PBI-Honduras attends COFADEH forum on labour and LGBTI rights after the 2009 coup

Published by Brent Patterson on

On September 13, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted, “On August 20, PBI- Honduras attended the forum ‘Impact of the Coup D’état on Human Rights, with emphasis on the violation of labor rights and the LGTBI community’…”

“[The forum was] organized by the Committee of Relatives of Disappeared Detainees in Honduras (COFADEH).”

PBI-Honduras adds, “In two panels, representatives of both the LGTBI movement and defenders of labour rights spoke about the context of both currents since [the 2009 coup] and their next steps for the future.”

Labour rights

In July 2019, the Latin American Working Group posted, “The Honduran agriculture workers union STAS has tried for years to legally unionize workers at Fyffes-Sol and Grupo Jaremar—a melon producer that exports most of its crops to the United States and a palm oil company, respectively—to address the companies’ many labor violations, which include rampant wage theft and exposure to toxic pesticides.”

“Yet, instead of supporting the workers’ right to fair wages and safe work environments, the Honduran government has aligned with Fyffes-Sol and Grupo Jaremar in their effort to bust the unions.”

“Labor Minister Carlos Madero issued a decision to dissolve the budding union at the Fyffes-Sol plantations AND then recognized and registered employer-dominated unions.”

LAWG highlights that, “The Honduran government’s move to undermine workers’ rights is in direct violation of the Honduran Constitution and Labor Code, the labor rights chapter of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), as well as the International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions that protect workers’ rights to freedom of association, organizing, and collective bargaining.”

LGBTI rights

In July of this year, CBC reported, “Twenty-one LGBT people have been murdered in Honduras since January, according to Cattrachas, a local watchdog group, compared to 18 in the same period last year.”

“More than 300 gay and trans people have been murdered since 2009, according to the group funded by the Arcus Foundation, which supports social justice for the LGBT community.”

That article also notes a high degree of impunity: “Of 141 known killings of LGBT people between 2010 and 2014, only nine resulted in convictions, it found.”

PBI-Honduras accompanies the Asociación Arcoiris [Rainbow Association].

From June 2015 to March 2016, six members of Arcoíris were killed. PBI-Honduras has noted that Arcoíris activists have survived assassination attempts, while many others have faced intimidation, harassment and physical attacks.

Arcoíris coordinator Donny Reyes says, “The biggest problem that we face is the violence of the state security forces towards the LGBT+ community: the armed forces, the police, the criminal investigation police, military police, municipal police.”

Washington Blade adds, “Activists in the Central American country with whom the Blade has spoken in recent years say members of Honduras’ National Police and the Honduran military among those who target trans women.”

It then highlights, “Violence, along with discrimination and poverty, has prompted many trans Hondurans to migrate to the U.S. and Mexico over the last two years.”

You can read more about the COFADEH forum that PBI-Honduras attended here.

Categories: News Updates


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