From Proceso Digital: Conadeh On Forced Displacement in Honduras

This is a translation of an article published by Proceso Digital on October 13, 2018.

According to Conadeh, 625 people were obligated to abandon their homes, and another 764 are at risk of displacement.

Tegucigalpa - Between January and August 2018, around 625 people were obligated to abandon their homes, while another 764 were at risk of displacement, revealed the National Commissioner for Human Rights in Honduras (Conadeh for its acronym in Spanish).

Roberto Herrera Cáceres, head of the Commission, said that they received 558 cases, indicating that this was an increase in complaints received in the first eight months of the year. The cases involved 1,389 people, of which 54% were at risk of being displaced, and some 46% were victims of forced displacement.

He explained that in 307 cases, which represent 55% of the total, those involved said that they had received death threats.

Some of the other reasons that people were forced to abandon their communities were: the murder of a family member, extortion, the recruitment of children and adolescents by gangs, sexual and domestic violence, kidnappings, attempted homicides, and land dispossession, amongst others.

The Public Defender explained that the aggressors or risks denounced in the complaints included gang members, organized crime, common delinquency, narco trafficking, criminal groups, police officers, and in a handful of cases the victims did not identify the perpetrators.

The Honduran Ombudsman declared that forced internal displacement constitutes a human rights violation, and that the State does not take the steps necessary to prevent and avoid it.

He added that the State has the obligation to accompany the victims of forced displacement and ensure that their basic living conditions and safety are assured in the places they move to.

He reiterated that there was a noticeable increase in the number of complaints that Conadeh attended to, as they received 57 complaints per month in 2017, and in the first eight months of 2018 that figure increased to 70 per month.

He indicated that the main aim is to avoid forced displacement, as it affects, not only displaced children’s right to education, but it limits the ability of the the victims to develop their future goals in their own community.

In June 2018, Conadeh and the UN Refugee Agency presented a report that revealed, amongst other facts, that in 2017, the Internal Forced Displacement Unit of the Honduran human rights agency registered 688 complaints involving 1,424 people, of which 49% were forcibly displaced by violence.

Paulina P