security on training to given on the “Rights of Women and Children” to the indigenous and African-descended peoples of Honduras in the cities of Yoro, Olancho, Puerto Lempira, Gracias a Dios, La Esperanza, Comayagua, Tela, La Ceiba and Islas de la Bahia. To date more than 200 women of the Tolupan, Miskito, Lenca and Nahua ethnic groups have been trained.
170. In August 2007, a Femicide Unit was created within the Directorate-General of Criminal Investigation, having jurisdiction within the Central District; it was created to assist prosecutors in the investigation of women’s violent deaths.
171. The Directorate-General of Criminal Investigation has Domestic Violence Offices at all departmental headquarters.
172. In 2007, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Ministry of Security and Plan de Honduras to create and operate women’s offices in the departments of Choluteca, La Esperanza and Lempira.
173. Since 2007, the judiciary, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Security have promoted awareness-raising through the Administration of Justice Modernization Programme, stage II, using appropriation No. 1115/SF-HO, which is currently using television ads, radio spots, banners, stickers, billboards and other media to encourage a culture wherein acts of violence will be reported (see Annex No. 3).
174. Since 2007, the National Preventative Police have been enhancing their care structures, creating the “Clase 2 de Policía Juana Blandín Almendarez” Comprehensive Women’s Care Office in Ocotepeque and the “Policía Aleci Zuñiga”, women’s care office at No.1 Metropolitan Headquarters in Tegucigalpa. (The above-mentioned offices report to the Directorate-General of Preventive Policing and have personnel trained in and sensitized to women’s rights issues; they operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year.) In 2008, the Femicide Unit was created in the city of San Pedro Sula, to support investigations into women’s deaths in that sector, together with the Comprehensive Assistance Office for Surviving Victims of Domestic Violence and Special Crimes. In Intibucá, with the support of the Municipal City Hall of La Esperanza, the Comprehensive Assistance Office for Surviving Victims of Domestic Violence and Special Crimes was created in June 2009, and the Comprehensive Women’s Care Office in 2010.
175. Since 2008 mobile justice-of-the-peace courts have been in operation; they can go to districts, settlements, villages and other places that do not have courts, so making the law accessible to people in general and to women in particular. In the mobile courts, there is no need of a lawyer to file a complaint of violence or abuse of civil or labour rights, etc. The service is direct, transparent and fast, since the courts have all the necessary staff, such as a judge, a marshal and a clerk, and are empowered to summons accused immediately through the police. The results to date are satisfactory, since the courts swiftly resolve the matters brought before them. They operate free of charge, in a prompt, transparent and direct manner, without the need for an attorney to represent the parties. Verbal civil actions and allegations of misconduct are entertained, as well as requests for conciliation in family and labour matters, while reports are received and security measures prescribed in cases of domestic violence. They operate from 9 am to 5 pm in selected places. Mobile justice-of-the-peace courts are currently available in the cities of Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and Choluteca.
176. Since 2009 the Criminal Code has been under review and introduction of the crime of femicide has been proposed in the hope it will have a deterrent effect on the population and stiffen penalties. In particular, The Ministry of Justice and Human rights was able to introduce the non-discrimination proposal through a reform of article 321 of the Criminal Code. The Supreme Court of Justice issued an opinion (as PCSJ No. 354/11 of 21 June 2011) on the draft bill, which would introduce an aggravating circumstance of homicide.
177. A review of the Criminal Code was done in 2010 and it was suggested that the offence of domestic violence be reformed, under articles 179-A and -B, which should also include the security measures established in the Domestic Violence Act to protect women’s physical integrity; similarly, the Criminal Code should specify the difference between the normative and descriptive elements that make up the definition of domestic violence, so as to distinguish unmistakably between ordinary and domestic violence, or in other words distinguish civil action from criminal proceedings.
178. In May 2010 the 111 hotline was created for allegations of ill-treatment and child abuse with the support of the Office of the First Lady and IHNFA.
179. In 2011, the judiciary launched an educational campaign on access to justice focused on domestic violence; it consisted of an animated television advertisement, to reach audiences of all ages (see Annex No. 4). The advertisement shows the forms of domestic violence and indicates who may file a complaint and where they may do so. All the campaigns had nationwide coverage thanks to the support of the Honduran media.
180. The comprehensive victim care model was piloted in the city of La Ceiba, Atlántida, then introduced this year in Tegucigalpa. The model aims to recall always that victims are persons and therefore deserve all our respect; they must be treated with dignity and with the sensitivity called for by the circumstances of the case.
181. The comprehensive victim care office has an interdisciplinary work structure that includes legal aid, social work and psychology areas, to provide speedy and efficient service as soon as the complaint is received, lessening the impact caused by the crime and preventing secondary victimization. The office seeks to ensure the presence of the victim during the judicial process, recognizing the importance of their participation, and to link to coordination networks, to provide the necessary assistance to help victims through the process so that they may be treated with due dignity and respect. This model is being implemented in the capital, Tegucigalpa, with personalized attention to victims; the emergency measures unit has begun operations, supported by the analysts assigned to the Prosecutor’s Office for Women and the DNIC agents attached to that office.
182. The State of Honduras has broken new ground progress by endowing the special Prosecutor’s Office for Women with new units: the Sexual Offences Unit and the Violent Deaths of Women Unit, whose goal is to give special attention to this area of violence on account of its high and increasing incidence over the past five years; in addition, a handbook on treatment of crimes of sexual abuse has been developed to train prosecutorial staff and supernumeraries nationwide.
183. The judiciary has its 2011–2016 Strategic Plan, whose cross-cutting theme is gender equity. To give effect thereto, the Judiciary Gender Unit was created on 27 January 2010; it is in charge of promoting, guiding, enhancing and monitoring change processes in order to implement a gender policy that will ensure equal access to justice, without discrimination, for women and men (see Annex No. 1).
184. On 21 September 2011 in San Salvador, a Declaration on Access to Health and Justice in the Event of Sexual Violence was signed, with a view to affirming and following up inter-agency coordination for the development and implementation of comprehensive health and justice models.
185. In October 2011 the Tegucigalpa Protocol was signed and adopted by the Central American Court of Justice and the Regional Rules on Comprehensive Care for Women Victims of Gender Violence, with Emphasis on Sexual Violence were adopted by the Courts of Justice of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic. The said Rules lay down minimum standards of special care for women victims of any kind of violence, but especially sexual violence, and state that girls, indigenous women, women of African descent, women with disabilities and migrant women, in that order, require a standard of care that will spare them double discrimination during the judicial process.
186. Being in receipt of the legal opinion of the Public Prosecutor’s Office on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the State of Honduras has announced its position on the international conventions it has signed, especially now that the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women has been supplemented by the relevant countries with the adoption of the Optional Protocol, which establishes the competence of the CEDAW Committee to receive individual communications from individuals alleging violations of the human rights established in the Convention. We recognize that the Optional Protocol is a legal mechanism that does not create new rights, but two procedures that allow women to (a) file complaints or communications and (b) ask for investigations into the rights established in the Convention, in articles 1 to 11 in which the relevant procedures are set out.
187. The Public Prosecutor’s Office has implemented mechanisms that will enable a prompt response to victims and the effective administration of justice, e.g. through the imposition of measures and the nationwide extension of family counselling with a gender focus; the basic pillar of the victim care is, as we have previously established, the comprehensive care model, adopted in coordination with the judiciary, the National Police, the National Institute for Women and civil society organizations.
188. With regard to the goal of reducing revictimization and secondary victimization, we want to improve the justice system, so the Public Prosecutor’s Office has identified as a priority the need to install an interview room with Gesell chambers, fully equipped to enable better care to be given to victims of sexual offences—especially, and mainly, women and girls. We have three interview rooms with Gesell chambers in the three most important cities: La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. We are also strengthening the protection programme for witnesses and child victims. The remote interview room and mobile audiovisual equipment has been installed to that the system can be brought to victims, especially children in protection processes.
189. The Supreme Court of Justice reports an increase in decisions handed down in cases of domestic violence at the national level. At the national level, magistrate’s courts recorded an increase of 45% in decisions issued between 2007 and 2011. In mixed jurisdiction courts, at the national level, 34% more decisions were found to have been issued between 2007 and 2011, while specialized courts nationwide issued 51% more decisions during the same timeframe.
190. Since the creation of the mobile justice-of-the-peace courts, access to justice has been provided to women of limited economic resources who, for several reasons, are unable to attend courts with jurisdiction in various areas; in the specific case of violence domestic, the mobile courts merely receive the complaints, impose security measures and refer the files to the specialized courts.
191. Since 2011 the Special Crimes Unit has begun to record sexual offences against children. It has separated the records distribution system and improved the investigation of serial abuse cases.
192. In 2011, in order to build State capacity to improve the public security situation and to combat crime and remove impunity, additional resources were assigned to the investigation services charged with monitoring crimes against life targeting women, children and young people, journalists and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
193. To improve victim care through the 111 and 114 domestic violence hotlines, in November we participated in the Fifth Regional Consultation for America and the Caribbean, which was held in Lima, Peru, by the Project to Provide, Protect and Restore the Rights of Children and coordinated by Plan Honduras and Child Helpline; the training process on crisis care and reporting and hotline management is continuing.
2.16. Article 16:
Marriage and family
194. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women:
a. The same right to enter into marriage;
b. The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent;
c. The same rights and responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution;
d. The same rights and responsibilities as parents, irrespective of their marital status, in matters relating to their children; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount;
e. The same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights;
f. The same rights and responsibilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount;
g. The same personal rights as husband and wife, including the right to choose a family name, a profession and an occupation;
h. The same rights for both spouses in respect of the ownership, acquisition, management, administration, enjoyment and disposition of property, whether free of charge or for a valuable consideration.
195. The betrothal and the marriage of a child shall have no legal effect, and all necessary action, including legislation, shall be taken to specify a minimum age for marriage and to make the registration of marriages in an official registry compulsory.
196. The 1982 Constitution and the Family Code of 1984 are characterized by the express reference to special State protection for the family, marriage, motherhood and childhood, with a special chapter on child protection; it is considered a duty of the State to protect the family and the institutions related to it and to guarantee the juridical equality of the spouses and of their common children. Among the legal novelties introduced by the Family Code are the juridical equality of both spouses and the joint exercise of parental authority. Their domicile is established in the home where both spouses have their habitual residence. Another important change is the disappearance of the concept of adultery; on the other hand, that of infidelity is included for both spouses. With the entry into force of the Family Code family courts were created with specific jurisdiction in family matters.
197. Some discriminatory provisions have been identified, in particular the minimum age for entering into marriage and the review of biological criteria in the legislation on children and adolescents, in which regard the National Congress, through the Committee on Childhood and the Family has developed a preliminary draft proposal on integration and consolidation of standards, to wit: (1) reform of article 16 of the Family Code to unify the age for entering into marriage with authorization; specifically, it is suggested that the current minimum marriageable age for girls be increased from sixteen to eighteen years of age as a measure of protection to avoid early marriages and ensure that as girls they enjoy the fundamental rights established in the Convention on the Rights of the child and the Childhood and Adolescence Code; (3) revision and elimination of the biological criteria for maturity of children contained in the third paragraph of article 1 of the Childhood and Adolescence Code; and (4) express repeal of all provisions of the Civil Code that discriminate against the equality of common children and the equality of the male and female partners.
4. TOPICS OF SPECIAL RELEVANCE IN THE HONDURAN CONTEXT
4.1. Violent deaths of women
198. Femicide is defined as the violent death of a woman by reason of her gender. It is the most extreme form of violence and often the culmination of a long sequence of attacks.
199. One initial difficulty in estimating the incidence of femicide is a lack of data, as it is not yet a category included in the institutional records of the Honduran legal system.
200. While a consensus was reached by the Inter-agency Commission on Femicide, in early 2008, that violent deaths within a couple or family relationship would be considered femicides (intimate femicide), no agreement was reached on a definition that would include femicides committed in the public sphere or by unrelated perpetrators.
201. In the first regional report, Situation and Analysis of Femicide in Central America (Central American Council of Lawyers for Human Rights, 2006), femicide is defined “...as the intentional and violent death of women (murders, killings and matricides) solely be reason of their gender; it is the greatest possible violation of a woman’s human rights because it is the destruction of life, the principal legal asset protected by national and international legal systems”.
202. According to information produced by women’s organizations on the basis of DNIC and newspaper data, there was an escalation of femicides beginning in 1990, to the point where the discovery of the bodies of women murdered with extreme, premeditated ferocity became nearly a daily occurrence. From 2003 to 2007 there were 808 femicides, the number of cases having doubled in that period. One femicide occurs every 48 hours in Honduras.
203. Data for 2003–2007, based on information from newspapers and DNIC, show that 40% of the femicide victims were young women between 16 and 30 years old, followed by the 31–40 age group (16.4%). In 10.2% of cases the victim’s age is unknown. 33% of the women were murdered in their own home. It should be noted that 69% of all femicides were committed with firearms.
204. The largest number of cases was reported in the northern zone, the department of Cortés being first on the list with 29% of the total; the cases occurred mainly in San Pedro Sula, Choloma, Villanueva, Puerto Cortés and La Lima, which are the cities with the greatest commercial activity.
205. Francisco Morazán was second, with 26.2% of the total. These two departments alone reported 55.2% of all violent deaths nationwide. The northern area accounted for 42.8% of all femicides in the reporting period, while the central region, which includes Francisco Morazán and Comayagua, reported 32.2% of the total. Besides Cortés and Francisco Morazán, other departments with a high incidence of femicide were Atlántida (7.3%), Comayagua (6%), Copán (5.5%), Yoro (5%) and Olancho (4.4%).
206. The most women’s deaths were reported in February and April. Existing figures on femicides in 2006 also show that the identity of the perpetrator is known in fewer than half the cases (44%: 11% household companions, 10% security guards and policemen and 23% gangsters and drug traffickers). An analysis of the data for the reporting period shows that in 10 to 20% of femicide cases, the woman’s identity is unknown; clearly there are recording problems and obstacles to investigators’ obtaining obtain specific data about the circumstances in which violent deaths occur.
207. The femicides are taking place in an environment where recent changes in the economic mode have led to increased participation by women in leading-edge sectors of the economy, urban growth, the emergence of transnational development centres, open borders and International migration, among other factors; all of which conditions drive an increase in public violence, civil insecurity, organized crime and all kinds of networks and illegal trafficking in the region.
208. The Special Prosecutor for Women has pointed out that while funding for investigative bodies has been cut, crime has modernized and more complex criminal patterns are emerging, requiring upskilling of technicians and experts specializing in violence against women and more specifically femicidal violence.
209. The lack of adequate investigation constitutes a violation of women’s human rights, of the right to life and to physical and psychological integrity and freedom, and of due process; it impedes the fair and expeditious trial and conviction of the perpetrator, produces impunity from police forces, prosecutors and judges, and constitutes a crime against humanity.
210. The judicial process involves a lot of formalities and documents: applications for pre-trial evidence, wiretapping, raids, protected witnesses, etc., which cause much delay.
211. National Police reports indicate that among sexual offences, rape is the one most commonly reported, while there are also increased numbers of reported cases of statutory rape and indecent assault.
 Preliminary bases of the National Development Plan for 2030. First draft October 2008. Gender equity and equality section, goals 127 and 128.
 Santiago, Chile, July 2007, sponsored by AGEM and UNIFEM Mexico, financed by UNIFEM Mexico and AGEM.
 Sponsored by AGEM and UNIFEM Mexico.
 Financed by UNIFEM Mexico, AGEM.
 Executive Agreement No. 058-2008, published 3 December 2008, No. 31,777.
 Decree 286-2009.
 Decree PCM 028-2010: Policy 1 (Thrust # 1).
 Offered by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
 Offered by UNICEF.
 Funded by Save The Children, Honduras, in the framework of the cooperation agreement, “Violence and Trafficking in Persons”.
 Sponsored by Save The Children.
 Sponsored by IOM and UNICEF.
 Developed by IOM and UNHCR.
 Sponsored by IOM.
 Given by IOM, informational material donated by CHF.
 Sponsored by Casa Alianza Honduras.
 Decree PCM 028-2010.
 Decree No. 1992-2009: 1819-EP-92 (on the foundation of SEMED)
1994: 0111-SEP-94 (on the creation of new SEMED institutions by legislative decree)
2009: 1075-SE-09 (on the approval of new study modes for SEMED).
 Legislative Decree No 93-97, Agreement No. 4849-SE-2002, Convention 169, Agreement No. 0183-97, Ministerial Agreement No. 1793-SE-2009, Executive Decree No. PCM-M-024-2009.
 Agreement No. STSS-097-2008 of 12 May 2008.
 Ministerial Agreement No. STSS-248-08 of 29 July 2008.
 Executive Decree PCM 011-2011 and as amended, PCM-056 2011.
 Technical assistance on gender equity provided to the placement service of Honduras by the Ministry of Labour of Spain; sponsorship by the regional FOIL project (Enhancement of Integrated Training, Orientation and Workplace Systems).
 Legislative Decree No.157-2008.
 Decree 54-2010, published on 16 June 2010.
 Decree 107-2010, published on 21 August 2010.
 Donated by UNFPA and UNICEF.
 Donated by Plan International Inc., Honduras.