Target: President Juan Orlando Hernandez
Goal: Appoint an appropriate director of Honduras’s human rights commission
The government in Honduras must immediately conduct an impartial process to select the country’s next human rights ombudsman. An ombudsman is an official who is appointed to investigate individuals’ complaints against figures of authority such as governments, companies or other organizations. The ombudsman is in charge of the National Human Rights Commission (CONADEH) in Honduras. In the recent past, this position has been hopelessly politicized, destroying the integrity of the post. It is very important that the leaders of the Honduran Congress choose an ombudsman who will fairly address human rights issues that are brought to him or her. This is due to the fact that Honduras suffers from high crime rates and impunity for human rights offenses.
The government and other institutions responsible for providing security against human rights abuses have proven largely ineffective. The new ombudsman must change that around. The CONADEH was created in the early 1980s in order to promote the rule of law. It has the power to evaluate whether national laws comply with international human rights treaties that Honduras is a signatory of.
The Congress in Honduras is responsible for ensuring the future safety of the citizens of Honduras. By providing clear, objective criteria to evaluate the candidates and making the process open to the public, the CONADEH will be provided with a leader who can turn the fortunes of Honduras. Appointing a watch dog to be ombudsman, the government of Honduras can show the international community that it is serious about cracking down on human rights abuses. Sign this petition and demand that Honduras does all it can to ensure that the next leader of CONADEH is willing to tackle the tough issues rather than folding to pressure from the government or other parties.
Dear President Juan Orlando Hernandez,
While human rights laws set out by Congress are moving the country in the right direction, your government must do all it can to ensure basic human rights. A major step in this direction would be to hire an ombudsman to head CONADEH that is willing to follow these laws and rigorously enforce them. If the next representative to CONADEH is chosen without public oversight then there is little chance for significant change.
Your government is a party to many international treaties that are supposed to ensure the human rights of your citizens. As of now, there has been little progress in enforcing the rights of your people. Selecting an ombudsman who has the support of the people will be a huge step towards bringing your country together. It will also show the international community that you are interested in staying true to the treaties that you have signed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons